Nine days ago I gave birth.
Well there's a sentence I never thought I'd say. After the trials and tribulations of IVF we finally had a little buglet growing inside of me and for nine months I waited until I would get to meet my longed for daughter. Then, nine days ago I gave birth. I did not only give birth to a child, I gave birth to motherhood and fatherhood and a family was born.
Right from the start I was determined to breastfeed, after all breast is best and how hard can it be when it's something so natural? What a naive woman I was! In the hospital colostrum feeding for me was a doddle and seemed to still give me a good few hours to have dinner, get dressed and shower. But, then my milk came flooding in and oh my goodness it was everywhere. I felt like every time I fed, little girl would be choking and coughing in my body's overwhelming desire to satiate this gift that I had always yearned for. My nipples were raw mounds of blistering stumps and getting a good latch seemed my one purpose in life. My Scarlett was amazing, I felt like my baby was teaching me, her natural instinct so innate and gorgeous that I needed to trust that she would feed when she needed. So, with the help of a team of incredibly dedicated midwives I learnt the little tips to look out for when latching and positioning and Little Miss Scarlett and I began to work as a proper team. The best advice I was given about the nipple pain? Well ladies if you buy a pair of Louboutins and they give you blisters do you give them back? Hell, to the no, you shove your blistered toes in time and time again until that shoe becomes as supple as a double-jointed gymnast.
So week one down, breastfeeding in full swing I thought I would give you my top ten tips on getting this shizzle prepped:
1. Learn how to do everything one handed: opening drinks, eating dinner, carrying shopping, opening cupboards ... everything. In fact, practice now, try using chopsticks with everything and that's about the level of manual dexterity you can look forward to from now on.
2. MUSLIN the hell out of life... these indispensable floaty tea towels can literally make or break a breastfeeding day. Without one on hand, all kinds of vom, milk floods, and boobage exposure can occur. Don't be fooled by the cute designs and colours these cloths do the business.
3. A continuation of the MUSLIN theme: don't be afraid to go large. The bigger the better. Don't be modest about it, the larger it is the more uses it can have, a breast feeding cover, com collector, nappy changer, swaddle cover, sun protector...
4. Be flexible, let's face it baby is going to inevitably pretend to die of hunger when you are in the middle of a packed city centre at closing time in the pouring rain. It's a given. But super mum just needs a pavement, umbrella, muslin and boob and the famine victim baby can be duly soothed.
5. Master resting bitch face... people will stare, yes it's 2017 but, still the world seems to struggle with the fact that sometimes a baby needs a boob. If you can convey in a look the following (without having to articulate it) -"yes I'm breastfeeding and I don't give a fig what your opinion is on the matter, so jog on and go ruin someone else's view" - then you're saving yourself a lot of wasted energy and milk calories on speech.
6. Lanosil is the nectar of the nipple Gods. This vastly overpriced (but I would pay the Earth if I had to) cream is the one thing that are going to save and toughen up those nipples ready for the next onslaught. You CANNOT have enough of the stuff. Take it with you everywhere like it's your new best friend... because it is. Baby can also breastfeed without the need to rub it off, which is an added timesaver bonus.
7. Wear a watch. It doesn't have to be a fancy all singing, all dancing, jazz hands contraption. You just need to know how long you've been feeding for to see if they might need more if they come off for a small milk break and wind. Also... handy to see those booked appointments slip away into oblivion as mummy time takes over!
8. Hydrate. Feeding makes you as parched as a flower in the Sahara desert, you are literally being drained women and those fluids need to be replaced. Pack those bottles like it's a military operation, because let's face it breastfeeding is!
9. Snack attack. As well as thirst, breastfeeding turns you into a ravenous wolf, I have been raiding cupboards at 3am in the morning for sustenance, but plan a snack and you're be less likely to resort to half defrosted food (a sad but true occurrence).
10. Entertainment. As entertaining and exciting as a newborn is, frankly staring at their mouth sucking your boobage after half an hour isn't really the most dynamic of activities. Try to have a magazine or plan a phone call to make sure you're relaxed and/or that baby can hear the soothing tone of your voice as you have a good old gossip with the girls.
But in the end, never forget that what you are doing is incredible. Mothers I salute you, you are literally keeping a life alive and that my lovelies is a true miracle.
Article from the brilliant Lottie at www.justthegirlfitness.com.