Breastfeeding

What better time to reflect on my breastfeeding experience than in the month that we celebrate Mother’s Day.
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This topic is something that is deeply personal to me and a year a go there was no way I could imagine sharing my experience so publicly. The reason I am, is that I wish I had more people in my life who had shared their experiences, so that I wouldn’t feel so alone through the difficult times.
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I may as well start from the beginning, where I had a fortunate start to breastfeeding in a number of ways. 
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I had an incredible midwife who encouraged hand expressing colostrum from 37 weeks, which helped me become comfortable handling my breasts, something I’ve been self-conscious about most of my life. One good thing about having a newborn, you really don’t have the physical or mental energy to be self-conscious anymore. 
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I also have a close friend with two gorgeous kiddies who absolutely thrived on formula and are basically walking advertisements for how well rounded the nutritional value must be these days. I think this took a lot of pressure off, knowing that if my first choice wasn’t possible for us, then that the second option is still pretty great.
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Following the birth, we had a dream start where Hugh had 2 hours of uninterrupted skin-on-skin time and he made his way to both breasts for a drink. I still find that instinctive crawl at birth so incredibly fascinating. 
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On advice from friends, I had stocked up on nipple creams and gel pads etc, but fortunately never needed them. Seriously, yell out if you need any!! 
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For me, things started getting harder around the 4 month mark where Hugh “discovered the world”. No longer could I read an e-book or scroll through Insta whilst feeding, because any light, movement or sound became too much of a distraction. This gradually got worse, to the point where feeding in public was just out of the question.
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Another thing that I find difficult is never knowing how much he is drinking (why weren’t breasts designed with measurements on like actual jugs??).
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I’ve also had a love hate relationship with pumping. I love the freedom to be able to work knowing Hugh has breastmilk at home and how well a nightly dreamfeed has worked for his overall routine. On the other hand, I hate the inconvenience of pumping every night and how much I worry about maintaining adequate supply.
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One of the things I have most loved about breastfeeding, though, is the little quiet time in the evening before Hugh’s bedtime, where we snuggle up together in the comfy chair and just be. It’s like my whole body relaxes and just sinks into the chair and the worries of the day melt away as he finds comfort in both the milk and our closeness.
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I hope if nothing else that by me sharing you too will have the courage to also share or ask others about their experience.
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The sources of information that I found most helpful to prepare breastfeeding and answer my questions were;
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Australian Breastfeeding Association
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Raising Children Network
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Maternal Child Health Nurses locally (including the qualified lactation consultants)
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1 comment

  • This is beautiful, it should be more talked about I think. Each experience is so different, you have inspired me to be open to sharing my experience, especially because it was me who chose to stop. Thanks Dani xx

    Tash

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