Oh Wow! I would love to have listened to whoever pitched that idea because my gosh did they get it wrong. Breastfeeding along with so many other parenting issues is just one of those thing you have to approach with caution because people take it personally. I have breast fed all of my children, Monty has been exclusively breast fed and still is breast fed at nearly 8 months. I will feed where ever I am because I have to and sometimes I cover up other times I don’t it depends on how I feel. I’ve never been one for full exposure of my boob because it doesn’t feel comfortable to me, I don’t see that as a negativity from society it’s just personal preferenace. I do however think breast feeding needs to be normalised. I was asked why I wanted to breast feed recently and I couldn’t really think why, I just did. My mum only breast fed me for a short time, I didn’t have any family or friends with baby’s and I don’t think that I can remember if I had ever seen anyone breast feeding. I just felt it made sense, we grow babies and produce milk, so I was going to feed the baby (as if it’s that simple!!)
Having exclusively breast fed Monty I wish I could go back and tell myself with Rory and Ophelia what I know now, so here is my top 10 things about breastfeeding I would have liked to know.
1. The initial pain does go and if your doing it right it shouldn’t hurt. Seriously, child birth was bad enough latching on Ophelia was a step too far. Blisters, bleeding, cracking oh and that time I got thrush. These are never things you think are going to happen to your nipples. Why didn’t anyone warn me? NCT did little to help other than make me aware that in my area I had a breast feeding clinic. Diagnosing that I had thrush was a lifesaver with Rory and sorting out Ophelia’s latch meant I could actually feed her. If your still experiencing discomfort go and see one because when it works it shouldn’t feel like someone is using a rusty hacksaw to cut off your nipples.
2. Breast feeding bras are gross, breast pads are even worse but they are both necessary evils. For the first time I feel lucky to have smallish boobs and I can now get away with a ‘bralet’ which is prettier, comfortable and easy to pull down but I still have my trusty breast pads. Tommy tippee or Lansinoh pads are by far the best.
3. You will hate breast feeding at some point. I have a love hate ratio of 90% love, 10% hatred. I have found it so much easier than faffing around with bottles but there have been times when all I have wanted is some ‘me time’ or a full nights sleep when my husband hasn’t been able to take up the slack.
4. You will find a routine. At first, with the cluster feeding, night feeding and the fussing you feel like you are walking around with your boobs out 24/7 but you do slip into a routine. Those first few weeks just feed feed feed, but it does establish your supply. Just make sure you know when they are actually feeding because you don’t want to completely destroy your nipples.
5. I am not Stretch Armstrong. In a very sleepy daze some time before the sun rose I went to put Monty back in his crib and hadn’t un-latched him, my nipple should never be pulled that far.
6. Breastfeeding is a lot less of a faff. Having fed both ways I am so thankful now I don’t have the endless cycle of washing, sterilising and preparing bottles, I had all the kit with Ophelia but I still found it a massive ball ache.
7. Its precious bonding time. This isn’t exclusive to breast feeding but because Monty is my 3rd and I am the only one who can feed him, I’ve found it a great excuse to slope off (when my husband is home) and have 10-20 mins of me and Monty cuddle time, and I’m no Mother Earth and this usually involves my iPhone but it’s a moment to relax with Monty regardless.
8. Ask advice, there are BF advisors within your children’s centre, mums at toddler and baby groups and hundreds of web forums with advise to help. Just remember to cherry pick the info that will work for you, we are all different after all.
9. Always pack a muslin, BF means most the time when I take Monty out I just have a small bag with a nappy and wet wipes but you always need a muslin. The big ones work well as cover ups when feeding, shielding them from the sun if your outside and there’s always something to be cleaned up after! All of mine have suffered from reflux so it’s been a must where ever we are. These Bullabaloo Baby ones are amazing as they are made of cotton and bamboo, they are so gorgeously soft.
10. Don’t care what other people think…if only this were as easy as it is said. You are feeding your baby, if someone feels the need to say something that isn’t personal to you that is their personal problem. I’ve had plenty of times when I have felt uncomfortable but far more than that, I have actually had positive comments. I think now because I am comfortable feeding no one really notices. This is made slightly harder by the fact Monty now likes to play peekaboo when I cover him so I tend to just cover my boob than him but your feeding a baby not doing a strip tease.