Inches 2 Style

A blog on fashion, motherhood and personal development.

Motherhood | Breastfeeding, Challenges and Benefits

One of the aspects about motherhood that took me a bit by surprise was breastfeeding. I hadn't thought about it too much. I suppose I just thought that it would come naturally but boy was I wrong.

My first experience
The first time I had to breastfeed was a day after my little one was born. Before that I remember my doctor having to check if I had already started producing the milk. It was a startling, slightly embarrassing procedure after which he told me that I had to go to the nursery and start to breastfeed Elly so as to "summon" the milk.

The art of latching
Now nobody tells you how painful it can be to breastfeed. Getting the baby to latch was a tricky business. The thing is immediately you place the nipple in baby's mouth she latches and begins to suckle. However, there is a specific place where baby must latch otherwise you will feel pain!! 
It took me a while to learn how to latch baby girl properly. I remember one time, when I had been discharged, I was at home trying to breastfeed and I just couldn't take the pain anymore. I knew that I needed to breastfeed because baby needs to eat but every time we would, try it would be unbearably painful. At some point I gave up. I felt so overwhelmed that I told my mum that I couldn't do it. You can imagine my shame. I felt like I was the worst mum in the world. How could I be unable to do this basic task of feeding my baby? 
But my mum was very supportive. She encouraged me and told me not to worry so much about it. I could express the milk. She also told me that it wasn't unusual to have trouble latching the baby properly at first, that with a little practice it would become second nature. And you know what? She was right! With time and patience, I learned how to latch my baby properly and breastfeeding became super easy.

Breastfeeding in public
Someone once told me that if your mind isn't at ease you will not have enough milk to satisfy your baby. I think it was mum also. She's a very wise woman. The first Sunday I went to church after baby girl was born, I felt so shy "exposing" myself. I felt like people were staring at me when in reality people hardly noticed. This is one of those things that I am grateful for particularly when I read how women in the Western world get told off for breastfeeding in public. 
Back to my initial shyness. When baby demanded food when we were in church I remember trying to access the boob while carrying Elly and trying to shield my modesty. It was nerve wracking. But once I overcame this shyness it was smooth sailing.

Benefits of breastfeeding
They say that one of the best ways to bond with your baby is while you are breastfeeding. I remember staring at Elly, wondering how this little person could be mine. I remember her holding onto my finger as she was feeding and she held on so tight my heart swelled with love. 

My tip for any first time mums struggling with breastfeeding is to take it easy. Don't get worked up. The more stressed you get the less milk you will produce and your baby will not be satisfied enough. And we all know a hungry baby is a baby who is perpetually crying. Also don't give up. It might be painful at first but get someone to teach you how to latch baby properly and with time you will be doing it as easily as you breathe.

Would you like to see more posts like these? Do let me know.

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About Audrey Masitsa

Audrey is the founder, writer and stylist behind Inches 2 Style. You can read more about her here and hire her for personal shopping, stylist and wardrobe consultations here .
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