Daniel and I got the silver boob award last month hooray! For those of who don’t know what that means, basically I exclusively breastfed him for 6 months. Why an award you might be wondering? Well! Let me just tell you that choosing to breastfeed your baby is NOT for the faint of heart!ย
It is actually really really hard. Luckily groups like Le Leche League exist for you to ask any and ALL boob related questions. You change so much and think so differently when you are breastfeeding, and definitely need so much support. I can hardly believe I’ve made it this far! Definitely a week for celebration! By now you must have realised it hasn’t been easy for me. The first six weeks were the worst. I had bleeding nipples, laser treatment, engorgement… and the list goes on.
But I also had a supportive husband and lactation consultant. I decided to breastfeed (I’m going to be brutally honest now) firstly because it’s cheaper. And then because its the best decision for your baby. Yep. I said it. That’s partially the biggest and one of the main reasons I breastfeed. Also I love breastfeeding my boy, but this only came later.
When I was making this decision during pregnancy though, nobody said it was gonna be so sore you wanted to cut your boobs off? Or that you pictured your baby as a mini vampire at feeding time. Nor that babies drank 24/7 those first few weeks. Or did they? I did not hear that part. Maybe I fantasized it a bit. Either way it was a rude awakening. It seemed like every week was a week longer of grace. I couldn’t look at goals longer than a week I think until I had reached 2 months. Once I reached that goal, some more monthly goals, and when 6 months approachedย I was like well done boobies!
8,5kg baby exclusively breastfed… You have served me well.ย
I work a full time job, so once my actual feeding troubles were over I had to start pumping. What the heck? It’s been about 3 months of pumping now and there are still days when I’m setting my alarm at odd morning hours to fill his daily bottles for school. (Stress affects your supply of milk BTW) Determined to pump for a year? Yes I am.
Here are some of my “practical couldn’t have done without” tips:
- Get a breastfeeding buddy, someone who has done it before who is willing to support you and give you encouragement when you need it. I have a friend in Australia who is a big part of the reason why I am still breastfeeding today. She kept me sane and encouraged me all the time! As a pay it forward I have also offered my pregnant fairy friend to do the same for her.
- Read! And read! And read some more! Be as prepared mentally as you can be. The more you know the better prepared you will be. And when I say mentally prepared I mean get ready for a really tough time. Breastfeeding moms are superheros!
- Set short goals for yourself and celebrate yourself when you reach them! You are awesome and deserve to be celebrated.
- Boobs like routine – so if you’re pumping try to stick to the same times (if u can).
- Your body makes more milk in the morning so if you need to build a stash or fill up feeds (like me) 12am-4am morning pumps yield more milk – this is because your prolactin levels are higher. (The hormone that makes your milk is highly active at that time.)
- More milk extracted more milk produced – this comes back to routine.
- Be good to you! Having a baby is hard on mama’s. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back here and there and wherever you can.
- Plan to succeed and you will.
In the meantime – keep on keeping on. Do you have any boobing tips to add?