5 things I wish I had known about breastfeeding
1. Cluster Feeding is normal
Cluster feeding got me like (makes an exhausted face)
Cluster feeding commonly occurs in the early days of breastfeeding and is essentially your baby’s way of telling your body how much milk your baby is going to need and therefore how much milk to produce.
The sucking mechanism stimulates your milk production hormones and the longest nursing session I can clock was 7 hours.
Yep you did read that correctly 7 whole hours.
This is not to scare anyone about breastfeeding and the level of commitment it takes, quite the opposite.
I remember sobbing in the sofa not understanding at all what was happening.
I had so little knowledge of breastfeeding I didn’t even think I had milk supply issues, which can be the conclusion mums come to when cluster feeding occurs.
If my expectations had been set correctly I would have got all the snacks, hunkered down with a box set and accepted that this was a normal breastfeeding behaviour.
I would have relished the chance for a 7 hour sit down sesh instead of feeling confused, bewildered and I like I was doing it all wrong.
Maybe I was just being a tad clueless but it hadn’t really entered my thoughts that I wouldn’t have access to my usual wardrobe when breastfeeding.
I was so excited to ditch the ill fitting, boring, all stretchy and striped maternity wear that I even had a Pinterest board aptly named “post pregnancy threads” filled with clothes I had been lusting after during pregnancy.
Yes you can still wear items like T-shirts and jumpers for the OUOD (one up, one down) method but dresses were out of the question.
All of my vintage dresses and tailoring were not a only impossible to feed in but I now required a certain level of comfort and practicality from clothes that wasn’t there before, which leads me nicely not my next point...
3.Your body shape will change a lot along the way
Sometimes by the hour.
Now with giant jugs to dress that literally change size throughout the course of the day and a tummy that’s a completely different I needed clothes that could accolade these changes but still look amazing.
I wanted to be comfortable but still be able to wear clothes that reflected my pre baby style, Ruma was created on the back of this frustration.
Oh and word to the wise don’t buy your nursing bras to your usual bra size like I did.We’ve all worn an ill fitting bra and ended up with 4 boobs but I honestly had about 8 squashing the milk jugs into the tights nursing bra on earth.
My advice (you didn’t ask but here goes) get a few stretchy bras and wait until your supply has settled down.
4. People will ask a lot of questions
The main one being “when are you going to stop breastfeeding?” like it’s anyone else’s business but I sort of think that question comes up like word vomit.
Think Peter Kay and asking a taxi driver what time he’s one till, people almost can’t help it.
5. Co sleeping is not bad habit
Fighting for hours to get my baby into a cot until I almost dropped dead from exhaustion personally did me absolutely no favours.
Before leaving the hospital you are given a talk around safe sleeping practices and of course this is absolutely necessary however co sleeping is not (or wasn’t in my experience) discussed at all.
Its natural for baby to want to be close to mum especially at night, but without having this expectation set I just felt like co sleeping was another aspect of motherhood I was messing up and a “bad habit” that would eventually need to be broken.
Breastfeeding is an amazing achievement and a commitment so do whatever you need to (safely of course) to get through the long nights.
There are safe ways to co sleep and advice can be found through the lullaby trust website.
What would you add to the list?