The Ups and Downs of Breastfeeding My Five Children

Photography: HADAS Images

By Megen Hibbins

After having five children you might think that I would be an authority on breastfeeding! But, the truth is that I never got to breastfeed any of my children for the extended time that I had expected to.

With my eldest son, I was naive and teaching breastfeeding was not on the nursing education program for new mothers (especially young single mothers) in the town where I lived, so I didn’t breastfeed him at all. I wasn’t sad about it, as I didn’t know what I was missing. However, when our other four children turned up, I was no longer a novice in the breastfeeding games.

I had some amazing teachers at the hospital with my eldest daughter, Nayer. When she was born, she was a very prissy attachment and refused to do anything more the purse her lips onto the breast.

With her, I also had A LOT of foremilk. This is the milk that hydrates your baby before they get into the fatty, nutritional hindmilk. This also meant that I went from a barely there breast size to an E-cup nearly overnight.

From someone that had very little breast, this was an awesome thought – I now had cleavage! It didn’t last long though and the milk ended up giving her colic due to the lack of hindmilk she was able to get.

I went on an expressing regime. This helped to relieve the intense pressure for a while but I kept making milk and the problem got so much worse. At one point I had to put up with the pain so that my milk flow would reduce. By this point I was also expressing 320ml per breast.

This all passed and we settled into a really lovely breastfeeding regime that was relaxing.

With both the elder two and the next ones I had the amazing letdown experience and the happy, loving hormone release that made me want to continue breastfeeding forever.

A few short months later I was pregnant again (there are only 11 months between my two eldest). This meant that she needed bottle-feeding as I was chronically sick and my milk supply all but dried up.

When Roger turned up, however, breastfeeding was a total breeze. He was made for the whole experience and this made settling in a bonding the simplest of processes. Rogie latched and stayed that way with no problems with colic and plenty of food to make the cubby bubby that wiggled around.

With both the elder two and the next ones I had the amazing letdown experience and the happy, loving hormone release that made me want to continue breastfeeding forever.

This wasn’t meant to be as I fell pregnant after 18 months and Rubin soon came along.

Rubin was as amazing as Roger but only got eight months breastfeeding due to Roger being airlifted to hospital with the Influenza A. He was there for two weeks in intensive care fighting for his life and I was by his side.

This meant that Stuart (my husband) was mum, and Rubin got weaned too early in my opinion. This made him hold a grudge for a while when I came home. I had to be really sensitive to his emotions as he viewed me leaving as abandonment.

See next page for more…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *