*Warning post may contain slight boob and a feeding baby! Turn away if you’re one of those weirdos who is offended by that*
When I started my motherhood journey (when I became pregnant), I wasn’t sure how I wanted to feed my baby. I was willing to try breastfeeding, but I have to be honest, I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea; the biggest selling points to me were that it was free and quicker. I know that sounds terrible, because there’s so many benefits to it, but I just hadn’t really thought about it.
However, when I started and got through the rough patches, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that everyone at least try, because it is a wonderful thing. I’m not going to lie: it’s hard and I have by no means enjoyed every moment, but we’re currently 15 months into our journey and I don’t regret any of it.
I’m not an expert, but sometimes, I think that helps. I’m just another mum, who wanted to share her tips with others for how to get on with breastfeeding.
One of E’s first ever feeds!
1. It can hurt
Everything you read says it shouldn’t hurt if the baby’s latch is right. That’s correct, but what about if the first latch wasn’t perfect like mine? What about the fact your nips were essentially useless before and they’re now being sucked on what feels like 24/7? That’s bound to take its toll! Lansinoh will be your best friend! You can also rub some breast milk on to your nips and let it dry to help with healing too!
2. Babies don’t feed to a schedule
Some midwives and advice online/in books would have you believe babies only need to be fed every 2-3 hours, stretching out as they get older. For actual feeds this may be true BUT newborns feed A LOT! They feed to build up your milk supply. They feed for comfort. They feed because they’re thirsty. They feed because they want a snug. They feed because the world is a lot. This continues through your journey. Some days they will barely touch you, others you’ll have a limpet on you all day! It’s all normal!
3. Don’t neglect yourself
Breastfeeding is hard work, especially in the early days! Make sure you chill out, drink plenty and refuel. Want to eat a whole bar of chocolate? Do it! You’ll be ravenous at first. You’ll need the energy, so go ahead. Never feel guilty for giving your body what it needs.
4. It does get easier
Some babies do feel like perpetual newborns, but after about 8 weeks you’ll settle into a bit of a rhythm and it will feel easier. I’m only talking about breastfeeding here. Parenting has yet to get easier *nervous laughter*.
E was around 12 weeks old here. It was getting much easier.
5. Breast milk is f***ing magical!
Baby got a ganky eye? Breastmilk. Eczema? Breastmilk. You’ve got a spot? Breastmilk. Got a cut? Breastmilk.
It can be used for so much more than feeding! Breastmilk can solve many-a problem! Don’t believe me? Give it a Google!
Breastfeeding into toddler-hood has so many benefits.
Obviously, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, but if you want to give it a go, inform yourself, be prepared and try to enjoy it!