It occurred to me last week that now that B is five months old, I have been breastfeeding for five whole months! Some of my breastfeeding journey has been just how I imagined (and hoped) it would be, but other things have been different. Here, I share five things I’ve learned from five months of breastfeeding.
1. No one cares if you’re breastfeeding.
They really don’t. We’re always hearing stories about how women get unhelpful comments or worse, told to stop breastfeeding, but I can honestly say I have never experienced any negativity. In fact, most of the time, I don’t think people even notice that I’m breastfeeding (I think having small boobs probably helps with that!).
2. Breastfeeding can be harder than the alternatives.
Mainly because it’s all on me. So far, B has refused to take a bottle. Well, less refused a bottle, and more clearly-doesn’t-know-what-she’s-supposed-to-do-with a bottle. So when she needs feeding, I’m the only one who can do that for her. Which can be amazing and irritating in equal measure, depending on my mood. Sometimes I just feel really touched out and want a break.
3. Breastfeeding is SO much easier compared to the alternatives.
Okay, I know I’m contradicting myself and my last point. But, having exclusively expressed for M for seven and a half months, then formula feeding, I can honestly say that breastfeeding is the easier option. Especially when it’s 4:30am and all I need to do is lift B out of her Snüzpod and shove her on the boob, rather than getting my bum out of bed and going all the way downstairs for a bottle. Or sitting on the pump for 20 minutes every 3-4 hours, 24 hours a day. Looking back now I’m not sure how I did that! But I did, and I’m proud. Breastfeeding doesn’t always work for everyone, but when it does, it’s fabulous.
4. Breasts are amazing.
I’m still learning new things all the time about how amazing breasts are. Like how they produce exactly the right amount my baby needs, and how they quickly produce the antibodies she needs to fight a cold or illness. Amazing!
5. You don’t have to wear special nursing clothes.
When I started my breastfeeding journey, I bought all sorts of nursing tops and dresses to be able to feed my baby. Now I love finding ‘normal’ clothes that I can feed in. I’ve joined a Facebook group, Can I Breastfeed In It?, and have mastered the art of OUOD (one up, one down – where you wear two tops and lift one up and pull the other down to gain boob access for feeding. [You’re welcome – it took me ages to figure that one out!])
So there you have it, five things I’ve learned from five months of breastfeeding. Is there anything I’m yet to learn that you can enlighten me with?