Today I am lucky enough to have a wonderful guest post from Karen over at Adventures of a monkey footed mummy. Karen had a baby LESS THAN 2 WEEKS AGO and yet still found the time to write a very special guest post for me. Thankyou Karen, you’re amazing, and I really don’t know how you do it….
It’s all about the boobs!
A couple of weeks ago when Kate and I chatted about me guest posting I was 39 weeks pregnant and I knew immediately I wanted to talk about breastfeeding.
See it had been on my mind a lot, knowing that my first two children were breastfed and this one would be too, I had been thinking a lot about my goals…. how things have changed since then…. Originally I wanted to explain that whilst both of my children have been breastfed, my big regret is that I only lasted 6-7 months with both of them and here’s why. Whilst I’m a firm believer of breast is best and a confident feeder, I’m happy to feed any time and anywhere, my personal choice is to use a cover but I think women need to get out and do it everywhere, the more normal it is then, well, the more normal it is! But when it came to age, I felt pressure from those around me to stop before my kids got ‘too old’ lots of people who don’t even realise they are not particularly supportive ask how long you will feed for, my dad even said ‘well you cant do it when she’s got teeth can you, eh?’
So with Peanut, in the early days I had planned to just get to 12 weeks, it was hard and demanding and came as a bit of a shock, but 12 weeks came and went and it had become easy and relaxed and fit in well with our life, but I still felt ‘judged’ the closer it got to 6 months and we ended up switching to formula, With the golden child I just said we would see, but by 6 months I was feeling the pressure again, Christmas was looming with the prospect of lots of social outings and I could feel the looks of people who think perhaps 6 months is just long enough so at 7 months we changed to formula again. Now don’t get me wrong I’m proud of our achievement but I can’t see the logic in changing to formula for 5 or 6 months to change again to cows milk at 12 months. So this time at 39 weeks pregnant my goal was simple, breast until cows milk, job done.
Then Termite arrived, 10 days late and in a lovely home birth we settled in to feeding immediately but something felt different this time, it hurt to feed, not just the 10 second tingle but a dull ache the whole time. I suspected immediately she had tongue tie and made no hesitation having her checked by the midwife who came to do her newborn check. She agreed there were signs and so breast feeding counsellors were arranged for the next day. Yes it seems she is tongue tied, do I want the snip or do I want to wait and see if it eases when my milk comes in? So I decided to wait. Now termite is 4 days old and I will be brutally honest, they’ve been a tough four days – we still breastfeed and I don’t intend to stop but its hard work for her and sore for me, so I think we now just wait for a referral and try to hang in there until then. So, my goal has very much changed from a gung ho ‘I’m going to last a year’ to a very tender lets just get by one day at a time. As someone who has enjoyed feeding both times previously this has come as a shock but I guess the lesson to breastfeeding is, no two babies are the same, some need a little extra help and some just go for it all guns blazing, I guess whichever type of baby you have my advice is this… in the early days don’t think about the long term goal, that can come when you get settled, just for now take it one baby step at a time….
Thankyou so much Karen, what a beautifully written post, and take it from me – you’re doing great.