I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed each of my children. It wasn’t always smooth sailing by any means, but in the end it happened to work out for us. Now before everyone starts with the mummy shaming and bottle vs breast argument, you’re reading the wrong post. The simple answer is that I don’t care. I mean, I care of course, but I don’t care how you fed your own baby. As long as they are fed and happy it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m not here to shame, I’m not here to be high and mighty I’m just here with my own experience.
Now that’s out of the way we can move on to the funny side of breastfeeding. You see, while breastfeeding a baby gives you some incredible moments of bonding, it can also be a downright pain in the arse. Especially with the way our society is about the whole *shock* boobs thing.
Here are five times when breastfeeding was inconvenient (but I did it anyway).
The time when a stranger caught me half naked in a pair of Spanx outside his holiday accommodation.
Yep, that happened. I was at a wedding with my six-week-old. I didn’t really plan my outfit all that well, I just grabbed something that didn’t make me look like a bloated hippo. It happened to be a silk dress with no breastfeeding access whatsoever. Mummy fail.
Cue baby needing to be fed and me finding the only private area - which happened to be around the back of what I thought was an unused hall, which actually turned out to be the onsite accommodation. There I was, dress on the floor, sitting so elegantly in a pair of knee-to-boob nude Spanx and a strapless bra yanked down to feed my baby. It was dark and I was kinda creeped out (because the wedding was in an old haunted quarantine station), then the door I was sitting next to swung open and a gentleman well into his 60's copped an eyeful of all that was on offer.
The time I was at Coles and my boobs started leaking.
Breast pads are essential, especially in the early days. I did not know this piece of information until I was standing buying groceries and my baby started crying in the pram in front of me.
Let's just say I tried desperately to retain eye contact with the young man on the register as my grey marl t-shirt developed two very large boob patches right in front of his eyes.
The time I squirted my friend in the face with breastmilk.
It took a while to get breastfeeding down pat with my first child. He would pull off and look around, fuss and wriggle. At first I refused to feed him anywhere in public, not because I was embarrassed, simply because it would take so damn long given his goldfish attention span.
One day when he was only a few months old, I decided to feed him while sitting with my best friend in a cafe enjoying a hot coffee. He was feeding and she leaned forward to brush a crumb of muffin off his head which I had dropped there because I'm that kind of mum. He took that exact moment to detach himself and look over to her to display his new smiling skills. She copped it right in the face. Friendship isn't friendship until you've squirted each other with boob milk.
All the times I couldn't drink.
I really don't think this one needs to much explanation but having been pregnant or breastfeeding for the best part of six years it's safe to say I've done my time as designated Dave.
I've been sober on wine tours of the Hunter Valley and Mudgee. I've watched friends down whiskey as tasting events and I've sat through many torturous family events without being able to numb the pain in ways I would like. You're welcome kid, you're welcome. Just know that once you're all old enough to drive me around, you'll be apologising for my behaviour for many, many years.
The times I couldn't go out because my baby didn't like the bottle.
Breastfeeding can sometimes feel a little suffocating. I enjoy it, I wouldn't do it if I didn't, but I do sometimes wish my baby would have taken to the bottle, even just to allow me the rare night out of the house. I haven't stayed overnight somewhere on my own for six years and I've only just been able to start doing things in the day without my baby tethered to my chest. To have the freedom to hand my husband a bottle and walk out the door. It would honestly be like a puppy who's realised the gate's been left open. I'd run like the wind, ears flapping in the breeze, marking its territory all over the neighbourhood (Ok, maybe not that far but you get what I'm saying).
Breastfeeding is a huge commitment, you don't get the freedom of being able to hand over the feeds responsibility to someone else, especially if your baby rejects the bottle like mine did. But it's worth it. For all the sacrifice and night feeds you do solo you also get something pretty incredible in return.
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