There is a marked difference in attitude, between when I had Jacob in 2011 and having now had Eva in 2014, so far as breastfeeding is concerned.
In 2011, I was uninspired, underwhelmed and slightly badgered by midwives and public health nurses about breastfeeding. It was just something I ‘should’ have been doing, and if I didn’t master it, I was a bit of a disappointment. Aside from that, I didn’t really feel like I had anyone around me who I could talk to about the whole process of breastfeeding, who was like me and who would offer practical advice.
As a consequence, I put my head in the sand about it and after about two and a half weeks of miserable breastfeeding attempts with Jacob, I fucked the breast pump across the room (narrowly missing Ass Monkey’s pretty head), smashed it against the kitchen sink, and that was the last my boobs and I spoke of it.
But in 2014, things have changed. I mean, there was still this conversation with an ole bitch at the maternity hospital when I was registering my pregnancy:
Ole Bitch: And do you plan on breastfeeding your baby?
Me: I do.
Ole Bitch: Did you breastfeed your first child?
Me: I did.
Ole Bitch: For how long?
Me: For approximately two and a half weeks.
Ole Bitch: (disappointed stare) What happened exactly?
Me: (already texting Ass Monkey to get into the room before I punched the head off her) EH I STOPPED BREASTFEEDING???
Regardless of Ole Bitch’s attempts to put me off forever – just to spite her – I’m happily combination feeding Eva boob and bottle, five weeks in. I still have absolutely no idea how I’ll breastfeed in public without having to take all my clothes off like I do at home, but for the moment, that’s fine with me because I’m not planning on going anywhere.
The difference is that I have much more positive and practical support this time. I now know about nipple guards and the best creams to use to ensure that I’m not in pain (because seriously, why would you put yourself through that? The sleep deprivation and the emotional roller coaster with a new baby is enough to contend with), and I also know SHIT LOADS OF AMAZING WOMEN WHO BREASTFEED.
Isn’t that the trick? That there are people we can all relate to who are showing us the way? (Who can forget ‘role model’ Jordan saying that she didn’t breastfeed her kids because ‘Boobs Are For Sex’? NICE ONE, ASSHOLE). That’s why I think this ‘Breastfeeding Buddy System’ from Friends of Breastfeeding is great. It is currently in the experimental stages but they will pair you up with someone who will support you through the whole process of breastfeeding, from getting comfortable doing it at home, to getting outdoors and breastfeeding in public for the first time.
If you’re interested in reading about it, or finding out how to sign up, click the link HERE
***It’s really important to stress that breastfeeding is not for everyone, and that’s ok. For many women, it isn’t ‘the most natural thing in the world’ that lots of people say it is. Whatever works for you is all that matters, make your own choices for you and your family and remember you are an Amazing Parent ;o)