Breastfeeding Truthsby Leah Dealy
Ahh, Breastfeeding, one of the most rewarding yet daunting times a mother will go through. Whether you're exclusively breastfeeding, combination feeding or even just tried it then changed your mind. Here are the breastfeeding truths that people don’t tell you about.
- Cluster feeding – Still sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. I never thought I would survive it and looking back, I still don’t quite know how I did. Cluster feeding is when your little boob-goblin demands to be fed every second of every day. Remember when you were pregnant and forgot what your vagina looked like because you couldn’t see it? Well, say goodbye to your nipples because they’re about to go missing for the next few weeks. And by the time they come out of the other side, they probably won't look quite the same as you remember. But it's not all doom and gloom, hold in there mama, even when your crying and thinking you can't do it; YOU CAN AND YOU WILL. I promise it gets better.
- The cramps – Yep, that’s right. Those first few days/weeks after having that beautiful baby, you'll more than likely be struck down by contraction like cramps with every feed. Have they left a baby in there? Luckily not. This is thanks to breastfeeding triggering those lovely hormones that help shrink your uterus back to normal size.
- The Thirst – Imagine walking through the desert for two years, that is pretty much how thirsty you are going to feel throughout your breastfeeding journey. So, make sure you’ve always got a drink handy (plus hydration is better for milk supply).
- The pain – Whether you’ve got a good latcher or not your likely at some point or another to experience a little pain (or a lot) Check your latch and keep trying. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if it continues.
- Teething – Whilst we are on the subject of pain, let's not forget the clampdown and partial amputation of your nipple when your baby is cutting those little gnashers. Ouch.
- That first feed in public – For someone of the scariest yet empowering moments you'll have. You'll get the stares; you might even get the odd comment. But for every arsehole is another wonderful person that'll tell you how much of a great job you are doing. And that’s the truth; You’ll soon become the queen of clapback and threatening to squirt people if they comment.
- The feeling- There is no feeling quite like that rush of love, the love that fills you with warmth. That oxytocin will give you an emotional bond that will never go away. This outweighs all of the above! There is no other feeling like it. In that moment it is just you and your beautiful baby, nothing else in the world matters. That feeling will get you through anything mama.
Now the truth is for some breastfeeding doesn’t always work and it isn't always enjoyable but that’s ok and it is completely normal. Set yourself goals, get to three months, then to six, then before you know it you'll be an expert. Support each other, empower each other. Whether it is bottle or boob we all have one thing in common and that is the love for our child/children.
PS. - don’t forget the Remote, phone and a snack before the start of that feed, or you'll be anchored down staring at them for the duration. That is until you’ve mastered the skill of using your feet as an extra set of hands.