midweek musing: breastfeeding isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

No pun intended.

I’m the last person you could say was judgemental about the way your choose to raise your kids. I really believe that. I’m the first person to advocate breast feeding or formula feeding or both. I’m the first person to tell you that I wish my child took a dummy when you look at me all guilty like while you shove it into your babies mouth. I’m the person who will even stand up for the person smacking their child, I’m the person who says ‘good on them for being strong enough to handle any criticism in a public place about disciplining their child.’ Yes, good on them for choosing to discipline their child.

How you raise your child is not my concern nor my business.

I have never had to deal with people judging the way I feed my child. I have been blessed enough to be able to breast feed both kids (Judd for 10 months and Ellie I’m still going at 4 months) when I never thought I was going to be able to. I was happy for them to get my colostrum and that alone, as I expected to struggle. So to go as long as I did first time and again to be able to the second time has been a blessing. I have watched my girlfriends deal with a lack of support for Mum’s who formula feed and it makes me really disappointed that our hospitals and community support aren’t there yet.

I was also able to mix feed Judd. I never felt like I had enough milk for him, so he took a bottle from birth, and would probably have at least one a day from the early days, all the way up to at 9 months when he only fed from me at night.

Ellie however, is exclusively breastfed. I can’t get her onto a bottle. And… it’s depressing me.  Yes I feel guilty for saying that. For writing it down.

I love feeding my babes, there is something to be said for the bond you feel when you feed. And I’m so grateful that I have been able to have that bond.

I just thought I would share some home truths of breastfeeding that some Mum’s may understand, and may also drive them crazy.

– The inability to wear white. Like sod’s law the minute I do, no matter how many breast pads I have on, it’s like transparent nipple town.

– And it’s not just white. It’s practically your ENTIRE WARDROBE. My poor husband. It can take me 30 minutes to decide just on what I’m wearing. You can’t wear something too high or you can’t access your boobs. You can’t wear dresses as generally you can’t access your boobs without showing off your undies. Just when you look at your wardrobe like ‘hallelujiah – the possibilities sans bump!’ It all comes crashing down again.

– Breast pads. I can’t work out why some are shaped to the boob and some aren’t. They have these annoying little sticky things that you have to pull off and they then stick to your skin like static and you can’t get them into the bin, and they never stick to the right place anyway!?

– Nipples. Oh My Nipples. I’m pretty sure Dyson was revolutionalised on a babies first few sucks. It’s enough to take your breath away, and if you are unlucky enough to get cracked or bleeding nipples. Well, there isn’t enough lansinoh or cabbage leaves to cover that shit. Having blood in your bra is scary.

– The sheer size of them. I’m a 10FF. Normally. I have no idea what size I am now but I do not fit into my bra and I simply refuse to go into a higher size. Squashed is the word you are looking for.

– The inability to have a moment. To go out for coffee. To go out for a meal. To go to the supermarket. On. Your. Own. Going is possible putting someone in a horrible position if your baby decides they want food. That instant. Coz babies tend to go from no to woah.

– Eating. Being starving hungry 24 hours a day. I swear my stomach starts rumbling when I get into bed at night. I just cannot consume enough during the day. And most of the time, it’s for cake. MUST EAT ALL THINGS CAKE! And it’s not just the need to eat, it’s that you can’t really eat what you want to eat. Cutting out certain foods can be detrimental on your supply and cause intolerances later. So that all protein diet I want to go on. Very much delayed. And I’m positive I’m increasing in size by the minute.

– Lactation cookies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of lactation cookies, and I have a kick ass recipe. But fenugreek? That will make you smell like a curry. For weeks.

– Mastitis. If you mention mastitis to anyone, you will know straight away if they themselves have suffered from it. It stays on ones face. Mastitis has a way of making you feel like you are dying and that you frankly don’t care. It is sudden and debilitating and not something to wish on anyone.

So if anyone ever makes you feel guilty about not breastfeeding your babies, maybe you may take some comfort in so- me of the downsides. And know that guilt exists no matter what you are doing for your child. I feel guilty for breastfeeding because of what it does to me and my body, guilty for not getting her independent onto a bottle, guilty for wanting her to be on a bottle and guilty for saying all of this out loud. The hardest judgement Mother’s have is their own, don’t you think?

Do you have any other weird and wonderful breastfeeding facts?



2 thoughts on “midweek musing: breastfeeding isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

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