'If In Doubt Whip 'Em Out' My Breastfeeding Journey by Laila Street The Baby food critic MCR
Having children has been quite the life changer, I don't think anything or anyone can really prepare you for it. There was never any doubt in my mind that I'd breastfeed, I'm not entirely sure why, it's just what breasts are designed to do isn't it?
It's one of the best things I've ever done and I feel proud but I don't talk about it often on social media, mainly just with close friends. Reason being? Well it's a controversial subject in the Mum world sometimes, it can set off complex emotions in Mum's that tried but we're unsuccessful or didn't do it as long as they wanted to. Mum's that formula fed but feel bad about it, Mum's that formula fed, don't feel bad about it but think every breastfeeding Mum looks down on them etc etc. The list goes on and on. No judgement here, I just wish Mums were better informed and had more support. Not just from Healthcare Professionals but from Society and more importantly their Family and Friends.
It's by no means been easy for me with either of my daughters but I've not had any major issues that can affect some breastfeeding journeys. Getting a good latch was the main problem with Kaya when she was newborn and generally getting used to the amount they needed to feed.
I remember getting home from the Birth Centre and asking my Mum "how often am I supposed to feed her?" She said "Oh every four hours is what we were told" Every four hours!!! Haha, I don't think so wailed baby Kaya. Every hour was more like it.
It took some adjusting to as everything does with a newborn baby but I soon learned that everything Kaya did was totally normal. She wasn't an extra hungry baby or a bad sleeper and I was making plenty of milk, she just fed quite regularly and liked to sleep on me or Dad!
This was normal for a newborn and you know what, it didn't last forever, it was quite a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things.
I've remained determined throughout, pushed through the hard times (cluster feeding, being the only one that could get them to sleep at night, night feeds) and reminded myself constantly that it's for them not me, there needs are more important than mine and it doesn't last forever.
But that's enough of the hard bits - overall they are a small part of it.
I like how easy it is once you've got the hang of it, how you can be hands free and do other things at the same time, such as eating, drinking and playing on my phone haha 😊. It calmed them when they were upset, got them to sleep when they were tired, filled them up when they were hungry. My mantra was definitely "if in doubt, whip em out" and it normally worked.
I was pretty nervous about feeding in public at first, I had a feeding cover which helped in the early days but before long I had the confidence to go without and learned what clothes were easiest to feed in without spending a fortune on feeding clothes.
I remember we would spend ages searching for a good place to stop with Kaya, which is part of the reason I started "The Baby Food Critic MCR". I wish I had known the baby friendly places to go when I was a new Mum rather than peering through windows to see if they had comfy chairs!!
I've recently stopped breastfeeding Edie at 13 months and even though it was my decision I was upset. It's a sad thought to think I probably won't do something so amazing again.
It is amazing and any Mums out there that have breastfed or are breastfeeding - you're doing a fab job, be it a day, a year, or even longer.
Two great pages that helped me: