Friday, 8 June 2012

Ten Things My Midwife or Health Visitor Never Told Me About Breastfeeding



The information that we receive before we begin our breastfeeding journey is wonderful, and can help us greatly, this post however with the theme of mum-to-mum sharing hopefully will have you nodding in agreement or laughing along with me, these ten things are my own personal experience, but I hope you get what I mean...

1.       Leaky boobs !

I knew that mums who breastfed were prone to slight leaking, but never knew that each mum had a different amount of milk. I found out after having my first daughter that my milk was in abundance, I vividly remember sitting at home feeding her and my favourite shirt becoming completely soaked, much to the embarrassment of my sister’s boyfriend, who was sat in the room!! Each subsequent birth has been the same, I could probably feed most of Norfolk and Suffolk… as my mother in law says, I certainly have Gold Top!!

2.       Breastfeeding is Orgasmic!

Don’t panic ladies, I don’t mean the scene from `When harry Met Sally’ that every time we breastfeed we started banging the table and shouting Yessss but when we breastfeed Oxytocin is released, also known as the happy drug, and also present after an orgasm, which is why every woman should breastfeed, that way we could all be happy for most of the time - when we are not sleep deprived zombies!!

3.        My Baby looks Drunk!   

If you have a baby that enjoys good long feeds, then you will understand what I am talking about, when they finish their feed they have a glazed look in their eyes and look as if they have had far too much beer!! Not to forget the hypnotic power of feeding your baby, how it is possible just to drop off to sleep, no matter where you are or who you are with, I have been known on a few occasions to actually fall asleep whilst sitting feeding and having a conversation with members of my family, or be watching a film, then realise it has ended and you have no idea what has happened!!

4.       I have my own fountain!

I am still amazed at how far I am able to shoot milk from my breast, my poor babies have all been covered in it, my husband has been soaked by it and if one of the children pulls away whilst feeding I have no control over where it sprays or how far it reaches… Only the other day I was hand expressing whilst in the bath as I felt one of my ducts was becoming blocked, my three year old walked in and stared in amazement, “Wow mummy your booby is like a fountain” for the past few days this has been her main topic of conversation…

5.       I have My Own Cannonballs !

As most of you will know from reading my last post, I have never been blessed with large breasts, only whilst breastfeeding, but what shocked me the most was when the milk comes in, or I haven’t fed for a while, they really do resemble a pair of cannonballs, and I feel so sorry for the baby trying to feed at this stage, it looks like a very difficult job, they really look as if they are working overtime to latch on.



6.       Yes They Are My Own Boobs !
Following on from Cannonball boobs, I was quite amazed when I had full breasts, how many people thought I had gone and had a boob job, I had heard one of the ways to tell was when lying on a beach, someone whose boobs stayed upright and didn’t flop to the sides had probably had a boob job, well let me tell you, someone with engorged breasts or full of milk also keep them in place.
Three years ago I was playing in a Beach Rugby tournament and we had a few well known rugby players taking part, we all had our t-shirts signed by them, one very cheeky chap signed across my chest, and another girls,making a comment about boob enlargement and how he could tell just from looking, I didn’t want to embarrass the rather lovely man, but my breasts had other ideas as they began leaking all over my newly signed t-shirt, the look of confusion and embarrassment on his face made me smirk all day, and now when I see him playing rugby on TV I do chuckle to myself….


7.       Bullet Nipples

And finally, the last part of the breast in this discussion is the nipple, I am still amazed how something so sensitive can turn into what I can only describe as a bullet, I am beginning to see where Madonna got her idea for the cone bra, I read somewhere that they thought it resembled a wet puppy’s nose, and I guess they are right when feeding, however get me out in the cold and I seriously think I could take someone’s eye out!! Thank goodness for padded bras and breast pads…



8.       The Thirst

Is it me, or does everyone find that when feeding they could drink an entire two litre bottle of liquid, seriously, if you suffer from the thirst, you will know exactly what I mean, whenever I sit down to feed one of my little ones I ensure I have a large glass of squash, or if I am feeling particularly low on energy a glass of fizzy (sshh don’t tell my diet, that bans all junk and fizzy!!). I found that with baby number one, when I stayed in hospital for two days I drank lots, I think this was mainly due to boredom as I was the only BF mum, so was in a whole six bedded bay by myself, but when I returned home, I didn’t drink so much, but boy did I start drinking again, the lack of liquid did nothing to dilute the wee and it stung like mad, therefore I would recommend that every new mum drink lots of fluids, to avoid that stinging sensation…

9.       Baby Makes a great bib

Another thing I was never told was just how much it was possible to do whilst breastfeeding your baby, read a book, write a letter, type a breastfeeding post (yes I am doing that now!!) and also to eat your meals, because you can guarantee as soon as you sit down to eat a meal, your little one will feel the need to eat too. Over the years I have learnt never to eat a meal that is either hot or that could stain, as no matter how careful you are, every now and again, a little bit of your meal will find its way onto your baby’s head or arm, sometimes even leg… or is it just me that’s a messy eater !!

10.       ALWAYS label the breastmilk in the fridge.

This may seem like an obvious one, but I thought I would mention it, as my husband has been caught out a few times, and almost had cereal a la breast milk, now I know some people are OK with it, but I am still torn, yes if it was the only thing left in the world I would obviously drink it, but it’s the own body fluid issue I think. There are recipes available for breast milk ice cream, lollies, in fact a few websites list lots of recipes, where you just substitute cow’s milk for breast milk. I remember being at college doing my nursery nursing course and being given the opportunity to try breast milk then, but it has never really grabbed me….


These are just my observations throughout my last 14 years of breastfeeding (OMG really..), if you have any others, please comment below.
If you have enjoyed reading, you will find more articles about breastfeeding at these locations.

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34 comments:

  1. my breastfeeding top tip is never let your boobs get cold - i have had mastitus twice and it can be brought on if you get your chest cold x

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    1. Really ? You learn something new every day, although if mine get cold I can do serious damage with my nipples so not really an option!!

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  2. I am always spilling food on my baby too! Once I fell asleep and poured cold tea on her - she kepy feeding!

    My top tip is to learn how to breastfeed lying down. It makes the world of difference to your energy levels. Adele Jarrett-Kerr

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    1. I love feeding lying down, although I do have to be careful not to fall asleep and dribble on baby's head!!

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  3. A great post, made me laugh out loud, but mainly because I have been there done that with practically every one of them.

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    1. Thankyou, glad you enjoyed reading it x

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  4. Oh the joys of breastfeeding eh? Glad its not just me who accidentaly sprays milk onto everyone!

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  5. Great post, thanks! I second the top tip of feeding lying down, we get so much more sleep this way.

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    1. Definitely agree, although I do tend to dribble when I sleep!!

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  6. I can't say that I've enjoyed the big boobs thing or abundant supply, but I have been able to squirt milk quite a distance much to my husband's amazement! I definitely relate to baby being a bib - finding crumbs and bits of food on his clothes even before he started eating it himself, oops! Oh and the thirst, definitely drunk lots of water in the past 16 months :)

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    1. My little man is now getting his own back, as I constantly find bits of crust/biscuit in my bra, as he happily posts things when I pick him up!!

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  7. hehe, cant even count how many times i leaked thru breastpads, bra and nighty during the night and ended up soaking my new born too! oh an i had the Thirst as my first pregnancy symptom, and also when breastfeeding during the night finding ur self starving! keep snacks by your beds ladys! x

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    1. I had to resort to an Aquasolari bed pad, usually for stopping bed wetting accidents, Toddlers or elderly) although it did work a treat and goes straight in the washing machine, and even tumble dries!!

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  8. The Baby as bib is so true - mine often has bits of pastry or bread
    in his hair!My "cannonballs" an inbuilt heating system too!

    My top tip for breastfeeding would be to have your favourite chair for feeding next to a table with remotes,phone,laptop,drink,tissues and books for reading to siblings on it so you can sit back and have a good long nurse without having to get up! (try to go to the loo first!)

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    1. Excellent tip, and fully agree on the inbuilt heating system, I am known up at school as the mum that wears a T-shirt in winter because I am always so hot!!

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  9. Attend a breastfeeding support group, when the going gets tough they can really help!

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    1. I agree totally, I have just trained as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter and there is a lot more help out there than when I first began my journey 14 years ago.

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  10. My top tip would be to find your local support/peer supporters/breastfeeding group before baby is born so you can get to know them, this makes it much easier to contact them after baby is born; faces to names and voices. It good to know you have support from people who you know and are familiar with and that you trust.

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    1. You are so right, I can be found at any baby event or even in the supermarket telling pregnant ladies about the local BF cafe, and they have so many lovely cakes, Eowyn my 3 year old sometimes comes along and loves playing with the babies, she also loves the fact that she gets plenty of fruit and cakes because they are not old enough to eat them yet!!

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    2. My daughter (nearly 3) comes along to our group, she's great as she knows the name of everyone who comes, and offers the biccies around.... it def made breastfeeding her brother easier, as she was so familiar with it.

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  11. Best Breastfeeding tips ive read yet throughout the Breastfeeding scavenger hunt! Amazing post! Thank you - even ade me chuckle :)

    Top tip from me is to persevere!!! It's the key :)

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  12. I loved reading your post made me giggle remembering all of the stuff i had forgot about lol cant wait to have it all again when bumb decides to arrive : )
    My best tip is to find yourself somewere comfy and set yourself up with everything you need to hand as especialy in the early days you never know how long your gonna be there. I always had myself a muslin a drink and ofcourse a snack just incase lol : )

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  13. My top tip would be to seek out your local Baby Bistro or breastfeeding group and go along - it is great to know there is support available if needed - and also to be around other breastfeeding mums as you don't often notice mums feeding in public so it can feel very isolated to start with.

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  14. OMG! I'd forgotten about the milk fountain. This makes my top tip easy. Always keep a muslin cloth close to hand so when baby does that frustrating but unbelievably cute thing of letting go of your breast to give you a cute smile you can replace their mouth with the cloth and hopefully not completely cover the baby with milk! Muslin cloths were never far away from me when breastfeeding. I stopped a couple of years ago but can still think of one coat that has a cloth in the pocket for emergencies. Will have to get them all washed for September!

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  15. I agree with the always keep a muslin to hand... Zach has a habit of pulling off just as let down begins coz he's a nosy monkey so he ends up getting squirted in the face etc. I've also found that the muslin helps if I've not got a breast pad on the other boob... stuff it down your bra and it stops you leaking all over your clothes.

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  16. I remember dropping Baked beans on Baby M, why do they always want feeding when your dinner is ready? Having meals that you can eat one handed with a fork is a must

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  17. Myfavourite breastfeeding tip is to keep a drink handy at all times , goodness me it's thirsty work!!!

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  18. Great post! My top tip is relating to thirst, I get thirsty too but with a toddler around that can sometimes be tricky to have a drink within reach so my suggestion is a really big water bottle. It's my number one must have and it means that when it gets knocked over by little fingers you don't have to mop up the water!

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  19. Great post! I'm a new Mum to be so don't have any tips yet. I'd like to know what you can do to help sore and cracked nipples that I have heard can happen when breastfeeding.

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  20. guilty of the dropping dinner on baby, I'm always finding cake crumbs in his creases!

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  21. I don't have a tip as I'm 37 weeks pregnant with my first baby. No questions or concerns either as I've spent the afternoon/evening blog hopping reading fantastic blog posts for breastfeeding week. Feeling very positive now, thanks!

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  22. My tip is to read and learn as much as you can before baby emerges, be prepared!

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