My Breastfeeding Journey

  • Jun 2, 2019
Positive breastfeeding journey

I’ve been thinking about writing this post about my breastfeeding journey for a few months but because my story didn’t seem very exciting, I kept putting it off. After staring to write it and thinking about it a little more, it is actually pretty interesting and may be useful to others so here we are!

As I write this, I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding for nearly 9 months with weaning added for the past few months. I didn’t have my heart entirely set on breastfeeding at the beginning. I really wanted to try but was more than happy to use formula if that’s what Eva wanted. I’m a firm believer of fed is best so I took her lead. We did have a stash of pre mixed formula packed and ready though! Thankfully she latched on perfectly first time! After saying I’d try to do it for 3 months, here we are nearly 9 months later still going strong.

Positive breastfeeding journey

The Good

I’ve been very lucky and thankfully have never had any problems with cracked nipples, mastitis or anything equally as horrible. I’ve had the odd blocked duct but nothing a quick massage hasn’t fixed. Eva latched on perfectly first time and hasn’t had a problem since so my nipples have been saved that pain.

I’ve always enjoyed feeding her, it’s (usually) such a lovely, relaxing time and it’s just us. I’ve fed her to sleep every night since she was born and I’m still doing it now. I should probably stop and sleep train her but it works for us, she mostly sleeps through the night and I get cuddles, I’ll stop when she’s ready to! She’s also pretty good at self soothing in the night so at least I know if she wakes up, it’s because she’s hungry. Eva gets distracted really easily now so I can’t watch TV or go on my phone while I’m feeding her. It’s good for escaping and just general thinking that I don’t really have time for otherwise.

Breast-feeding is so cheap! All you need is you , so it’s ideal for travelling, being out and about and being on statutory maternity pay. Help me, I’m poor.

Breastfeeding burns around 300-500 calories a day as you’re essentially a milk factory. I was the lightest I’ve been for years after having Eva! It does stop being as effective for weight loss around 6 months though so all those Oreos are starting to show sadly…

I’ve discovered so many amazing wireless bras that are great for breastfeeding too! My favourites are the M&S DD+ Lace Bralet which is gloriously comfy, only ¬£9.50 and the lace makes you feel a bit sexier and a Sainsbury’s sports bra which I also gave birth in and is only ¬£3 at the moment. I have proper nursing bras but really can’t be bothered with the faff!

The Bad

The biggest problem I have with breastfeeding is that Eva is allergic to cow’s milk so I’ve had to cut it out of my diet completely. We discovered this when she was around 3 months old so I haven’t had cheese or chocolate for 6 months. I am gagging for a giant bar of chocolate!

We found out because she had awful problems with wind (sorry grown up Eva) every night after I fed her. I would have to spend hours massaging her tiny tummy to get everything out which meant no one was sleeping. By the time I’d finished winding and massaging her, it was time to feed again. I spoke to the health visitor and the GP multiple times and cutting dairy out of my diet was recommended. After I’d been on a dairy free diet for a few days she started sleeping through the night! I was MORE than happy to give up dairy for sleep! We’re hoping it’s just temporary as it’s a very common allergy for babies to have so fingers crossed she grows out of it. She’s also allergic to eggs and tomatoes so hoping she grows out of them too.

The hormones that come with breastfeeding are bonkers, the highs and lows are mad. I’m not sure if it’s the same for everyone but I’m so happy at the start of a feed but if she feeds for a long time I get proper emosh by the end of it.

Eva refuses to take a bottle so I can’t leave the house without her for more than a few hours, it’s not ideal to be honest! Joe and I put a lot of work into getting her used to a bottle but it’s quite demeaning to be laughed at while you try to feed her! I’m focusing on weaning at the moment as it’s more important for the future. But I’m planning to bring a bottle back in soon so she’s happy to have milk at nursery when I go back to work in a couple of months. I’m hoping she’s had enough new tastes and food that she’ll be happy to have it, fingers crossed!

The Ugly

I have absolutely no problem whacking a boob out in public. But Eva is so distracted by everything in the world that she spends most of the time feeding turning around. All of this with my nipple still in her mouth, lovely. Eva is so much better now though thankfully. I always wait until she’s used to her surroundings and then feed her rather than jumping straight in.

I’ve struggled so much with feeling like the old me style wise while I’ve been breast-feeding. Everything needs to have easy access and I used to pretty much live in polo necks and dresses which really aren’t ideal. I’m trying to push myself to wear more interesting and ‘me’ outfits but usually I stick with a v-neck top and jeans which isn’t really inspiring. Because I usually carry Eva in a sling, my outfit also has to work for that, it’s quite the pickle.

I also really feel like a milk factory or a cow human! I used to love my boobs and now they just feel like a food source. They’re just there for Eva. I’m looking forward to getting them back and wearing normal bras! As much as I love the comfy bras I’ve been wearing, I would love my normal boobs back.

So that’s that’s my breastfeeding journey so far, I hope you found it interesting or useful or could relate to a tiny bit of it. Let me know if you have any questions or just want to chat breastfeeding!