Previous before getting pregnant I was a Health Visitor, which lets be honest they are kind of like marmite you either love them or hate them. I remember countless birth visits supporting mums through their breastfeeding journey, the highs and lows, trying to sympathise with them and encourage them during the tough times.
Well now the shoe is on the other foot and I am the breastfeeder I can now fully appreciate the struggle of the breastfeeding mum. I think the hardest thing for me was that I had given my body over to this baby for the past nine months, endured pregnancy and I wanted to get my body back but now this little baby was dependent on my boobs to get all the nutrition it needed.
To make matters worse I had a faffer, which is typical and completely her Father’s trait. She would go on and off, never stay on for that long, I had her latch checked I tried everything but no she still wanted to faff. This made breastfeeding for a first time mum in public horrendous, I think everyone in Exeter has probably had a flash of my boob with no baby on it because she has come off to look at something. I tried all the breastfeeding blankets and muslins, they didn’t work as she kicked them off and I could’t see her properly.
I tried expressing so I could give her a bottle out and about but she didn’t want the bottle and then it completely messed up my milk supply.
I literally felt like a human cow, there were times I was saturated in my own breast milk, times where I literally felt all she wanted was to be on my boob 24/7.
Breastfeeding for me felt harder than the actual birth, I felt at times like it was endurance test, but when I was in a good place and really assessed what I wanted to do, I did actually enjoy feeding my baby, I set myself goals of just get to 8 weeks and see how you feel, I abandoned the fear of feeding in public and let her feed when she wanted it and nearly 12 months on she still has a couple of breastfeeds now, and I am at the stage where the thought of giving up those two feeds upsets me.
It's time with my baby where you feel so incredibly close to them and its beautiful.
So yes I did feel part human cow but it was also a special time just for me and my baby.
Top tips for breastfeeding: get nipple cream and use it all the time, if you have a good milk supply don’t get cheap breast pads, they don’t work and you will end up saturated in breast milk like me.
Don’t worry about what people think, its completely natural and they probably don’t actually notice.
And if you are not or were unable to breastfeed, please don’t think you are missing out on said closeness, there are lots of other special ways you can feel that close to your baby, skin to skin contact or have a bath with them, its just as good.
You can find Vicky here on Instagram: @vicky_ohara
Thank you Vicky for a real honest account of your boobing journey so far.
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