I’ve chosen to breastfeed. It’s good for me (apparently you lose your baby weight faster), it’s good for the baby (their poo is less solid), and it’s good for the bank balance, and seeing as I haven’t been at the company I work at long enough to receive any maternity pay, this is a massive perk! I’ve heard many women in the UK find sticking with breastfeeding difficult. In fact after one week of breastfeeding, less than half of women exclusively continue to do so. I can understand why. It’s a massive faff, and it’d be much easier to whack a load of powder and water into a bottle and have done with it. Lots of older women, including both our mums, say it’s much easier than bottle feeding. But I’m not sure I agree. Yes, they’re always there, but sometimes it’s just a bit awkward. Before I had the baby, I was so excited to get my boobs out in public, after all there aren’t many opportunities to do so, and I’ve never been attracted to the booby revealing fashions, so thought it’d be something new. I thought I would feel a sense of liberation. But now it’s become a reality, I don’t feel the freedom that I had imagined. I’ve never been so self conscious about them.
My boobs have never been like the ones you see in mens’ magazines. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not ugly or anything. Just average, normal baps. But since I’ve been breastfeeding, they seem to be anything but normal. A couple of weeks ago I had a major panic. Theo seemed to love the left boob, and it’s far more comfortable to hold him in that position (I’m right handed so I had that hand free to control the TV remote and catch up on replying to tests and emails). This, I later found out, was a massive mistake. We were out shopping, when I noticed myself in a window. The left tit was ENORMOUS in comparison with my right. Again I conducted my usual Google-based research, and found out the more the baby feeds from your boobs, the more milk you produce. Common sense. As you can imagine, he hasn’t had the luxury of left boob as often as he would like since, and you’ll be glad to know that thankfully symmetry has been restored.
There’s also the issue of leaking. The slightest whimper from the baby could set them off. It’s a nightmare. I’m pretty sure I’m keeping the local supermarket afloat with the amount of breast pads I buy. The other day I forgot to wear them when we went out, and consequently had to sit in the pub with two big wet patches on my top. Highly embarrassing; just like waking up every morning swimming in sticky milk and having to change the sheets. Poor Alex. Poor washing machine.
As if child birth wasn’t undignified enough, you’re then expected to get ‘the twins’ out when you’re out and about. I know it’s now acceptable to breastfeed in public, but you still do attract the odd unwanted stare. I’m not brave enough to do that yet, and chose to either express into a bottle or make up some formula before going anywhere where I might receive that unwanted attention.
I’m going to continue to breastfeed, and hopefully in time I’ll pluck up some courage and get ‘the bad boys’ out in front of people. It can’t be as bad as having my legs in stirrups with twenty people gawping at me, surely. At five weeks old, Theo is a massive fan of ‘wab time’ with mama, and a massive fan of boobies in general. Ladies beware!