As its National Celebrating Breastfeeding Week this week I thought I would do a little post on breastfeeding. I have always been passionate about breastfeeding, even before having Oliver, I knew that there was no other way I would ever want to feed my children. When Oliver was born, I remember the first time he fed, there was this bond between us, a connection no one else would have, it was so special. It’s amazing to think my body has sustained his life for the whole 4 months of his existence and it will keep him going for many months more. I love our lazy mornings when he feeds and we both go back to sleep, without having to get out of bed and the night time cuddles we have. I honestly don’t know how formula feeders do it, with having to get up and prepare a bottle in the night and having to always make sure they have enough when they go out and all that extra kit to lug about. I have my boobs and that’s all I need, I can go out for the day and not have to worry about how long I will be and if I have enough milk with me.
I’ve had it pretty easy so far, I had a small issue with oversupply for a couple of weeks before my supply settled, but luckily I have yet to suffer with the dreaded mastitis. The only problem I’ve had is that Oliver will only feed from the right hand side, which has left me with massively lopsided boobs, there’s a good 2/3 cup sizes difference between the two currently. It’s ok when I’m wearing my everyday nursing bras, but last weekend when I was a bridesmaid, I had to wear a strapless bra, with moulded cups, which meant I had to have two giant chicken fillets to fill the very empty left hand cup! I have been very lucky, I have had a supportive mum, who has helped me with any questions I have had. I think a lot of mums who try to breastfeed and say they couldn’t go on just didn’t have the right support. They give up because it was ‘painful’ or their newborns were feeding for hours at a time. Oliver was basically attached for most of the day and night in the early days and this is totally normal, they use you for comfort too. It was uncomfortable to start with, I had cracked nipples and it was quite sore, but within a few weeks they had toughened up and I just fed through the pain, knowing it would end and things would heal up in time.
When I was pregnant, I never put much thought into what I would wear when I was breastfeeding, but since I’ve had Oliver I’ve realised the struggles that women find when trying to find clothes that you can discreetly whip a boob out in! I don’t want to live in clothes designed for nursing, as a huge part of these are also designed to be worn through pregnancy, so when you have no bump, you are just wearing oversized clothing. I am part of a Facebook group called ‘Can I Breastfeed In It? UK‘ which has been a godsend in helping me find nice clothes in high street stores which provide easy access and look great. It’s a group of breastfeeding mummy’s who share their finds with each other, to try and make it a bit easier! I just find I now can never find anything to wear, as I don’t want to be lifting my t shirt up the whole time and flashing the world my tummy! They also have an off topic group which has also been great for support breastfeeding and non breastfeeding related.
I have never struggled with feeding in public. Quite frankly I don’t give a damn if anyone sees my boob, I’m not getting it out for public viewing, it’s just there to feed my baby. I will happily feed in the middle of the street if it’s needed, I’ve fed in the middle of TK Maxx when Oliver started to scream, I don’t think anyone really batted an eyelid, one lady smiled at me, but on the most part people didn’t even notice. I have yet to have a bad public breastfeeding experience, but I have heard and read about some people who have been told they should do it in private which really annoys and upsets me. There are very few dedicated feeding areas when you are out and about, and a lot of them are also adjoining to the loos or just a seat in a changing room. It’s pretty disgusting really, would you like to have your lunch in the toilet? No? Then why would my baby! I don’t want to sit for 10 minutes in a room that smells of baby poo either! I either find a quiet area to feed or if I’m almost finished I will make my way back to the car and feed Oliver there. I think the first time we were at a friends house together Stu was a bit surprised when I went to feed Oliver, he wasn’t used to me feeding in public, but now he doesn’t care where we are, if Oliver’s hungry, he needs feeding wherever we are!
Oliver loves his milk, he makes me laugh when Stu is holding him and he’s getting hungry I unclip my bra and it’s like his boobie senses start tingling and he looks over and starts smiling at me. Even when I just take my top off when I’m getting changed, he notices! He’s a little boobie monster! I really love breastfeeding and the bond it gives us. I’m so lucky to have such supportive family and friends helping on our journey, which I’m so thankful for.