Breastfeeding – Who knew that two things attached to our bodies could cause so much controversy eh! It’s actually mental when you think about it!
I wanted to breastfeed because it felt right for ME and it felt right for MY baby! I am not everyone else, nor is my baby! Some women don’t wish to, some women cant, some babies don’t latch, for some its too painful – I really don’t understand why people care so much what other people do. Honestly, I understand all the health benefits etc but people are so quick to stick their 2 pence in nowadays – it’s crazy! I’m not here to preach, brag or convince you to breastfeed – I really don’t care! I just thought I would give my account so if you are wanting to, it may be less daunting for you to know a bit more info, or if your in the midst of Breasteeding and having one of ‘those moments’ ( yeah I know the ones )
So mine started quite well, Joseph latched straight after birth and I thought ‘sweeeeeet! I didn’t really do much research about Breastfeeding if I am honest, I didn’t think there was much to know.
He seemed ok for the next few feeds but then afterwards he wasn’t having any of it! I was getting really pissed off because I wasn’t allowed to be discharged until they were happy with Josephs feeds. They were trying to show me how to ‘express’, and I was getting the right hump. They were making it seem so easy!! ‘Just massage your boobs, blab la bla’ If your into all that, you’ll have no problem but I can’t say I tend to have much relations with them to be honest. Anyway, the short of it.. at one point I had the midwife on one side, a lady relative on the other – I felt like a cow! It worked, and luckily I didn’t have to express much because Joseph soon latched on when he was hungry enough. Again, I thought that would be it. For the first few days you produce something called ‘Colostrum’ before your milk ‘comes in’ yepppp basically from now on you are a SHOP and anything you have .. gets taken away!!! You may notice you have Colostrum leak before baby arrives. It is so normal – just wack a breast pad in.
Your milk should come in about 3 -4 days after birth, but nothing to worry about if its sooner. You’ll know when it is soon to come in because your boobs become heavy. For some this can bring a period of ‘Engorgement’ however some can pass with no feeling at all. What I will say is girls, if they do become Engorged – do not pump your boob for a long period of time. This is what I was doing.. I was basically pumping lots of milk out, without thinking that it would fill straight back up again. Express a little to relief the pain.. or this genius trick I learnt when weaning off of breastfeeding was CABBAGE LEAVES!!! My girls know all about me and my cabbages! Just slip a cold cabbage leave in and it draws milk out, and the coldness reliefs them too!!
I really struggled with the first few weeks of breastfeeding, but I am honestly telling you – it does get better, it really does. At first I would dread feeding Joseph & I started to become resentful. Almost dreading when he would wake up for a feed. I would cry to the boyf so much where I was in so much pain. My nipples were cracking – how could someone with no teeth be causing this sheer amount of pain!!! There were times where I nearly stopped! I know it was horrible for the bf to see me in this much pain. I am so happy I persevered though. I read up on the net and read all about ‘Lansinoh’ nipple cream, which I have raved about in another post – First year purchases!! It saved my nipples and saved my sanity! It was incredible and I will be stocking up when the next time comes! All of that aside, I did get into the swing of feeding and although I had my moments I loved those moments with just the two of us. I breastfed for 3 months and I really wish I had done longer now, I really do! To be honest, it was my own selfish reasons for why I stopped. It was coming up to my birthday and the festive season and I just missed wine and wearing my normal clothes. I felt so frumpy and restrictive.. I just wanted a bit of myself back!
So I went to the Health Visitor and asked for advice how to wean off – some of them make you feel like shit don’t they! Not to tar them all with the same brush AT ALL, and I do appreciate that they are doing their job, but I really felt rubbish for it ‘ why don’t you persist and do it longer ‘ baby gets the full benefits in the first year’ I get what they are saying but I thought I had done well to do it for the first 3. It’s like anything though girls, once you stop something you really miss it! I mean, don’t get me wrong – that bottle of red went down an absolute treat but I did miss feeding and cant wait for the next time around if I am able to do so.
You know what though – seeing those Daddy and Son moments when he would feed Joseph were unreal. Watching them two have those ‘moments’ was the nicest thing – and lets face it, having someone to share the night feeds with wasn’t too bad either 😉
Whatever you decide – please don’t feel pressurised. Do what is going to ultimately make you happy – a happy mum = a happy baby !
Whether your bottle feeding or breastfeeding – wack it out with pride.