Breastfeeding – Smell and Spraying in public and introducing a bottle

The pros and cons of breastfeeding:

1: All of my clothes and bed smell of a sweet breast milk smell where we have spilt so much during feeds. The smell was up my nose so much that I even thought that I could smell it, when I was hanging out my freshly washed clothes on the line and airer. I actually quite like the smell especially my little boys breath after a feed, it smells like milk bottle sweets 😍. The problem is like any smell it starts to annoy you when you cant get away from it. I started to use dettol washing liquid to ensure my clothes were completely fresh and this seems to have rid the smell from my washing.

Also my little boy tends to be alot more efficient at feeding now so he doesnt spill as much unless we are laying down feeding and then the last bit of milk gets stored in a cheek as he falls asleep and without fail gets dribbled all over the bed sheets, however with experience i have now learned to add a folded over muslin underneath his head and my boob to catch it. #winninggoals

2: At the start of my journey and for the initial 3 months or so I regularly sprayed from one boob no matter where I was, especially when my little boy was going through a fussy stage and regularly pulling off. Que a number of embarrassing moments where his face and my clothes were drenched in milk – all you can do in these situations is laugh it off and embrace it. However i was advised by the breastfeeding consultant as i was squirting her in the face and increasingly going red that this was due to being relaxed and my oxytocin was high – i thought i wish i knew how to be stressed and rid the oxytocin 😂

3:The spraying accompanied with a fidget who is constantly either slapping you in the face or grabbing and pulling your bottom lip adds to the joys of feeding. Then just when you think you have mastered it, along comes distractions which means that you are constantly battling to keep your baby feeding and stop looking around. This i am still trying to overcome and have asked my husband to stop talking, moving, breathing when he is in bed with us in the morning trying to feed. For the rest of the day I am housebond often, feeding in the nursery with white noise on the loudest setting, the blinds drawn so sitting in darkness and giving him a rabbit comforter that is consistantly thrown around with his windmill arm including a constant bashing in my face that i am too worried to stop incase it interupts his feeding. (I will update in a future blog how this goes as i am informed that this is another phase that we will overcome.)

4: You are informed do not introduce a bottle or dummy before 6 weeks, what they fail to tell you is that this will make introducing a bottle near on impossible at a later stage. I have become very lazy as preparing bottles and therefore even on the days that i want to get him to take a bottle i fail miserably as its too easy to just wack a boob out.

5: On a hot day feeding is like holding an extra hot waterbottle against you and my little boy feeds more often to hydrate so you are lucky to hold them continuously and gain a delighful baby shaped sweat patch in most of your attire by 9am #babyshapedsweatpatch #newdesignidea #couldbecomefashionableoneday #heatwave

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6: Nightfeeds this is fab cuddletime when you are in a routine and i personally love them when im not to tired to appreciate them. The rest of the time its down to you and even if you have a willing husband there is limited they can do when the baby wakes hungry in the night

7: The little smiles, giggles and babbles that your baby has with you mid and post feed are just adorable and melt your heart regularly

8: I have a thirst like I have never known the minute that he latches on and without fail always forget to acquire an organised glass/ bottle or tank of water. Its ok tho as now my husband goes into autopilot when he is home and comes in like a knight in shining armour with the fanfair and everything with a pint of water most feeds. (note i am unable to make too much of a fuss incase the little tyke knows that he is there and stops feeding)

9: Breastfeeding sick smells so much better than formula sick. Although im not a huge fan of either.

10: The bras you can buy may not be the prettiest but they are comfy and you can always get a bap out. ive also been lucky enough to have to sleep in a bra every night since he was born. with the odd night that he has decided to sleep longer waking in pools of leaky milk and with tender engorged breasts.

There are other pros and cons that I am just not able to think of right now but I can tell you that I regularly love and hate our journey. It has been hard and i have taken a couple of knocks along the way but ultimately i have loved it and wouldnt change it for the world. My boobs may look like droopy spaniel ears now but I look at my happy little chap and can see what it was all for. Now we are enduring our transition to solids and the consideration of ending our journey so that I can go back to work and know that he is feeding well.

Almost forgot … breastmilk lollys! they keep baby cool, help with teething pain and help to get milk into baby when being fussy.

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What no one tells you before you enter into the Motherhood circle …

So I was in the shower dealing with yet another first that was unspoken about prior to my motherhood journey and thought that I would start a blog to expose all of the experiences I have had so far and will encounter on this mixed emotion rollercoaster, that I and so many others are on, about to join or are planning for.

I will plan to cover my experiences, what has worked for me and the challenges I have faced along the way that caught me by surprise despite having a very strong support network and close friends that I thought discussed EVERYTHING!

Before I start I just want to explain that motherhood is an exceptional journey that I absolutely love and wouldn’t change for the world but I wanted to write about the elements that aren’t necessarily disclosed, discussed or advised frequently. This is based only on my experience and incase you get confused I am not a medical professional 😉

Recovery after childbirth

The bleedingimg_5444

So as you will read in most pregnancy and birthing books you can bleed for up to 6 weeks post partum. The element that they fail to clearly explain is that a sanitary towel just won’t do and even if you do get maternity pads you never buy enough to prepare you for the most almighty period that comes after a 9 month break! From the minute that my darling arrived I was living in old knickers that could be thrown, wearing dark clothes, sitting on my light coloured sofa with a bath towel and sleeping on a maternity sheet. Between you and me this was as much for my lack of confidence in the possibility of wetting myself as it was in the chances of an alternative accident. I was a paranoid wreck with frequent visits to the toilet to freshen up my pad due to being informed that breastfeeding will also make for a heavier flow. 😳

I gave birth at home and the midwives luckily came with pads and maternity sheets for me to use during and directly after labour. I was also later grateful for the additional ones that they left behind. It took weeks before I was confident enough that I wouldn’t have an accident. This was then the point that I took the plunge to walk the dog and low and behold my flow got heavy again. 😡 and I was back to sitting on towels for a couple of days.

Despite breastfeeding and being advised that this would mean that your period would take a while to return. At 12 weeks post partum I have just had my first visit in a year from Mother Nature and let me be the one to warn you that the maternity pads were back in use and I am sitting on my sofa with a towel once more. This time though I am more confident that I won’t wet myself thanks to the daily kegal routine that the midwives were very strong to encourage straight after the birth.

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The stitches

I had a 2nd degree tear during my delivery – whatever that means but from the way that the midwives referred to it I guess it is good. However to me this hurt, needed stitches and felt like my womanhood would never be the same again.

The midwives came to check me and baby over at Day 1 and 5, I was informed that all was ok however keep an eye on your stitches and how you are healing. So here there was a problem I am not sure how well acquainted you all are with your lady parts however it wasn’t something that I did regularly stand over a mirror and examine closely. However in hindsight I wish I had as to me it looks very different now like it has taken a battering and left with a few different scars!

To help with the healing process you are advised not to wipe but dab after a wee and keep a glass next to the toilet so that you can pour water whilst going to prevent stinging and keep the stitches clean. this can make for an interesting conversation when visitors come to visit the baby and ask why there is a glass next to the toilet.

At your check ups the midwives ask you if you have managed a poo, well I don’t go regularly and was worried what would happen when I did. So When the day arrived I was full of mixed emotions; joy that I could do it, fear of how to wipe incase I caught any stitches and disappointed with no sign of my haemorrhoids disappearing but in fact doubling in size.

Advice to new mums preparing for their labour and delivery: 

  • Ensure that you purchase both maternity sheets and pads to get you through at least 3 weeks and stock up for your 1st period too. (My favourite that had high absorbing and padding for comfort were Tena lady extra.)
  • Breastfeeding doesn’t mean that you will have a prolonged break from Mother Nature.
  • Ensure you have haemorrhoid cream handy for the last weeks of pregnancy and first weeks of motherhood. Not everyone gets them but better to be prepared.
  • And most importantly become acquainted with yourself and cherish it as once that baby arrives (if via a vaginal birth) you will never be quite the same again despite how well your delivery goes.