Having just had my first born (a baby girl), I fought hard with myself about breastfeeding, spent a fortune on accessories to help, had a baby with weight loss and had to do temporary top up feeds with formula – at 8 weeks we are now through the other side, back to a breast fed or pumped/bottled breast milk baby and as I’m ready to think about looking after myself a bit more too I am reflecting on how breastfeeding is just like exercise… here are my thoughts why:
– it’s scary when you’ve never done it before
– it’s really hard to start off with
– it takes at least 6 weeks to feel good about it
– lots of people want to give you ‘advice’ about it
– but actually every personal experience is different
– you feel a bit judged by others: whether your doing it, or not doing it, doing enough of it or doing it ‘properly’
– but actually the feeling of being judged is probably borne out by your own fears and insecurities about doing it
– there are loads of accessories you can buy to help you ‘do it better’
– you’ll buy some and give them a go but actually you don’t need any ‘stuff’ but just to persevere and ‘find your own way’
– it helps to have or find friends going through the same thing as you – people who will just say ‘oh my god I know exactly what you mean’ and not try to offer a solution
– the friends who offer solutions are also good to help you know what you will and won’t do to get to your goal
– you need a goal and a plan – whether it be exclusive breastfeeding, combination feeding, increasing supply – the end goal needs a rough strategy to get there
I’m sure there’s more! Love to know if you have had a similar experience or how else you can compare the two experiences!