You’re about to embark on the most exciting adventure.
I’m not going to lie to you: it’s going to be hard, harder than you ever imagined. You will cry about it, wonder what the hell you’ve let yourself in for. But nothing worth doing is ever easy.
The first few weeks will be incredibly tough. Your nipples will hurt, you’ll dread each feed, and this will make you feel like a terrible mother. Be kind to yourself, this WILL pass- the pain will be at it’s worst at 7-14 days, and after a month you’ll barely notice it. Lansinoh cream is your new best friend and singing while T latches on will distract you from the pain.
Nothing can prepare you for the relentlessness of having a tiny newborn completely dependent on you. You’ll experience a whole new level of exhaustion that you never knew was possible.
The first breastfeed in public will be terrifying. You’ll try to shrink into the corner, focusing on your baby, dreading someone making a hurtful comment. Don’t be scared. Look up. You’ll see people either couldn’t give a sh*t, or are giving you supportive smiles. Over time, people will actually come up to you and praise you. Please return the favour when you see a scared new mum, anxiously checking that her muslin is still in place.
Just when you’re starting to feel like giving up, something amazing will happen. You’ll start to enjoy it. You’ll see T happy and gaining weight, and think ‘I did that’. You’ll look down at his little milk drunk face, or snuggle up for post-breastfeeding cuddles, and you’ll get why people say it’s so great for bonding.
You’ll amaze yourself as you get through various challenges of breastfeeding: oversupply, a distracted baby, blocked ducts, teeth. You’ll feel so proud to be still going strong at 17 months.
But you’ll also realise how much of a d*ck you were before. When you thought ‘how hard can it be?’ When you judged other mothers for giving up.
You’ll realise just how hard it is. How you nearly gave up so many times. Whether someone breastfeeds for a day or a year, it’s an awesome achievement. And if they decide not to try breastfeeding because they didn’t want to- none of your f*cking business. It’s their body, their baby, and formula isn’t poison.
Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but it’s so worth it. Cherish every moment. And stop being such a d*ck.