For every child I have had, I seem to forget so much about the newborn stage and breastfeeding is no exception. I find this amazing, as you can’t remember so repeat and have another child, in almost blissful ignorance.
I never expected to breastfeed all three of my babies. I wanted to and luckily it kind of just happened with my second and third. The gremlin was that little more challenging!
So far breastfeeding the little guy is going well. He took to feeding almost immediately after being born and hasn’t really stopped.
There are so many joys to breastfeeding, as well as the slightly less so joyful (!). I think these are the parts that you forget more. I always remember their little faces before they latch on; their beady excited eyes as they smell milk and know the bra is unclipping. I remember their little noises and the milk drunk face. These are the best bits.
But what can’t I seem to remember? What things seem to elude me every time?
– The leaking. I can’t be fagged with breast pads which is a total error so need a new bra, top and PJ top daily, which equates to a tonne of washing and quite often a wet bed sheet!!!
– It freaking hurts at the start until those nipples toughen up. I forgot about the toe curling pain as they latch on and get going.
– The size of my boobs. Now this is only a half complaint, as it is nice to have a cleavage but working out with them is fun and I’m not too keen on them sticking to my tummy!!!
– One boob is always bigger than the other; in my case my left and yes this is noticeable.
– One boob always chokes the baby, as the flow is so fast! Once again this is my left boob and it is also the one that seems to spray!
– I am the only one who can feed and often comfort the little guy. This means he is with me 24 hours a day literally, unless I am in the bath, on the loo or at the gym. Breastfeeding is amazing for them but not for your social life and freedom.
– You still get worried about caffeine and alcohol. I usually have 3-4 cups of tea a day and tend to have one 175ml glass of wine at the weekend. You do forget about that “fourth trimester” where your body is still not really yours again. One plus is no hangovers though!
– The initial hunger and thirst. I always forget to drink enough and end up with a bit of a headache, especially first thing in the morning. It’s remembering healthy snacks and necking water when you feed.
– Night feeds are tough, as it is only you who can do it. I’m co-sleeping with the little guy as he is dream feeding about 3 times a night at the moment. It is short and sweet usually but he has no sign of relenting yet.
– You still have to scrutinise what you are wearing. I have this dress in my wardrobe, that I can’t wear yet due to breastfeeding, as not accessible for the little guy. I’m living in jeans and tees at the moment.
I’m almost 5 weeks into breastfeeding the little man and coping well. We are going to try a bottle soon, so perhaps I can escape for a little while. I’m grateful it has worked out for us again, despite all the things I had forgotten.
As I write this, the little guy is snoozing on my knee after a feed, all content. That is something I never forget.