Updated: Aug 20, 2021
One aspect of having a baby I truly underestimated was feeding - and I say feeding instead of breastfeeding because I've done both breastfeeding and pumping/bottle feeding and find both physically and mentally taxing! I really wasn't aware of how often the baby would need to feed 🤦🏻♀️ and certainly wasn't prepared for cluster feeding! WOW that shit is hard.
I'd like to mention that I am in fact right now breastfeeding and awkwardly typing with one hand 😜. I think it's the only way I'll ever be able to start and finish a blog post!
The first two nights after Björn was born were spent non stop breastfeeding in the hospital. No sleep, just mouth to nipple sucky sucky all.night.long 😥. I had zero knowledge that cluster feeding even existed and sure as hell wasn't prepared for it! I don't think anyone's nipples can handle that kind of trauma! I knew he wasn't latching properly but I was too damn tired to care. All I knew is that my baby needed to feed and I was determined to keep going regardless of the pain. Unfortunately this led to cracked nipples 😩. Coupled with the massacre downstairs, it was one not so fun ouchy party 😓.
The whole pumping thing had frankly freaked me out before I tried it. But once I realised pumping would allow me to keep feeding Björn breastmilk and allow my nipples to heal, it was a no brainer 👏. I spent maybe a week pumping to let my nipples heal, then visited the lactation consultant who taught me how to correctly hold Björn and get a proper latch. After that, breastfeeding started to work and it was such a relief to have the hang of it. I even got brave and breastfed in public. But since I've come into strife quite a few times... first with clogged ducts. Then a milk bleb. Then mastitis 😩. Sometimes it feels like a never ending battle! A lot of the time I feel like my life revolves around feeding - whether it's breastfeeding, pumping, cleaning pump equipment, heating up bottles, massaging my boobs to unclog ducts, finding appropriate tops to wear or figuring out the exact configuration of pillows to create a comfortable feeding spot on the couch 😅.
I can't say I "love" breastfeeding. I can probably say I have a love/hate relationship with it. When it works and I'm comfortable - it's great. When he's fussing, milk is spraying everywhere and my neck/back is aching- not so great! Plus the anxiety of breastfeeding in public is a whole other thing! Bizarrely my favourite moments to breastfeed are in the middle of the night when everything is so still and quiet. Björn is so sleepy and manages to latch so quickly, then falls asleep on the boob. There's something so cosy about it. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm always tired as fuck and it's a major struggle to get up each time 😆. But once I'm settled in the moment it's quite special ♥️.