I had my actual 12 week scan today. They’ve confirmed I’m 12 weeks and 3 days. Baby is doing great and growing exactly as he or she should.

It was so amazing to see the baby just wriggling around inside of me. It’s unbelievable what a difference two weeks make! We got to see the little arms and legs. Baby had their hand up by their face and their little legs were crossed.

My fiancé cried! I didn’t expect him to be so emotional, it was lovely.

I wish I could have a scan every week just so I could see him/her all the time.

Guys I’m so in love with this little dragon! It’s unbelievable.

35 weeks!!!

I am soooo ready to not be pregnant anymore. I say that every week and every weeks it’s more true haha. Sleeping is the WORST. It takes me sometimes hours to fall asleep. I get that restless leg thing and my leg feels twitchy. I can’t cuddle with my husband anymore because I get sweaty and hot really fast. I pee at least 5 times throughout the night. If I lay on my left side I get an agonizing baby butt in my ribs and if I lay on my right I get horrible hip pain.🙃

I keep watching videos of newborns and I just want to meet himmmmm.:(

Passed the one hour glucose test and got confirmation of being induced around 38 weeks because of my chronic hypertension.

A few kicks have been more than just a bump, they’ve been more like jabs. She’s definitely getting bigger 😵

Baby shower is currently in the works, invites go out soon, registries are just about complete.

I have to pee a lot.

Ten weeks left.

Breastfeeding ISN’T easy.

There I said it.

Probably not what you’re expecting from a student midwife eh? But it isn’t and I wish more women were told this antenatally.

Don’t get me wrong I am all about promoting breastfeeding, encouraging breastfeeding and recognising this as the norm for infant feeding but not if we hide the truth from expecting/new mothers.

Days 1-3: 

You’re producing colostrum. Minute amounts but rich in calories and antibodies and vital for baby’s immune system. Baby’s tummy is the size of a cherry when their born - tiny, so huge volumes is NOT what we’re focusing on. We like to see you recognising baby’s feeding cues (rooting, suckling, moving head) and a nice latch and attachment - which again takes time! Most likely your first feed, hopefully during the golden hour of skin to skin after birth, is relatively easy. Baby is awake and keen to latch and feed after a squeezing through the birth canal, and you want cuddles too. It’s the one after that, and after that, and after that which can be disillusioning.

Getting to know your baby, and your baby getting to know you is a process. It’s about starting that relationship between caregiver and child. Breastfeeding is sore, can be nippy but shouldn’t be PAINFUL. If it is you need to latch baby again. It’s trial and error and sleepless nights for the first few days while you work this thing out together. Sometimes expressing at this point can be a good idea - using syringes and cups at hospital or a pump at home; but remember it will be small amounts.

Days 3-7:

Milk! Lots of wonderful breast milk, making your boobs sore and hard and achy and heavy. This is normal. Your body, encouraged by baby’s stimulation of your nipple over the last few days is making milk and storing it for baby. Baby’s can tend to cluster feed at this point. 5 minutes feeds over 2-3 hours, 2 hours rest then at it again. Or baby might feed for longer 30 minutes every 3-4 hours both of these examples are what we might expect. There is no set way to breastfeed, be it position or length of feeds. Some mum’s choose to pump after feeds to keep the production of milk up - some prefer to pump to have an emergency bottle of breast milk in the fridge in case the sleep deprivation gets too much and Dad/Partner can step in. Just remember the more you produce the more baby will be keen to feed (remember to feed both sides!). Baby’s tummy is now growing from a cherry to a walnut to a plum at one week old.

And the one they don’t tell you about…

Day 10:

Your milk has just got thicker and richer for baby. At this point the routine you and baby thought you had down may change. Baby may start to cluster feed or feed for longer, feeding from both breasts. Baby may wake before 4 hours for their next feed. Don’t get disheartened. It’s a continuing journey.

Advice I give to Mother’s is to give it two weeks. Have support for YOURSELF as well as you and baby over those two weeks and just go on that journey with baby. Breastfeeding isn’t an exact science, but it is beautiful and giving your baby the best start in life. So even if you might feel like crying or giving up remember: Breastfeeding isn’t easy for the first two weeks but at least give it that time to establish, because once you do - bonding with baby can be no better.

Disclaimer: I am VERY aware that breastfeeding may not be a choice for all Mother’s and support skin to skin and contact with baby during all forms of infant feeding. I am also aware other factors may disrupt breastfeeding journey’s and can lead to a change in infant feeding. I encourage all women to have an open discussion with their community midwife regarding infant feeding. I have also met many mothers who only wish to give the first feed via breast, something I encourage and support where possible.