Breastfeeding is something which I am very passionate about, I’m super proud of mine and Holly’s journey so far and I’m still learning lots about it. What I know is – it’s good for Holly, it’s good for my health too.. But what is the truth? Whether you’re currently breastfeeding, or considering it – I hope this post helps you, or gives you a giggle!
1. Giving up the rights to your own body – Yep, that’s right. Your body is no longer yours, or your partners for that matter – it’s all babies! I can’t even change my top without Holly staring & smiling at my boobs.
2. Leaking and stains – When you first start breastfeeding, feeding from one side means you’ll create a river of milk from the other one. Forgetting to wear breast pads in public is something I do very often, and it’s pretty obvious I haven’t spilt water on my top! Even when your baby starts to cry – your boobs start crying with them! Another one is when baby is feeding during your ‘let down’ and unlatches, their faces are saturated in your spraying milk. Sorry Holly!
3. It DOES hurt – ..And it doesn’t always mean you are doing it wrong. Holly was born with 50% tongue tie which wasn’t noticed until she was a day old. My nipples were sore, bleeding and blistered! So yes, of course even after her tongue tie was snipped it hurt. Try having a baby sucking on your nipple for 2 hours straight! Although she’s always had a pretty lazy latch, I had so many professionals check this – tell me it was fine and carry on with their day. So what I learnt from the first few weeks of breastfeeding was – it will hurt, even if baby has a great latch!
4. Limited clothing – You have a few tops which you wear throughout the week, each one is easily accessible just so you can feed your baby. I have 4 tank tops which I wear every day and wash in the week, I’ll layer it with a floaty t-shirt over the top so I can do ‘one up one down’ when I’m out and about. Don’t get me started on dresses – unless you’re paying £60 for a fancy nursing dress, you’re pretty limited. Although you can buy dresses which are low cut so you can whip a boob out whenever!
5. You lose weight – ..Is a load of
crap! Although I’ve always been very petite, I’m the biggest I have been for years. See, when you breastfeed, you get VERY hungry.. you have to remember your body is an incredible machine that’s producing milk to keep your baby alive! So snaking on a whole pack of Hob Nob’s every morning is totally acceptable.
6. Touched out – In regards to losing the rights to your body, feeling touched out is real and it happens. Some days I cannot stand breastfeeding, having a baby constantly attached to you isn’t my idea of a good day. Cluster feeding plays a big part in this – Holly’s record was feeding for 3 hours straight. I was hot, irritated, sore and completely touched out.
7. Big and small – Yep, you guessed it, I’m talking about my breasts. I’m a person of honesty, can you tell?! ..So when I was in hospital after having Holly, I was advised to switch up the feeds. Whether it’s to swap sides during a feed, or make sure I feed off the other boob on the next feed. Holly prefers the left boob – which is now a D cup and my poor, forgotten about right boob is a B cup. Oh the joys! (I’ve given up wearing bikini’s)
8. Milk supply – So when you’re breastfeeding in the early days, 5-6 weeks in – your baby does feed continuously, or better known as ‘cluster feeding’. They’re building your supply! Very clever I know, so when you’re about to lose your s**t and give up, remember this. IT DOES GET EASIER. Within no time it’s like second nature (literally), baby has established your supply to her/his needs and feed whenever they’re hungry, or tired in our case.
9. It’s so worth it – Seriously. I look back remembering those nights where I could’ve easily given up, but I didn’t. I’m so glad I carried on and now I cannot stand the thought of the one day it will come to an end. I’m not only Holly’s mummy, I’m also her food source and her comfort. Knowing this gives me so much joy and meaning in her small little world.
If you’re a breastfeeding mum, what have you learnt? And what advise/tips would you give to new mums who are considering breastfeeding?