I came across a video from Grunge and Glitter on my Facebook feed yesterday about breastfeeding which made me howl with laughter whilst reflecting upon my own breast feeding experience.
As I’ve said before, breastfeeding was the one thing about motherhood which was making me anxious, more than the thought of labour, sleepless nights, and a messy house. Having failed to come across one woman who could give me a positive story about breastfeeding, I let the doubts settle in.
The reality- it turns out- couldn’t have been more different.
Armed with the knowledge gained from my NCT classes in the last stages of my pregnancy, I approached breastfeeding with a considerably more relaxed approach . I had renewed faith in my body’s ability to provide my baby with what he/she needed but also in my baby’s ability to latch and feed successfully.
I was determined, optimistic but above all, level headed. Resigned to the fact that whilst I wouldn’t give up at the first or even twentieth hurdle, if for whatever reason I couldn’t feed, then I’d turn to formula without doubts, reservations and feelings of failure. My unborn baby and I needed time to bond, so quite frankly there was no time or place for piling the pressure on.
But from the moment Little Ored was born, our breastfeeding journey-luckily- was sheer delight. Sure there were moments when he was first born, where both of us, not knowing what the heck we were doing, were reliant on the midwives to help hone our techniques. And then there were moments (and still are) where, in a tiz, Little Ored headbutted my breasts, held onto my nipple without latching (which made the midwives cry “It’s there, what more do you want?” ) and then when he finally did latch, he embarked upon such a frenzied feed that I wondered if my calm and chilled little babe had been temporarily possessed by the devil!
Thankfully, the moments where he is being a bit of a pickle are few and far between. The rest of the time he effortlessly latches and calmly feeds with no chapped, cracked or sore nipples in sight. Admittedly when my milk first came in, I had a night of having swollen, tender breasts- which my midwife put down to blocked ducts- but thanks to regular, round the clock feeding, I haven’t had to experience that pain since.
Whilst it’s still early days, breastfeeding Little Ored has been a dream and I’m fortunate enough to have encountered virtually no obstacles. I’m not here to tell you how incredible breastfeeding is, how it builds bonds and creates moments you’ll treasure forever, because whilst all of this is true I don’t believe it’s exclusive to just breastfeeding mums. Heck, Ored courts the same level of intense eye gazing, when he sways and sings to Little Ored!
What I do want to tell you, especially those of you who are Mums-to-be, is that it isn’t all tears, pain and heartache. If I had listened to all of the ‘advice’ I was given, I’d have had formula on stand by and a fridge full of cabbages (to cool down hot breasts) and I wouldn’t have needed either of them! It’s important not to get weighed down with all the negative, cautionary tales and to know that sometimes a positive, open and focused mindset can make the world of difference!
Mamas, how have you found breastfeeding? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.
P.S I am by no means an expert, but I will be writing a future post about the tips and tricks I’ve learnt/used to make breastfeeding easy and breezy. If there’s anything you want to know/ask or if there’s something in particular you’d like me to cover, than make sure to comment below!