RSS

Tag Archives: breastfeeding

The Milk Maid

The Milk Maid

In honour of World Breastfeeding Week, here is my #brelfie! I’ve fed her at home, at other people’s homes such as friends and family, at the tennis court, at a cafe, at church and now also online.


I’m not one of those mums. You know, the stereotype white middle class mum who wants to do it ‘all natural’, breastfeeds, wears her baby like it’s a cult thing, doesn’t vaccinate, introduces solids a la Rapley and basically makes a big deal out of everything whilst trying to convince everyone and -perhaps mainly- herself that her exhausting way of parenting is the way to do it perfectly. After all, there’s a chance she gave up her career for this. If that’s how she wants to do it, all peace to her. After all, she probably didn’t choose her perfectionism, just like I didn’t choose my ADHD. My only objection is that this fictional mother (with a grain of truth) tends to be part of the mum wars. (Check this video).

I am white middle class-ish, I do breastfeed, I do baby wear (because it’s fun and easy), I do vaccinate and while BB will be learning to eat the old fashioned mushy mushy way, it’s probably good for her to try and chew on a carrot from time to time. And I have muddled in mum wars, mainly to point out that there’s no such thing as the perfect way to raise your child. And because I’m impulsive and say things when I probably should just shut up. But there’s one thing I do want to ‘preach’ -also as a professional-… and that is breastfeeding.

It really wasn’t much of a ‘choice’. I never even considered formula. Babies drink breast milk, that’s just the way it should be. Formula is life saving stuff for babies whose mums can not breastfeed. But I see absolutely no valid reason for me to give my child a somewhat inferior substitute if I can give her the real thing. It doesn’t matter if we don’t live in a developing country. It doesn’t matter if there’s research stating that it doesn’t matter that much… My objection to almost every article I’ve seen is that the breastfed group was also receiving formula under the age of 2..
whats-in-breastmilk-poster-canada-640x330

But research and stuff is one thing.

Practice is the other.
So this is my experience after almost 5 months of breastfeeding with a difficult start.

  •  When she was 3 weeks old, I got sick. Something flu-like. Had she gotten sick as well she would probably have ended up in hospital. I was so worried! But nothing. She got the antibodies as I was making them.
  • Just a few weeks ago the other baby at her minder had a cold for a full two weeks. I figured BB would be sniffling soon. She was. It lasted a full day and a half, and wasn’t even bad enough to give her trouble breathing or drinking. She was just fussy and drooly.
  • She sleeps through the night usually. But when she doesn’t, I am forever grateful for not having to get up and make a bottle. I simply pick her up, put her next to me, support my back with a pillow and snooze until she’s done. Yes. That’s right. I sleep while feeding her.
  • I’m just going to say it again: I can feed her in my sleep. I am a very rested mum!
  • She doesn’t like drinking from a bottle. She can, but she won’t sometimes. She knows better, that’s all! No better place for a baby than their mum’s breast.
  • It’s the most natural thing in the world.
  • It’s a very loving act. Even the bible mentions nursing mothers as a comparison to God’s love. I mean, wow.
  • As long as she’s being nursed, I don’t have to worry about her nutrition. She takes care of that herself. I don’t have to worry about getting more time between feeds, I don’t have to worry about over feeding her… and with her bottle issues I don’t have to worry about that either because she can just catch up in the evening when I’m home. When she starts solids, I don’t have to worry about her eating enough either.
  • It’s easy, and I always have a hand free to read or play with my phone. And I needn’t even clean up.
  • It’s quick, after the first few months. Takes me 5-10 minutes unless she’s just suckling to calm herself down. Which, in itself, is also useful since she thinks dummies are chew toys.
  • I get a boost of feel-good hormones. Why would anyone pass on that?
  • You know those evenings with a very young baby? Bottle babies have hours in which they just cry. Breastfed babies can cluster feed. I used to hate cluster feeding time, but I am sure I’d hate having to deal with a crying baby even more.
  • It’s amazing to see how much she’s grown, and my body was fully responsible for that.
  • I can’t forget my boobs. I can forget my keys, my purse, her nappies, wipes, clean clothes, entire nappy bag, parts of my breast pump, bottles… possible even her… but I can’t forget to bring along two of my organs.
  • Actually, my nr 1 tip for future mums with ADHD would be to breastfeed. You just have to respond to your baby, no planning involved. Nothing you can forget.
  • The only down side is pumping at work…
  • …and it takes some time to figure it out. Just like everything does if you have a baby.
  • Edited to add: those moments when you can’t figure out what is wrong but the boob seems to fix it…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to feed the baby!

 

 

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Happy Mother’s Day 

To all fellow mothers: I hope all of you had nothing but kindness. 

My first Mother’s Day was spent with the in laws. My own mother is abroad at the moment and TDH didn’t think to make a gesture in Busy Baby’s name. Then muttered something about commercialism. Gestures can be free. 

Anyhow. I perhaps haven’t been a mum for long enough, I don’t feel like it fully applies to me yet. 

Busy baby behaved like a champ while we were there and she pooped on me for Mother’s Day. I took a bath with her, she started furiously searching for the nipple and TDH said to let her drink because she enjoys it so much. My objection was the poop risk. 

Oh well. I will wash my hair tomorrow then….

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 8, 2016 in Busy Baby, Dear Diary

 

Tags: , , , ,

I’m somebody’s mother….

I’m somebody’s mother….

… It’s very real!

Busy Baby (BB) was born on March 5. She was born at home, she came too quickly for us to make it to the hospital. Or, we weren’t willing to try and make it as I was 9cm dilated when the midwife came. I’m forever grateful for my midwife!! 

  
Having BB was the hardest thing I have ever done. She’s 6 weeks old tomorrow. And yes, I do love her. She’s doing well and I am recovering like a champ. The reality of being a new mother isn’t something anyone could have ever prepared me for. Pregnancy and childbirth -even an unmedicated birth like mine- are the easy part. 

At first it’s surreal. And painful. They put her on me and left her there till after she nursed. My head couldn’t wrap itself around it: this pink slippery thing, covered in vernix, amniotic fluid and a bit of my blood was my daughter. The pain was worst on the second day: muscles hurt, I had 4 stitches in my underworld (given my push time of 12 minutes for a first baby it could have been so much worse)… And my pelvic floor was both useless and painful. It took me a few days to be able to walk down the stairs! 

We had a postpartum nurse. That’s one of the best parts of Dutch maternity care: you get a nurse for 8 days post partum, who is at your house for 6 hours a day. She was lovely. And she took good care of us, and taught us stuff about BB without being pushy. 

Still. Between hormones (Hello Baby Blues) and adjusting to having a newborn who is completely dependent upon you… I cried about every other day. There were times when I just wanted to leave. Or throw her in the bin almost. It was almost too much for me to bear. I felt trapped: all I did was mother this little monster. Remember, I am used to working hard. And here I was, nursing and doing nothing else. It got better after I got sick when she was 3 weeks old. I was so scared that she would get sick too. Breast milk protected her. I started feeling that motherly love then. 

Don’t worry. She still drives me nuts ever so often. I don’t know how she knows to start crying just as I want to get something to eat. Or how it’s even possible that she wants to be held the entire day. 

I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the reality of breastfeeding. It was hell in the beginning. I was crying from the pain, and everyone has something to say. It got better. Mostly it’s easier than formula. Just whip out a boob and baby is happy. 

I didn’t expect to be closer to my mum after having a baby. She’s the only one who could relate to my breastfeeding issues. That, and she’s in love with BB. Of course, BB already knows to behave with her grandma and saves her drama for us. 

TDH is a fantastic father. I can’t imagine doing this without him. He bathes her, takes care of her when I want to go out or simply because he’s her dad. He changes nappies, talks to her, plays with her and feeds her bottles of pumped milk. 

Nobody really warned me about the confusion associated with the various parenting maffias. I just want to know how to get something done. I don’t believe there is a ‘best’ way for most things. It started when I emailed the breastfeeding centre to ask about a pump… And getting a telling off as a response: not supposed to pump in the first six weeks, and if it’s necessary I need to rent a hospital grade pump. Oh glory. It won’t end any time soon. It’s impossible to find straight forward information on anything. And I simply don’t have the patience to do hour long searches on dummies or deal with people who are shocked that I give her 100ml in a bottle if she’s that hungry. 

Oh. I also didn’t fully realise what a post partum body would be like. I knew, I am a doctor. But never during the phase of “yay no periods for 9 months” did I realise I’d have a period for 6 weeks to make up for that. Or, how painful ill-fitting bras can be in the early weeks of breastfeeding…. And how impossible it is to find comfortable ones if you ended up with a 32H… Or how you still don’t fit in normal clothes…. Despite looking like you should. Oh. Did I mention there’s milk coming out of my boobs? And I am hungry all the time? 

It’s as if I am only fully ‘grown up’ after having BB. It has changed me. As if it’s in my nature as a woman to be a mother. If that makes sense. 

Little BB, TDH and I are figuring out this whole thing.  For the past 6 weeks I only thought ‘never again’. But we survived, and who knows, we might even be stupid enough to do it again. 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Busy Baby, Random, Relationships

 

Tags: , , , ,