Hi I'm Rachael and im a 25 year old gal living in Manchester with my fiance, our little boy Teddy who arrived May 2017 and our two fur babies! I run a parenting and lifestyle blog, from Rachael Claire where I share the ups and downs of being a first time mummy. Along with more personal posts, blogging tips and updates. Thank you so much for letting me share this post here, it's one of my favourites...
you have read my blog for a while or follow me on social media, you will know that I exclusively breastfeed Teddy and have done since he was born four months ago. I have always been really open and honest about breastfeeding, sharing my Breastfeeding Journey and although it is possibly one of the hardest things I have ever had to do (a close second to building his fucking cot bed) I wouldn't change it for the world. I thought I would share all the things that breastfeeding has taught me, aside from needing nipples made of steel...
Trust Your Body..
Whenever I read parenting books, they always talk about baby feeding on a schedule, how many oz's they should have at what age so when you are breastfeeding & feeding on demand like I do, it's hard to know what's right & wrong. It's also hard to trust your body to make exactly what your baby needs! When you can't physically see how much your baby is drinking it's hard to know for definite that your baby is getting enough & you constantly second guess yourself. If they are being fussy or feeding all the time, you worry that you aren't making enough milk. If you decide to express some milk but only manage to pump an oz or two, you worry that that is all your baby is getting (which I can't stress enough is NOT the case!). The first time we got Teddy weighed, I was shitting my pants. He had fed like hangry wildebeest and was constantly attached to my boob but I still worried that he hadn't gained weight or wouldn't have gained much. I needn't have worried though as at his first weigh in when he was 5 days old, he had only lost 4% of his weight, whereas a lot of babies lose up to 10%. He has gained weight rapidly ever since and now I have complete faith that my body is making the exact right amount and I've learnt to just let it & Teddy do it's thing.
Take it from me, there is nothing worse than settling down for a mammoth feeding session (especially in the early days where you constantly have a small human attached to you) & realising you haven't got the TV remote, your phone is on the other side of the room & you've only got a spiteful of your drink left. Preparation is KEY! Before you sit your ass down and whip the bad-boys out, grab your phone & the remote. Go into the kitchen and make yourself a large drink, I always have mine in a large sports bottle so I can have it right next to me on the sofa & won't need to worry about it spilling. Have a large variety of snacks on hand; some in the living room in a drawer and MOST importantly, a large selection in your bedside drawer ready for the night feeds! Night feeds are a right ball ache but knowing that you have a Galaxy cake bar or a Crunchie waiting for you to devour, makes the three hourly wake ups that little bit easier. Also be prepared for the moment that your baby decides to rip their mouth off your boob and have a fountain of milk spurting in all damn directions!
Savour The Moment..
I know it's hard when you feel like you've been up all night or when you actually HAVE been up all night, but try to enjoy the moments. I've learnt that time really does fly by when you have a baby and although it feels like it at the time, this won't last forever. Before we know it they'll be grown up and whipping your boob out to comfort them & nourish them will no longer be acceptable. Or wanted. I can't see Teddy being happy at me chasing around after him with my boob out when he's ten...
If you follow me on Twitter (@Rchi_B) you will know that recently Teddy hasn't been sleeping the best and spends the night almost constantly feeding & as much as I have been complaining, there are some nights when feeding him is my favourite. We're all snuggled up in bed, he gives me his sleepy smile and I know he is perfectly safe, milk-drunk and content. Savour the moments. They'll be over before you know it. It's so hard to get caught up in the whirlwind of motherhood that you forget to just sit and cherish the moments. Cherish our babies being babies. We are constantly waiting for the next milestone, the next month or year that we forget to sit & just be.
It Will Get Easier..
As I said, breastfeeding is one of the hardest thing in the world. You are solely responsible for nurturing your child. You have the heavy burden, particularly in the newborn days of; hormones that are going haywire, engorged boobs, up all night for the feeds all whilst recovering from giving birth! Your other half just sits there with their useless ass nipples, loving life. Fuckers....
I promise it will get easier, all of it. Soon your hormones will calm down and although you may still have moments where you want to cry at the slightest thing, your boobs will calm down & not feel like they are going to erupt if your baby goes longer than two hours between feeds..
My Body Is Fucking Amazing..
If I do say so myself. Not only have I carried a baby & birthed a baby, all be it with a little help, I am now 100% feeding my baby. Any Mama, whether her breastfeeding journey be short or long lived should feel this way. There are fleeting moments where I will sit and just be in awe of my body. Especially on the days where I have had Teddy weighed and see he's piling on the pounds. I did that. Me. All by myself. It's crazy thinking that we can actually make, just with our bodies, milk. One that our babies can solely use to survive. Aaron may sit there happy as a pig in shit with his worthless nipples, but mate..who is really winning? My body grew, birthed and nurtures our baby, What does yours do? Fuck all!
I am in no way saying that if you formula/bottle feed, that you are any less of a good mother. At the end of the day, who cares how your baby is fed, as long as they are! I salute every single woman on this planet who is raising a child. It's fucking hard work.