For world breastfeeding week, Mandy from My Lovely Little Nest, shares a little story about the expectations vs reality of breastfeeding.
The top image is Darcy shielding his eyes from the light feeding blissfully before entering the land of zzzz’s. The bottom image looks like I’ve been attacked by a koala or donning a hickey, but they are in fact a combination of scratch, pinch and twist marks kindly gifted by my baby while fighting sleep.
Whilst I understand I have been incredibly blessed to be able to breast feed my 3 children, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in a glider chair gazing into your wee baby’s eyes.
I’ve endured mastitis, public leaking, bitten nipples, a blocked milk duct and the ever popular stretchy nips game while feeding my little loves. Gum clamping while they thrust their head backwards ATTACHED to your breast makes me shriek every time.
I’ve been death stared, told I’m disgusting, and have been asked to feed my child in a public toilet, all while feeding beneath a muslin cloth, my breasts weren’t even visible. The two individuals that inflicted these unwarranted and backwards comments towards me both walked off with their tails between their legs after they picked the wrong mumma bear to try that shit on. Dish it up fine, but be prepared to cop it back tenfold. I’m placid as and it takes a lot to get me fired up, but telling me how and where to feed my child, and it’s guaranteed I will get all savage on your ass. Judging a mother feeding her baby doesn’t fly with me and that goes for breast and bottle.
The aftermath of feeding 3 children is not pretty. My once perky 12DD lady lumps now resemble wind socks you see flapping away in the breeze at the airport, a game of hacky sack anyone? I have stretch marks, uneven boobs as all 3 kids have favoured my left breast, and my boobs that were once closer to my chin are now probably closer to my belly button. Damn you gravity!
But you know what? Despite all of that I feel extremely blessed and privileged to have been able to breastfeed my babies and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Yes my body has changed as a result but that’s ok, since having children my entire body and mindset has changed so it’s all matchy matchy I guess.
Once my kids all came off the bears between 8.5 and 10 months and they went to a bottle, I gained a whole new appreciation for bottle feeding mothers. The bottle sterilisation, cost and deciding on a formula, boiling, heating and cooling water and packing all of that for a day out is commendable. When a baby is screaming in the middle of the night and you can just pull your nightie to the side was far easier in comparison to making a bottle. I take my hat off to the tired and exhausted Mums who are up and down during the night making bottles, it’s certainly not an easy way out regardless of whether you chose not to breastfeed or weren’t able to.
So yes it’s world breastfeeding week, yes I’ve been lucky in feeding my children this way, but I still firmly believe fed is best. A fed baby is a happy baby regardless of where that milk has come from.
This post originally appeared on My Lovely Little Nest FB page and has been shared with full permission.
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