I am now a mummy, and wow what a life changer! I’ve spent years getting my body healthy and prepared for making this mini human! Here are the things I learnt whilst breastfeeding I wish I knew before I started…
1. Nothing will prepare you for the pain the first week as your nipples adapt and baby learns to latch. Think blood, scabs, sharp stabbing contraction pains as your uterus shrinks back to normal. But after 7- 10 days it is completely pain free and an absolute breeze!
2. The pressure from the NHS to keep the baby at a certain weight whilst you are both learning to feed the first week, and colostrum is coming through (which is thicker and harder to come out) makes most women crumble and think they can’t do it or the baby isn’t getting anything. This was the most stressful time for me and I think it’s unnecessary and counterproductive in most cases.
3. Breastfeeding is literally the most convenient fast food I’ve ever experienced, I’ve had one small bag of nappy changing stuff popped into my handbag as the food was taken care of until 6 months. Which is one less thing to think about for someone who is not so organised like me! 😉
4. You can increase milk flow with Fenugreek & Moringa herbs 🌿
5. All my clothes had to change to breastfeeding friendly tops, shirts, off the shoulder dresses etc.. and as a self proclaimed shopping addict that was a big bonus (lovely dopamine hit on the new wardrobe 😄)
6. After 8 weeks or so your breast will change from full and hard to soft and squishy, this doesn’t mean there isn’t any milk it is just a change in the tissue and consistency. Full fat milk comes from a soft boob, watery milk comes from a hard full boob. Don’t doubt yourself, the baby is getting the best nourishment!
7. All babies will get some sort of tummy upsets as their digestive system is still developing. Some things you eat will have an effect. You can use organic gripe water, the cell salt Nat Phos & baby massage to really help.
8. The bonding is next level as your body produces tons more oxytocin (the love hormone) which gets deeper and deeper, especially with those eye gazes and smiles. Absolute heart melt 💓
9. Expressing is not absolutely necessary, you’ll get 2 hours between feeds after a couple of months or so you can go to that yoga class and be back in time to feed again. Skin on skin, heart to heart releases the most oxytocin.
10. They get most of their calories through the night, but if you co-sleep you can feed laying down still half asleep so you drift straight off again. So no getting up and down through the night. Co-sleeping also helps regulate baby’s breathing, heart rate & temperature. Most of the fear around it is completely unjustified. All animals sleep with their babies and don’t suffocate them. We have built in baby protecting senses and breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS (look into vaccines as this culprit)
11. You need to increase your water consumption a lot to stop dehydration as you’re giving your fluids away. Plus eat extra calories, you loose roughly 600 a day so great for weight loss but not if you’re already skinny like I am!
12. Breastfeeding is the gift that keeps on giving. Nothing seals the gut lining and colonises the gut with diverse friendly bacteria like breast milk does. And due to the gut/brain connection a healthy gut = a healthy brain. Statistics show lower rates of depression, hostility and anger in later life of breastfed babies and also a higher IQ and more robust immune system 🌟 Plus the health benefits for mummy’s include a whooping 20% reduced risk of breast cancer for every year you breast feed. This is because the milk filters the breast tissue and balances any excess oestrogen!