5 Things I Wish I Knew About Exclusive Breastfeeding
- We live in an age with a world of knowledge and information at our fingertips, literally. So, when it came time to transition from pregnant-mom to mom-mom, I thought I was prepared (I can hear you giggling over there). Little did I know just how unprepared I was for the challenges that Motherhood was about to throw my way. One of the biggest aspects of new-motherhood I now feel as though I was least prepared for, however, is breastfeeding - exclusively. So, I've put together a list of 5 things I wish I had known before exclusively breastfeeding. You know, to help a fellow Momma out! (Or maybe just to vent).
- 1. Your body is not "your own".
You would think that, after nine months of growing an entire human being, once you gave birth you would have your body back to yourself. Think again - your body now belongs to a tiny little human who, not only depends on your ability to function on little-to-no sleep on a daily basis, also depends on your body being available on demand.
- 2. You will have to choose your clothes by how easily accessible your boobs are.
I couldn't wait get back into non-maternity clothes after having our baby girl. What I didn't realise was, I wouldn't be able to wear 90% of the clothes in my wardrobe because I now need to choose clothes based on how easily accessible my milk machines, I mean boobs, are. Go figure!
- 3. Your schedule revolves around feeding times, yet you won't know exactly when that will be.
Babies feed a lot. Breastfed babies even more so, due to breastmilk being so easily digested. What this means for us, is that we could be feeding as often as every 90 minutes of our day in the first months. You might think you have it all figured out and then, bam, growth spurt!
- 4. Cluster feeding. It's totally normal.
My baby girl cluster fed right through her first 3 months of life. Every night from 5pm - 10pm, I was restricted to lying on the couch. I didn't cook, I didn't clean up (I barely managed to eat!) because for those hours, I was a constantly pumping milk machine to one hungry baby. It wasn't all bad though, because after all those feeds, she had filled up enough to sleep longer hours at night, which meant I did too!
- 5. Your baby might be allergic to some things passed through breastmilk... like dairy!
OK, I'll be honest; this is the point where I very nearly threw in the towel with breastfeeding. After producing some out-of-the ordinary nappies, we discovered that our baby was allergic to cows milk. Doesn't sound too bad for Mom though, right? Wrong. I had to give up some of my absolute favourite indulgences; chocolate and cheesecake, for example. I thought giving up wine (still), and sushi for nine months was hard enough and now this, too? Oh, the sacrifices we make for these precious little creatures!
SO, to the breastfeeding Mommas, I feel you. No matter how prepared or unprepared we are for motherhood, there will always be a few surprises along the way. However, even after giving up chocolate, I still cherish my breastfeeding journey. I honestly wouldn't trade it for the world (maybe for a piece of Oero Cheesecake, though).