Outside is like a Christmas postcard, but without the festive feel. The sky is so grayish white, so dense, it looks like it’s going to snow hard tonight. It’s been snowing now and then but now I have the feeling that tonight will be a […]
Who said motherhood is natural, easy-going, wonderfully perfect? Oh wait, I already said in another post that it wasn’t! I forgot to mention though that if you are breastfeeding, chances are you are going to go through some not funny episodes with hormones. Yes, they don’t settle until way after you finish breastfeeding, and right now boy, my hormones are out of control!
The guilt roller coaster
Baby Bee is starting to crawl, he’s kind of half crawling half dragging his legs. He loves chasing my feet, which are wearing furry and cute bunny slippers with a smiley face, he finds hilarious to pull the poor bunny’s ears. He likes to be laying across the path, maybe it’s his strategy to stop me or to jump and grab onto my leg if I walk by too slowly.
He tries to grab onto my leg but unfortunately he misses and rolls on the side and gets a fright, then he proceeds to give a big cry and very sad pout. I pick him up and give him a hug and annoyed I think about all the things I won’t be able to do on time (or if I’ll ever get to do today) because baby goes first. He’s still crying so I offer the breast to him which he takes anxiously and while drinking he’s looking at me with his googly eyes with tears on his long eyelashes (so unfair, he’s got daddy’s long eyelashes while mine are short and spare).
I’m staring at him and suddenly the anger and frustration dissipates to give way a feeling of love and awe towards my child. Then I think of how unreasonable I was being with him because of all the chores that piled up during the weekend, after all it wasn’t his fault, neither his feeling of need towards me as all baby do that. I felt guilty, I wondered for a minute or two if I was being a good mother.
Does it feel familiar to you? Well, it is part of the set with lactating motherhood. Those hormones present to run the lactation process mess up as much as the menstrual ones, and being now a mother with so many things to do apart from taking care of a little needy one, it makes everything more… Interesting.
Happy cry, proud cry, excited cry
Yes, as awful as it sounds, it happens. When you thought that it would only happen during pregnancy you were wrong! I’m glad that most of the times that it happened to me I was in the privacy of my home.
Bee just started to clap a few days ago, today he was listening to his favourite song on the lion piano we got him for Christmas, out of the blue and with no one to initiate it he started to clap by himself while bouncing on his bum and looking at me with his ridiculously cute smile. My heart skipped a bit and there you have me flooding in tears of happiness. I went to hug my baby who wasn’t very pleased of the interruption.
Another time I can recall was two months ago, he was rolling on the floor and trying to get up. He was trying for a week already and then that evening he managed it, he sat for a minute or two facing the wall, I was behind him waiting to see his face expecting maybe a shocked or amused face. Then he glanced back turning a bit and stared at me like nothing happened, then he smiled, like an angel. I felt so proud of him I was cheering him and clapping, he then fully turned around and threw himself into my arms (almost landing on the floor). I suddenly realised how fast he was growing and the pride was mixed with nostalgia, so I cried.
I don’t really like crying so much and I was feeling embarrassed with all these crying moments, chopping onions’ crying doesn’t look ridiculous anymore.
The fine line between being happy and sad
It’s like the guilt roller coaster but a bit more similar to a tennis match between happiness and sadness, and to be honest it’s like an endless match. Moments like this makes me wonder if I became bipolar or if I acquired some weird disorder. I know deep inside it’s just hormones playing havoc but it really freaks me out to imagine that maybe they are not to blame and that indeed I got some wires twisted up there.
I can’t wait to get over this stage but I know it comes with giving up breastfeeding which I love most of the times and loathe some. When I breastfeed my little one and look at him looking at me and smiling, I just can’t let go, I think that how can I even think of quitting breastfeeding.
Then he bites me the little rascal (his first tooth came out at four months and now he’s ten, he has got all the front teeth out already!), I call him Piranha, and it’s then when I say to myself “that’s it, I’m done with breastfeeding!”… Sound familiar? Well I’ve been like this since he was six months. I’m starting to think I’m a bit masochist or something.
The unwanted but needed End
Yes, even though my baby is evolving to somewhat between a cuddly bear and a piranha, it makes me sad to think when breastfeeding is over. This experience is at times stressing and painful, but other many more times pleasant, and loving an exclusive and intimate experience only just for me and my baby.
I’m going to keep breastfeeding my baby but I’m not sure until when, what I’m sure is that the how will depend on my baby. I want to make it a gentle ending, like a closure similar to when your favourite movie ends, to me my favourite of all times is the Lord of the rings, it’s like a bittersweet taste yet majestic. I want that ending and think “It was a great journey”.
I’m dramatising again, right? Ah darn hormones!
With light and joy,
I want a silky cream like skin, super soft, who doesn’t? How about if I tell you that you can be a milk-healthy you, better yet, lactose free?? Meet my favourite organic creams brand: MooGoo. I have sensitive skin, my husband has very sensitive skin, […]
Whatever is the choice of a parent to breastfeed their baby or not, it’s important to remember that it’s about feeding a baby one way or another. I might be getting in troubled waters for some people, because while I’m not getting in the war of what’s best to feed a baby I don’t mind getting in the one that there’s a breastfeeding in public controversy.
Let me paste here the definition of Mammal from the website of Cambridge Dictionary:
Humans, dogs, elephants, and dolphins are all mammals, but birds, fish, and crocodiles are not.”
So not only is a choice, biologically we are designed to feed our offspring like this (although some times for some reasons out of our control it’s not possible, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up, it just happens), so why some people want to make it a taboo or belittle it?
After long thinking and wondering, sometimes chatting about it with family and friends from different countries, I came up with some reasons.
Sexualization of Breasts
We all know that normally breasts that are plumpy and rounded (not necessarily big) are attributed to the female species of mammals. They were made for the sole purpose of feeding their babies until they were grown enough capable to feed for themselves with other sources of nutrition. In fact, in the first weeks of gestation of a human being, skin and bones are made including nipples, but the chest area will develop depending on of the existence of the chromosome Y, if there is it’ll grow the fetus to be male but the nipples will still be there.
Talking about it this way there’s no sensual connotation in it, just pure science, doesn’t incite much about the act of mating either. So why it’s sexualised? I blame media and perverted minds, and some people do’t know how to differentiate when something is so natural to something that is obscene.
A mother breastfeeding a baby is natural, a woman showing off in sexy underwear fondling herself in an ad is obscene!
Some cultures are more prude towards their viewing of things, fashion style, mannerism… In the paragraph above I might look prude but I’m not, while I do prefer to cover a bit myself while breastfeeding I don’t have any problem to see other mothers breastfeeding with their boob out, or even topless!
I think some people of countries that have a tendency to cover a lot their bodies either because religion dictates it or because it’s a norm, and they fail to respect to those who prefer to show more skin (obviously there’re places and moments for everything, you can’t expect walking nude everywhere like if you were in a nude village/beach and not to expect negative reactions), will feel an array of bad feelings when seeing uncovered breasts even if it’s for a humble purpose of feeding a hungry baby.
I sometimes believe what matters depend of the meaning behind an action, a matter of perspective, the why… So when next time you see a mother breastfeeding their baby they don’t do it to flash you with her breasts, in fact it has nothing to do with you at all but to feed her baby, to fulfill her responsibility of nurturing and caring for her child.
I’ve encountered some people very close to me that didn’t like to hear the idea of me wanting to breastfeed. I grew up in a family that considers breastfeeding essential, at least for the first months of life of the newborn. Some of my aunties weren’t able to breastfeed due to medical and health issues, yet they assure me all the time that what I’m doing is great and they would have breastfed it they were able to. So naturally for me it was my number one choice, I really wanted it to work and I’m grateful it is working still now that my baby is ten months. But not all of my close family were supportive, not at the beginning though, they don’t mind now but I felt they were trying to get the idea off my head.
The people that weren’t very supportive were actually bottled feeders, one of them tried with her first child yet it didn’t work. She was put on a lot of high pressure from her midwives (of the hospital she was in) to breastfeed her little one even though she was in pain, consequently she developed an aversion to it. In a way she wanted to prevent me from going through the same ordeal or something, in her mind the thought of it made her very wary.
Some other people I know also from a bottle feeding background, they didn’t look very happy and told me their thoughts of why I shouldn’t. Most of those thoughts were non-sense and scaremongering. I wondered if they were maybe jealous because they lacked the confidence to also breastfeed or just because they were arrogant and ignorant. I’ll advise that in the event you meet people like that just smile and don’t let them to get you down.
Are we all in the same page?
Please next time you see a breastfeeding mother, don’t shame her, don’t be rude to her, don’t disrespect her, do not do anything that won’t help her to fulfill her task of caring for her child. Mothers feeding their children, whether breast or bottle, aren’t there to bother you or to make you uncomfortable, in fact, they are feeding their little children in order to prevent them to feel hungry which could make them be irritating and very nervous. Babies that are hungry and unhappy have a tendency to cry very loud, scream and screech. Depending on their age they can even throw a big fit that can last for what it feels an eternity… And you wouldn’t like to have a very upset child around you right?
These are the reasons I can come up so far, please comment below if you think you can contribute with anything else or if you want to share any situation when you were subjected of criticism because you were breastfeeding in public.
Thanks for reading and remember, R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
With light and joy,
Who says that motherhood is easy? That it should come natural and women are somehow genetically “programmed” to cope with all the needs of a child effortlessly. Well that is completely science fiction because the burnout is real! Only mothers, and breastfeeding mothers in some […]
So you’ve decided to breastfeed, congratulations! I’m sure you are aware that it is not an easy task, it takes a little bit of time to get used to, and that there will be some times that you’ll feel tired of it. Baby is worth all of that, nothing is easy but with love, patience and knowing you are doing your best for your precious one, you will be fine.
You know well that at least you’ll need breast pads and breastfeeding clothing. You might be thinking of wanting to pump and store some milk but not sure what to buy exactly? I’ve been there too so don’t worry, I’ll be showing you what I bought that thought helpful. Here’s what I found to be the best breastfeeding accessories.
I used to associate bibs with feeding, solids feeding rather than anything else. The truth is, when weaning a baby a small bib won’t do, you’ll probably end up needing to change your childs’ clothes or make her wear a waterproof top like the ones used for arts and crafts making.
Now, bibs are pretty much needed for teething when they are drooling all the time, and also for breastfeeding! By putting a bib on your child when breastfeeding, it’ll help collect any leaks and spitting and/or drool. I’ve learned that not any bib will do, but bandanna bibs!
Why bandanna bibs? Because they wrap closer to their neck which doesn’t leave any gaps for liquids to go down to his top, when breastfeeding my baby I’ve noticed the bandanna would gather and scrunch together a bit making like a barrier (without suffocating the baby), so the milk sliding down his chin or the side of his mouth would be caught on that gathering of cloth. Make sure also that bibs are made of cotton and lined with soft fleece. Oh! And poppers are better than Velcro.
I’ve noticed some bibs have some stuff hanging from them like chewing toys and/or cords for soothers. Not wanting to be too overprotective but I found them irrelevant and somehow potentially dangerous. Those hanging objects if caught somewhere else could fatally injure the baby’s neck. Wonder why industrial workers need to wear hats and/or all hair gathered up in a bun?
The nursing pillow is an item that some mum will find it a waste of money, yet to me it proved very helpful. I’ll tell you why.
- Reclining Pillow. I bought it on the second trimester of pregnancy, and I was starting to feel a bit heavy. Reclining on anything hard was not ideal as there was an added weight and the muscles of my lower back were starting to be a bit sore or sensitive. I used then the pillow which gave me the additional support, my husband looked like he wanted another one for himself, mostly when reading his books in bed (I’ve let him had it a couple of times, and some other to beg for it!).
- Nursing Pillow. When I had Bee it fulfilled its purpose as a nursing pillow, and it was very helpful indeed, without it I felt a heavy tension in my arms after holding the baby a while in that position, not a very comfortable one but eventually you get used to it.
- Baby sitting throne pillow. When Bee was 5 months we started sitting him a bit every day, we used the pillow as if it was his throne and he loved it, sometimes he would fall back and slouch yet he loved it. We would sit on front of him to catch him if he fell onward. We also used it for him to lie on his tummy, he wasn’t very keen with tummy time so he didn’t enjoy it much.
Hair clip or scrunchies
You are wondering why is it so important, right? Well, if your hair is shorter than the level of your chin than skip this one! But if it’s longer than that, imagine feeding your baby when your hair gets on your face, or gets stuck on the chair or wherever you are reclining on to. Or that your baby decides to pull it. You won’t be able to put it up, basically you’ll only one hand free to do it, but lets face it, why to bother trying? There’s a saying, Better to prevent rather than trying to fix it!
I use hair clip claws like the ones of Revlon’s strong hair clips.
Thermal mug with straw/sip
When you breastfeed you’ll feel very thirsty, which is pretty normal after all you are feeding your baby from your liquid reservoir, which consequently it dehydrates you. One of the things my midwife told me on day one was, drink a cup of well diluted tea (check which you are allowed as some are prohibited when nursing) or water every hour or half an hour!
I borrowed my husband’s Thermos and had to buy a special straw for it, I love hot chocolate and peppermint tea, but as you are aware, drinking hot drinks while having your baby on your arms is not very wise. Yet, with precautions like drinking from a sippy Thermos cup or with a straw in an enclosed cup does reduce any chances of spilling.
Am I missing any accessory you think is way more important than these? Please share it with us by commenting below! We appreciate any ideas or advice 🙂
With joy and light,
All babies at one point in their first year of life will experience diaper or nappy rash, and it’s not pleasant for the poor baby nor her worried parents. Thank goodness we have products to help them heal and/or prevent getting any, but there are […]