Ah, breastfeeding. The joy and pain of mothers everywhere!
Before you give birth you advocate for exclusive breastfeeding because breast is best and you imagine breastfeeding your baby until she’s a toddler. And then you give birth and discover that Whoa! As natural as this practice is, it’s actually a bit tricky.
I’ve listed a few things that made breastfeeding a bit tricky for me.
Poor latching was the cause of my horrid first week of breastfeeding! Cracked nipples are no joke! Your nipples are sore and they need a break but there’s no time for that because the baby has to eat and there are no substitutions at that point, so you soldier through the pain. That was until my midwife taught me how to hold the baby while she’s feeding and the proper way for her to take in the areola.
Let’s not forget that your boob don’t come with holes for the milk to pour out, the baby has to suck until the nipples holes break open.
Breastfeeding in public
Before I fell pregnant, I always thought that I’d be the girl who fights for her right to breastfeed publicly in peace. It’s not even debatable; of course mothers should feed their babies when they are hungry. I’d always imagined myself as that mom who will shamelessly whip out the breast in a restaurant and simply feed my baby. Until I had to do it. Only then did I realize how uncomfortable it actually is. I had to cover (read hide) my baby while she fed. Nobody asked me to, I just did, and I had a moment of silent thoughts about how women have been subjected to hide the most natural things.
I try not to breastfeed in public, I always carry her bottle and anything else she might need. And sometimes, I feed her in the car before we step out.
Working while breastfeeding
I went back to work when my daughter was just two months old and she was till exclusively on the breast. So I had to pump some breast milk for when I was at work and I had to do that at work, during office hours because that’s when my breasts were full.
• I pumped in my car during my lunch break
• I used an electric pump and manual pump which both didn’t work to my satisfaction. Then finally settled on expressing with my hands, like literally milking myself like a cow. Which worked best.
My colleagues knew every time I disappeared I was probably milking myself. It sure was tricky.
This is a stage where I’m conflicted. My daughter has gang teeth and my breasts are being gnawed. She bites playfully when she’s full. And when she takes the breast in her mouth she grazes the nipple with her teeth. A big ouch! Latching the whole areola also helps with this but the grazing and playful biting is unavoidable. I even bought some nipple covers to make things easier, but she flat out refused them.
So I’m contemplating making her stop the breast because, I can no longer 😭
Oh let’s talk about those “designated areas for you to feed your baby”. Oh, you mean the toilets?! That area where lots of strangers go and relieve themselves right in the next room while I feed my infant baby?? Those? You can keep those, thank you very much.