I want to write about what I think the benefits of breast feeding are for me, people may not agree, but then like most aspects of parenting, it’s a very personal experience, and this is mine! I wanted to breastfeed Boo from the day of our 12 week scan, I had visions of being the “perfect” mother, breastfeeding, cloth nappies, and obviously I’d ping straight back into my size 10 jeans oh.. and he’d NEVER cry – he’d always be to content. Oh how ignorant I was. Boo’s birth wasn’t great for me, although on paper they kept pointing out that I had “laboured well” they didn’t point out things which hadn’t gone so well..the tearing, the heavy blood loss..all things which make being a new mother that bit harder. I remember being handed Boo, and told to “stick him on the boob” I did (or I thought I did) but he just comfort sucked, and no one pointed out that he was comfort sucking until the following day when a midwife visited us at home. I adored Boo from the moment he was handed to me, and holding him close was the best experience of my life, as I type I am crying tears of happiness remembering what a special feeling it was. I struggled breastfeeding Boo, even with support and then medication, the supply dried up and I was left feeling like I had failed him as I left Mr G to feed him a bottle of formula while I sobbed in the next room.
Oh what a silly girl, to feel bad about something I couldn’t control, I had struggled along for weeks before we gave in to formula – and then it was only to ensure the poor child was fed, not because I didn’t want to, but I blamed myself anyway. It was only when I became pregnant with E, that I realised how foolish my guilt was, and sat remembering the cuddles with Boo which had bonded us in those precious weeks of feeding, I knew I had to try again! I may not have managed to feed Boo for as long as I had hoped, but I also know those first few weeks were precious for bonding AND contained the most important nutrients for him!
When E arrived, his birth was amazing, but he wasn’t interested in feeding. The midwives wouldn’t let me leave until he had fed, and in the end we resorted to tickling his feet while he was fed to keep him awake! (that works wonders by the way!). We left hospital the same day, and I felt terrific as all was going to plan. I worried that Boo wouldn’t like it when I sat down to feed E, but he used to come and sit next to me for a cuddle or to watch a film. It sort of forced the three of us to bond while Mr G was at work! I’m not going to lie, night feeds I found hard, but then if you think getting up in the middle of the night to make up a bottle is easy think again..(yes been there done that!) I’d rather be able to just get out of bed to lift baby into my arms and feed!! With breastfeeding (unless you express to bottle feed) there is no sterilising, no warming the milk, checking the temperature etc. I won’t say breastfeeding is an “easy” option, it is tiring and emotional at times, BUT you do feel a sense of achievement when baby gives you their first milk drunk smile, and that is something I don’t think I will ever forget! So I’m looking forward to doing it all again when bump arrives, and while I’m less than excited at the concept of leaky boobs, once I get started I know it’ll all be manageable and it’s worth it for the special bond between Mother and baby I’ll create! I’m going to be super comfortable and well supported on my Theraline pregnancy and feeding cushion, do check Theraline out if you’re looking for a good support to use while breastfeeding!
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Ms G x