My Breastfeeding Journey (so far): 6 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding & Pumping with a Lightning Let Down and Oversupply!

My Breastfeeding Journey…so far!

Exclusively breastfeeding and pumping for the occasional bottle!

In This Blog:
Why I Breastfeed
Managing my Oversupply and Fast Let Down
How I Survived the First 6 Weeks
My Pumping Journey
Products I Recommend (Breastfeeding & Pumping)
When I Plan to Stop
Commemorating Our Journey

This post contains affiliate links. These links do not affect how much you pay but xameliax does earn a small commission if you decide to buy! These links often come with discounts for you (woo!) and they help me to keep writing free and helpful articles such as this, so thank you. I will be talking about both products I have bought myself and products that were sent to me at xameliax by brands to try (with no obligation to post). As always I only recommend products I truly love regardless of how they arrived at my door – ad –

I just wanted to say before we start, however you feed your baby is YOUR CHOICE.
Only you know what’s right for you and your baby.
I am going to be talking openly and honestly about my journey today as a breastfeeding mother, and that experience doesn’t take anything away from those who don’t, haven’t or can’t breastfeed. It’s simply to help anyone who’s thinking about trying it, or is currently going through it, hear someone else’s experience and hopefully feel a little less alone.
Your baby, your rules – you’re doing great.

My Breastfeeding Journey: Why I Breastfeed

I don’t really know why, but I’ve always known that if I ended up having children I wanted to breastfeed. It’s not because I think breastfeeding is better than formula, it’s not because I feel like it’s something I should do. Honestly I am just fascinated by what the female body can do and I wanted to give my son (and me) the health benefits of breastfeeding if I could.

I also knew I wanted to give pumping a go. Both so I could get a break if needed (or wanted) and so Chris could be involved in such an important part of this stage. So that was my plan!

Before our son was born I did an online breastfeeding course with Midwife Pip (which I’ll link here) alongside a lot of my own learning and research which definitely helped.
I really liked this course and I think it’s worthwhile taking before your little one is born, just to arm yourself with some facts and techniques to make any troubleshooting that little bit easier.

My brain doesn’t allow me to walk around with rose tinted specs and I have to research everything within an inch of my life – breastfeeding was no exception! So I certainly wasn’t going in blind thinking it would be easy. I’d armed myself with as much knowledge as I could and I was anticipating all the usual issues with my solutions lined up and ready to try.

From my research I’d quickly worked out that nipple damage was a quick way to ending your breastfeeding journey (or at least making it incredibly painful to push through). So with all my extra learning I managed to completely avoid it and I thought I had it all sussed!

But my journey however came with its own challenges…

Fast Let Down & Oversupply Issues

Before I started breastfeeding I would have naively thought that having an oversupply of milk would be a great thing! The more milk the better right?


I very quickly found out that managing an oversupply coupled with a forceful and fast let down (how quickly your milk comes out) is actually really flipping difficult and can cause so many problems for you and baby.

When my milk properly came in (around day 5*), it came in hard. Little man was drowning at every feed, I was leaking through breast pads hourly and my boobs were so, SO painful. My fast let down was making it really hard for my son to get to grips with this brand new skill as he was choking on the sheer amount of pressure from the milk when trying to feed. And I was on the verge of blocked ducts (which can lead to mastitis if you’re not careful) so it was really difficult for both of us.

*With C-section deliveries your milk can take a little longer to come in. This is totally normal so try not to panic. We were latching little man frequently so he could get as much colostrum as possible and also topping up with my colostrum syringes that I’d harvested during pregnancy until the milk bar opened!

We saw a different midwife on days 3 and 5 post-partum who both gave wildly different advice on how to manage things which didn’t help. Our day 5 experience was absolutely awful with the midwife man-handling both me and baby, aggressively shoving him onto my breast without any explanation! It was really stressful and set me back several paces with everything we’d learnt together so far.

I was so upset after that visit because I knew it didn’t feel right but I just didn’t know how to fix it. I felt like a total failure trying to handle these tricky cards we’d been dealt.

So I enlisted the help of a professional lactation consultant (Breastfeeding with Bec) to get some 1-on-1 support and help put a plan in place to tackle our issues.

This was honestly the BEST thing I did for our breastfeeding journey and the confidence Bec installed in me is the reason why we’re still going now.

How I Survived Those First 6 Weeks

Look, there’s no denying those first 6 weeks of breastfeeding can be TOUGH. There will be times you feel like you’re never going to get it and multiple instances where you consider giving up. You’re leaking everywhere while your supply regulates, it can be really uncomfortable and even painful if you’ve not got the latch right. Babies wriggle, cry and squirm, you have no idea if they’re getting enough or if you’re doing it right. And it can be pretty lonely too.

I was lucky to have my best friend going through the same thing at the same time but there were a few occasions where we both said to one another ‘I don’t know if I’ll make it to 6 months’. (Spoiler alert, we are both still going strong and it’s become second nature now, but those early weeks are incredibly hard.)

It took my milk around 8 weeks to fully regulate and that was with some serious management from my lactation consultant Bec. She offers virtual Whatsapp support so I was able to message her at any time and send videos and photos so she could correct my latch and work with me to manage my let down. It only costs £65 and honestly her advice was worth it’s weight in gold – it truly saved our journey. I think out of all the money I spent on ‘stuff’ to help with breastfeeding, she was the most valuable thing of all.

For those first two months I slept with a puppy pad underneath the bedsheet to protect our mattress! Yes a literal pee pad for puppies as I was soaking through towels by the first night feed…it’s actually a really good tip!

I also accidentally squirted Chris in the face one night when he was sleeping and I was trying to swap sides! But he was so tired he never even noticed. Whoops!

All this coupled with those post-partum sweats and healing from major abdominal surgery, well. I’ve never felt so glamourous in my entire life! But honestly that was the last thing on my mind – I did whatever I could to manage things and power through these new challenges.

fast let down, breastfeeding journey

But with help from Bec and a LOT of perseverance we managed to get my supply under control and little man was a total trooper learning to manage my super fast let down.

Some of the things we did that helped manage a fast let down and get my oversupply under control:

– More upright feeding positions to help baby cope with the let down (reclined/biological and koala)
– Feeding from one side at a time (NOTE: this can have a very drastic effect on your supply so should be used with caution)
– Expressing a small amount of milk before a feed to stimulate my initial let down before baby gets there allowing him to latch when things have calmed down slightly

BUT and this is a big but – please remember that these aren’t a one size fits all fix. These are just some of the steps we put in place to help my personal journey that had numerous challenges and factors at play. I’d really recommend getting some 1-on-1 tailored advice if you’re struggling, either by hiring someone virtually like Bec or reaching out to your local breastfeeding team. Sometimes we just need a professional eye looking at things from a few different angles (figuratively and literally!). Someone with proper training and experience to look at the whole picture for us and come up with a plan.

Through some miracle I never ended up with any nipple damage, mastitis or a clogged duct. But I did have the pleasure of a milk blister for a couple of days – yikes. If you know, you know. That was brutal! Especially because the best thing for them is to continue feeding. Ooft.

For me I found that for the first 6-8 weeks when my let down happened it would make me a little nauseous. Something that can happen but I had no idea about and annoyingly thought I’d left behind in pregnancy!

(Also, nobody had warned me about how painful it can be when baby accidentally latches on your boob not your nipple! Those little gummy monsters have some power!)

Finding Our Stride

We’re now 6 months into our breastfeeding journey and it’s honestly like second nature for both of us.

I’m so incredibly proud of my tiny human and how he’s managed to learn this brand new skill and overcome some tricky challenges. And I’m proud of myself too because it’s exhausting at times! Our feeds have become super efficient, and while I still wear breast pads (or my super special leak-proof nursing bras!) to catch let down when it happens, my boobs are behaving themselves a lot more. I’m also very much enjoying the added perk of all those extra calories I get to eat every day!

I’ve even got the hang of breastfeeding in public after a few nervous attempts early on. Faffing with a muslin trying not to squirt milk across a crowded restaurant is NOT the one. But I did it. And now I don’t think twice about feeding while we’re out and about. It’s trickier to be discreet when you have a larger chest, but we’ve got a little routine and we manage just fine…even if little man is getting more and more distracted these days!

My Pumping Journey (for an occasional bottle)

Because I clearly love a challenge I also decided I wanted to pump alongside breastfeeding so we were able to give little man a bottle when needed. And I genuinely think that aside from my supply and let down issues, this has stolen more of my brain power than learning how to breastfeed did! When we first started I got myself down a research rabbit hole of chrono-nutrition and timing the pumps for optimal melatonin levels to help baby sleep. It was also tricky to fit in pumping without making my oversupply worse at the beginning.

However in those first 6 weeks my oversupply actually made building a milk stash quite easy as I would simply collect my abundant let down with these fantastic little milk catchers and bag it up for a later date! When we managed to get my milk under control a bit, I then introduced an occasional pumping session when Chris was doing a bottle to replace that feed so as not to create more milk.

Basically your milk is a supply and demand process. Any stimulation (from baby feeding, a manual or electric pump or even a suction device like a hakka) tells your body to produce more milk.
If you’re sat there pumping extra sessions each day between feeds, you’re telling your body to produce more milk as it thinks your pump is a baby trying to feed.
Great if you’re looking to increase your supply, not so great if you’ve already got too much! So be careful.

During the gruelling newborn stage Chris would do a bottle every night so we could take it in shifts and each get big(ish) blocks of sleep. It worked really well for us and helped us both function during those savage first few months!

Nowadays as little man sometimes sleeps through or only wakes for one feed, Chris tends to give him a bottle before bed to fill him up for a good night’s Zzzz’s. It also keeps his bottle skills sharp so he remembers how to do it! We sometimes give him a bottle if grandma is babysitting while I catch up on some work and we even had a little date day the other weekend too! It’s very handy to have the option.

The official advice is to wait around 6 weeks before introducing a bottle for your baby – after breastfeeding is well established – so as not to cause any confusion. These guidelines are in place for a reason so it’s worthwhile doing your own research.

We however tried a bottle for the first time at around 2 weeks (after a LOT of research and under BEc’s supervision) as little man was latching well and he took to it like a duck to water.

This of course won’t be the case for everyone so its important to research and do what’s right for you and your journey.

Some things we did when introducing the bottle that I think helped:
– Had Chris do it while I was out the room so baby can’t smell me or my milk
– Skin to skin with daddy whilst feeding
– Always use a newborn bottle teat as it forces baby to work for the milk like they need to at the breast (newborn teats don’t let out as much milk so they have to suck harder). In theory, this way they won’t develop a preference for the ease of a bottle.
– Use a breast-like teat
– Warm the milk to body temperature like they’re used to
(we use this bottle warmer and it’s BRILLIANT)

Products I Recommend

Ok, so there are a million and one gadgets and products you can buy to help with your breastfeeding journey but babies are expensive enough so we want to avoid those unnecessary spends! My advice (that I didn’t take myself!) is to wait and see what you need when you start your journey. Most things you can get delivered next day if you’re in a pickle and honestly you never really know what you’re going to make the most out of.

For me, these were the things that really really helped and I would recommend…

I’ve also popped my main product recommendations into a handy Amazon List here for those who just want to click and buy without having to use too much brainpower!
We’re all tired, no judgement here!

Breastfeeding Products I Love

Milk Bubbles/Catchers from MyWren – an absolute GODSEND for those first weeks when your milk is regulating and you have a lot of leakage.

Collect let down (without suction) from the other side while feeding and bag that liquid gold up for later use. You can also wear them throughout the day and use any collected milk in baby’s bath to help their skin!

The MyWren Nipple BubblesI have a discount code for these – use XAMELIAX and get 10% off!

(Make sure – as with everything pumping/bottle related – that you follow appropriate sterilisation, storage and timings if you’re planning on using this milk for feeding)

Lanolin (This is my fave)- This is fab for popping on your nips and helping them heal. Hopefully you’ll be able to avoid any nipple damage but they do still feel quite sore at first as they’re getting used to it all. It was also super useful for my milk blister too. It’s baby safe, all natural and helps protect your nipples from clothes friction and help them heal if they crack – this stuff lasts AGES and is in a handy squeezy tube.

Silver Nipple ShieldsI got these and they do work, but again they’re only needed if you have damage so probably best to hold off until you know you actually need them. The silver helps to promote healing as does the breastmilk that collects in them. They’re just good for stopping your nips from rubbing against your bra when they’re sensitive…but they do make you look like you have even bigger nipples than usual so do with that information what you will.

Muslins – Always buy more than you think you’ll need! I have my everyday muslins that I buy in bulk and my ‘posh’ muslins that I use when people are round or I’m out and about! My favourite are from a small business called Sue and Samuel because they’re a great size and they have the most beautiful designs. You can use code XAMELIAX to get 15% off with them!

Breast Pads – I’ve used a few different brands but the Lansinoh ones are my favourite. They’re big, don’t show through your clothes and are very absorbent. I don’t bother sticking them down because I find it a proper faff so I just slip them into my bra and they’re fine. I also have some reusable pads now that things are a bit lighter, but in the first 5 months I really needed the absorbency of disposables or my milk catchers to even stand half a chance with my supply.

Leak Proof Breastfeeding Bras – I feel like these need their own post because they are bloody GENIUS but they’re nursing bras that use period pant technology to absorb excess let down. No pads required – your milk just absorbs into the bra and the material whisks it away from your breast to keep you dry! I’ve now switched to these and I wear them every single day.

They make breastfeeding life SO easy and they look brilliant under clothes too – so smooth. I have size 34F boobs and find them very supportive, honestly I cannot fault them AT ALL. If they’re within your budget (I bought two at first then more whenever there was a sale or I had a spare £30) then I would HIGHLY recommend them. They even managed to keep up with my mega let down at the start too – amazing.

Pumping & Bottle Feeding Bits

Breast Pumps – This is another one I will be doing a separate post and video on because I have a LOT to say! I’ve used 4 different pumps (including the coveted Elvie) and they all have their pros and cons. But my favourites by far (and the ones I think are best value for money under £100) are the hands free pumps from Wren. They’re brilliant and I use them every single day (XAMELIAX gets you 10% off those too)

Bottles – We’ve tried a few but little man prefers the MAM bottles with the newborn teats. They’re super easy to use and you can sterilise them in the microwave if you don’t have another method.

Steriliser – Speaking of which, we love our Tommee Tippee UV steriliser and use it multiple times a day. It’s absolutely amazing and I’d highly recommend as it dries the items for you too. SO EASY, and stylish!

Bottle Warmer – Another item we LOVE is our portable bottle warmer from Izybaby both for when we’re out and about and in the house. We originally had a big ‘on the counter’ bottle warmer but it leaked and you had to guess the temperature all the time – not ideal. But this one is absolutely fantastic, we can’t fault it.

Simply pour your milk into the warmer, set the desired temp and turn it on. In about 5 minutes your milk is perfectly warmed to the correct temperature and can be poured back into your bottle ready to drink. The battery lasts around 3-4 uses before it needs a charge and it’s honestly perfect. We use it every night for his night time bottle and when we’re out and about too!

You can buy this brilliant bottle warmer here – code BABY5 gets you 5% off!

When Will We Stop?

I suppose the next big question is how long will we breastfeed for? And the answer is I don’t really know! All I know is that I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I had 6 months in my mind as a minimum goal to aim for when we started, but now I’m thinking about 12 months!

Right now I’m very much enjoying the benefits that come along with breastfeeding. Now we’re in the swing of things it’s incredibly convenient – just whack a boob out and he’s all sorted! Plus, it’s free. And because breastfeeding burns around 500-700kcals a day it also means that I get to eat loads of food which makes me VERY happy!

It’s just such a lovely bonding moment and I really adore our feeds. I feel incredibly lucky we’ve been able to do this together.

Sometimes if he’s been feeding a lot I can get quite tired, but to be honest, that’s just parenthood! And as he’s getting wrigglier and more distracted by the world around him the odd feed can be a bit more chaotic rather than calm. I do have to think about breastfeeding friendly outfits when we go out together which limits my ‘style’ for now…but I don’t have much of that anyway so it’s not a huge deal.

And yes I suppose it means my body isn’t totally mine again yet after pregnancy but I don’t really see it that way. For me it’s a gift I’m giving my son and I’m genuinely fascinated by the fact my body is doing this. Having the option of an expressed bottle means I can have freedom if I need it so I think that really helps.

There’s still so much stigma around extended breastfeeding for any babies over the age of around 1 it seems, but there shouldn’t be. There’s no denying the benefits of extended breastfeeding and breastfeeding in general for both of us:

– Lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer for me and lower risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
– According to studies babies who breastfeed have lower rates of asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, diarrheal illnesses, respiratory infections, and diabetes.
Some studies suggest that people who breastfeed have lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression than people who use formula (although I feel as if these benefits only come into play once you’re about three months in because until you find your stride breastfeeding can be very stressful!).
– In children, breastfeeding has been associated with improved cognitive performance and socio-affective responding
– As a nutritious food source breastfeeding can help supplement any gaps from a baby’s diet, especially if they’re a picky eater.

– It’s incredibly soothing for baby

…so it makes sense to keep going as long as we both want to.

But the truth is, I don’t know when we’ll stop. I think we’ll just play it by ear and wait until the time arises when it feels like our breastfeeding journey has come to its natural end.

You know, someone once gave me some excellent advice when it comes to breastfeeding and making the decision to stop:

“If you feel like ending your journey, make that decision on a good day not a bad one.”

I like that. I think it’s a good one to keep at the back of your mind (especially in the first few months) and has now become my golden nugget of breastfeeding advice!

breastfeeding journey,

Commemorating Our Journey

One thing I did want to do was commemorate our breastfeeding journey in some way. I’ve taken a few pictures here and there (lol at a photo I have of little man when my milk first came in and my boob was literally bigger than his head!) and I would like to get Amy back in for a little post-partum shoot including some breastfeeding shots at some point. But I’ve also been looking into the world of breastmilk jewellery.

Some people might find it weird and that’s totally ok. I personally don’t, and I think it’s something I would like to own to remember this amazing journey. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically jewellery that holds some of your breastmilk. Your milk is usually dehydrated, powdered and set in resin so essentially it just looks like a white gemstone on a necklace, ring, earrings etc. There’s some designs out there that really aren’t my bag, but there’s also some minimalist ones that actually look pretty darn cool. At a glance no-one would know that’s what it is, but you would.

It’s something I’m definitely going to be looking into doing. And alongside our photos and my pregnancy sculpture, I feel as if the memory trilogy of this incredible and once in a lifetime journey is complete!

So that’s our breastfeeding journey so far, and it’s been a rollercoaster 6 months! If you’ve made it to the end please do feel free to give yourself a big pat on the back for all that reading! Feel free to pop over to instagram and join the discussion or leave a comment at the bottom here if you have any questions (or just enjoyed the read!).

I really hope me sharing our breastfeeding journey has helped in some way. Whether that’s with a handy tip, a useful product or just to help you feel less alone on this wild ride of giant boobs and wet patches on your favourite shirt.

Whether breastfeeding is for you or not, you’re doing an amazing job. And if you’re part of the breastfeeding brood, well done because it really isn’t always as easy as people think.

Here’s to many more months of milk!