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      /  Motherhood   /  World Breastfeeding Week

    World Breastfeeding Week

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    World Breastfeeding Week

    Hi dear parents!

    As we all know, world breastfeeding week, #WBW2019, has been all the craze over the last few weeks. With women posting pictures of themselves all over social media, nipples out. Weird right? NO. You eat a meal in public, don’t you? Why can’t a baby?

    I’m here to talk about my breastfeeding journey, some facts and different ways to feed babies.

    Firstly, there is no right way to feed a baby. Breastmilk, formula, cup feeding, Mic feeding tube, nasogastric tubes, bottles. Who cares? As long as you are feeding the baby according to their health needs and are under the guidance of your doctor or midwife, who are you to take on pressure and expectations from anywhere, or anyone, else? Yes, that mom on Instagram looked so chic with her make-up and hair done, staring into the camera with a parasite attached to her breast looks amazing. Let me tell you something, don’t be fooled!

    Firstly, there is no right way to feed a baby. Breastmilk, formula, cup feeding, Mic feeding tube, nasogastric tubes, bottles.

    So, why does everyone glamorize breastfeeding? Why does everyone say, ‘breast is best’?

    1. Breastmilk passes antibodies to your baby that lowers their risk of viruses and illnesses.
    2. It is more easily digested that infant formula.
    3. Your breastmilk can regulate to the needs of your baby, providing the ideal nutrition.
    4. It reduces the risk of obesity and related illnesses.
    5. There is physical, skin-to-skin contact and eye contact while breastfeeding that provides better bonding and happy hormone secretion.
    6. Breastfeeding burns lots of calories, making it easier to shed pregnancy weight.
    7. There is thought it reduces the risk of respiratory illnesses and instances of diarrhea in babies.

    Let’s dissect these few facts a bit. The next time you walk into a room and look around, do you know which adults or kids have been formula fed or breastfed? The little kid who couldn’t do any and had to have a Mic feeding tube inserted, do you see it? I didn’t think so either. My point being, in a few years, it won’t matter what choice you made. As long as you’ve made it for better health for you and your baby.

    Here’s some things you don’t know about breastfeeding

    1. A newborn parasite can feed up to every hour, day and night. They don’t know what’s day and night from your dark pits of your stomach!
    2. They will poop (pronounced poonami) almost every time they drink milk. it’s a reflex.
    3. They will try and latch onto you every time you hold them.
    4. In the first few days, you will not have any milk, just colostrum, a yellow, liquid gold. Think 2-4 days before your milk comes in and that becomes messy.
    5. In this time, your nipples will crack and you will feel the depths of hell every time your baby latches to your raw nipples.
    6. When your milk comes in, you will have to wear pads for your boobs to collect the milk that just decides to let go through your favorite t-shirt in the middle of that Woolworths sale that you couldn’t miss.
    7. Until your milk regulates to your baby’s needs (about 6 weeks), you may get something called mastitis- a painful infection of breast tissue due to overproduction or a blockage in your milk duct.
    8. It is only recommended that you start expressing milk post 6 weeks, so that your body doesn’t confuse your breast pump for your babies needs and overproduce milk. Meaning that you will do every single feed until you can express milk.

    My anxiety was high, and I was exhausted from spending 4-6 hours every day expressing milk just to keep up.

    Lets dissect this now. It is all worth it, if you can manage to do it. Request laser therapy from a Physiotherapist post-birth to avoid the cracked nipples and get it for wound healing while you have cracked nipples. Your feeding your child will overpower the amount of time that your child will be attached to your nipple. You will not care who is sitting around when your whip out that breast!

    I exclusively breastfed till 7 months and then supplemented for 3 months before stopping. My supply was on the fence and my immune system at an all-time low. My anxiety was high, and I was exhausted from spending 4-6 hours every day expressing milk just to keep up. My deciding to stop was guided by my child’s needs. I started with the feed that wasn’t satisfying him – night time. Then transitioned to one feed while I was at work, to two and then all. I was just feeding before and after work. He then dropped a feed and I was feeding 1-2 times a day. I was then admitted to the hospital for Bronchitis, on breastfeeding safe meds, but he just wouldn’t take milk from me anymore! By this point, my milk was threading on little to none. Just comfort suckling. No uncomfortable, full breasts. I didn’t need medication to help me either. I weaned him off breastmilk by using the supply-demand rule to my advantage. I lessened the supply and gave into his demands.

    Do you know what I couldn’t live without in this time?

    1. Nipple shields
    2. My Physiotherapist that came home with her laser machine
    3. Breast pads
    4. Feeding bras
    5. Loose and comfortable tshirts
    6. My feeding cover
    7. An electric breast pump (Tommee Tippee has always been our brand of choice)
    8. My Hakaa pump (wish I knew about this from birth!)
    9. My tribe. Support is everything.

    Making the decision to breastfeed should be a personal choice. Somehow, having a baby makes you, your body and your choices free reign for everyone to have an opinion on. You need to stay true to yourself and your needs.

    Attend an infant feeding class, you can bond with your baby any which way you choose to feed. Your body would not have failed you if it didn’t produce any milk or did but wouldn’t allow you to express milk. It’s hard enough being responsible for a whole, squirming little human without having to worry about what you cannot control.

    My approach to this week is this. It is amazing that we have a space to promote breastfeeding which does have its benefits to you and your baby.

    My approach to this week is this. It is amazing that we have a space to promote breastfeeding which does have its benefits to you and your baby. But why must we make the mom who couldn’t feel like she did something wrong? The mom who had a preemie that couldn’t learn to latch onto both a nipple and a teat and had to cup feed feel like she failed? Why do we make it out to exclude the mom who had to feed her baby through a tube? We all have a few things in common; mom instinct, a fighting spirit and heck, none of us know what we are doing!. Just be supportive and remember that FED is best.

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