My List of “I didn`t know that”

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As I sit here breastfeeding my 3 month little girl Ava, I reflect on everything I have learned. I never imagined I would breastfeed or even try for that matter. First off I don’t know anyone & I never see young mothers nursing. I live in Ireland which has the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the world.

Here is my list of breastfeeding tips, tricks and facts.

  1. If its sore your not doing it right When i got home from the hospital, I continued to breastfeed. Everything was going well until that night and all the next day I started to be in a lot of pain. My nipples even turned purple and unbelievably sensitive. I did not give up because my baby was hungry and I knew this was best for her. She started to cry & then I started to cry on top of her. I felt like I was failing and couldn’t feed my baby. Soon after I realized she wasn’t latching properly most of the time, using my nipple as a soother and liked to bite down. Can you imagine this every 2 to 3 hours? It takes a while to get used to positioning for both you and the baby. Its really not meant to hurt but actually enjoyable.
  2. Much easier once you get the hang of it- As time goes on and you get that extra 1 hour sleep, it really can make a difference. You start to enjoy it more and baby definitely does too. Its timely and reduces a lot of effort by not sterilizing and cleaning bottles.
  3. There are so many alternatives- If you want to continue breastfeeding like i did, I encourage you to try a few other methods. Breast pumps are a great investment manual or electric. I have both and the two work extremely well. Helped me a lot at the start when my nipples were sore and expressing got the job done. Great way for storing milk and let mammy have the night off while daddy does a feed for a change. Another alternative is Nipple shields which are remarkably peculiar. Made it so much easier though and improved my practice. Gave me a rest until I was ready to bear it all again. They are reasonably priced too. Without these different methods, I may not have continued.
  4. Can help you lose your pregnancy weight- With a well balanced healthy  variety of foods and plenty of water, breastfeeding can help lose that baby fat a little bit faster. You can start to exercise after the 6 week mark.
  5. You more than likely wont get your period-Don`t panic! Your not pregnant again. Breastfeeding full-time stops your ovulation and in question you do not get a menstrual period. This can be used as a natural contraceptive if your baby is younger than 6 months old. This is known as Lactational amenorrhoea method (LMA)
  6. I can have a glass of wine-Finding out I could enjoy a glass of wine again was surprising. A good surprise until I took my first sip in over 9 months. If truth be told it sounded better than it tasted. One or two units will not harm your baby from time to time.
  7. First time breastfeeding in public is daunting-I was always organised expressing milk, a lot of milk for any day out. I knew a time would come where fatigue would strike and my patience runs out. I remember the fear of “Where am I going to go”? ,”What about if people stare”? “Lets just head back to the car I would speak. My partner recommended a small cafe and to keep out of sight in the corner. He knew i was really worried about it but still put a smile on my face by joking and cheering me up. Once I settled, holding my baby in my arms and seeing her enjoying her feed.I forgot about where I was and all the people who were staring. I’ve accomplished breastfeeding in public and find it effortless at this stage.
  8. Very rewarding especially with support-I am so very grateful for my partner, family and friends who have encouraged and supported me through this. Occasionally it was not as easy as it seemed, but looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. I enjoy these special moments with my baby and partner, who motivates and helps me a lot.
  9. You can save money-I am shocked to see the price of formula milk and wonder how much I could sell mine for. I’m saving money here for more nappies and water wipes.
  10. Its okay to ask for help-I was hesitant to get help. Everyone around me supporting me, my family, friends, doctors and nurses. Encouraging me and telling me to call a breastfeeding support group and recommending certain people who they think could help me. In my mind I was the only one who could do this, I was too headstrong. I was wrong. Realizing this a little while after gave me the determination to start this blog. Maybe I can help young women in Ireland,  support and encourage them. Let them know its okay and that there are a lot of positives rather than all the backlash and negativity circulating in our country.

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Thankyou for taking the time to read my ten breasfeeding tips,tricks and facts that I did not know until I started nursing. If you have any questions or queiries, please do not hesitate to contact me through email. I am more than happy to help. Asking a question will get you an answer and the help you need.

Laura xoxo

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