Firstly I have to start by saying … I am fully aware of the fact that breast-feeding is a natural act in that it is ultimately what our breasts are there for, secondly I know breast milk is better for my baby than formula.
However, I have to say this out loud and over the interweb that for the whole 8 weeks I was feeding Jacob it certainly didn’t feel very natural to me.
The first few weeks … hurt, then the remainder of the time breast feeding, yes my boobs were ok but the rest of me was not.
After my section and subsequent wound infections that required antibiotics my belly hurt and while trying to find a feeding position that was comfortable it pulled on the wound and gave me backache.
Those are obviously just the physical issues with feeding, I will be posting at a later date about my love/hate relationship with boob warriors …. Yes it seems that along with trolls (keyboard warriors) there are also ladies that seem to go out of their way to belittle anything that is not breast-feeding and they don’t seem to care who they humiliate, hurt or ridicule in bigging up boob feeding.
I fear its wise to say at this point not all breast-feeding Mums are Boob warriors, just like not everyone that ever leaves a comment on social media is a keyboard warrior.
My dream throughout my pregnancy was to breast feed Jacob for as long as possible, I had mentally prepared for the long haul of getting that feeding routine established and it had worked, but during those 8 weeks it was hard and even having the most wonderful breast-feeding support worker I can honestly say it never ever felt very natural for me.
I am not really comfortable with my own body and already have a hate hate relationship with it so add in engorged breasts, mastitis and milk that never really seemed to stop seeping and it would be fair to say that the supposed feeling of it being ‘natural’ went out the window for me, although its more like that feeling never appeared.
Don’t get me wrong if Jacob had not of developed acute Reflux and have to be moved onto a specialist formula I would probably still be giving him my milk but from expressing only.
Not being a comfortable breast feeder I was getting into a really great rhythm with expressing my milk instead and that had slowly become my preferred method of making sure my baby had my milk, obviously not as convenient or as readily available come to think of it, but it certainly felt far better for me.
Anyone that has ever breastfed will know our journeys are all very different, some babies latch on first time and take to it like a pro, some struggle, some Mums struggle with milk production, sleepless nights and hormones.
I think what I will certainly take from my time breast/express feeding this time round is that we are all different and what is ‘natural’ for one, certainly might not be for someone else.
I for one am just glad I survived those first few weeks and have come out the other side with a happy baby and a happy heart.