Believe it or not, I genuinely thought that breastfeeding entailed picking the baby up and, well, breastfeeding it.
Milk production issues, latching issues, bleeding nipples and general whatthehellamIdoingthereisababyonmyboob issues – you name it, I am proud to say I suffered through it.
And I am.
I am so proud that I kept my shit together and managed to get through those intense first weeks of motherhood.
The bonding you experience when your little love is suckling away at your breast is indescribable.
That tiny body practically moulded onto yours, the clever little fingers that knead and pull, those stolen moments at 4am of just the two of you and the sheer love that always pushes through the exhaustion and pain – makes the trials and troubles of breastfeeding entirely worth it.
The fact that your boobies – once only useful for looking good and attracting the wrong kind of boys – are now these magnificent milk machines that fill your baby’s tummy, well it’s just mother nature at her finest.
I had to mix feed from when Arabella was about a week old, due to milk production issues. The guilt I felt for feeding her formula, was horrendous. Even though it was such a help that Daddydaims could now also feed her, and that other family members could too, I felt like a failure of a mother (already) if I could go back – I would tell that guilty-feeling-Tash to just suck it up, these are the cards she had been dealt and that something as trivial as having to give your baby extra sustenance is nothing to feel guilty about.
Sadly, I had to stop breastfeeding entirely when Arabella was only 6 months old, because my already shoddy milk production just wasn’t cutting it when it came to breast-pumping at work and my little love decided to self-wean. We had frozen what I could pump out and kept her on boob-milk for a little longer.
Through all the up’s and down’s of my breastfeeding experience, I would do it again and I would encourage any new mom to, at the very least – try.
Tash’s Tip – If you are struggling with milk production issues I recommend eating oats for breakfast and lunch, and drinking fennel tea – this old-school tip really helped me increase my milk (thanks granny Susan!)