I am a new mom and my baby boy is three months old now. When I was pregnant I was very prepared for his coming. He was sitting pretty low so there was a chance I would deliver early. I needed to have everything ready should he come at any moment.
I also took pre-birth classes, read and YouTube the information that I thought would be useful to inform me about labor. When I gave birth I was ready. It all went pretty smooth start to finish took me 5 hours till he came out. I did the baby mama dance, and the Egyptian belly dance to get him to come down at a nice rhythm. All in all I had a good birth experience. I didn’t take any drugs but I think the dancing took my mind off the pain. My labor was not as hard as I thought it would be. I even took a nap during my contractions! I must say out of the whole experience the toughest part came after with the Breastfeeding!
I thought I was prepared and ready for it, but I was wrong. I had bought a breast pump, breast pads, cream for my nipples. I had it all. Breastfeeding turned out to be an emotional roller coaster. Even though my labor went well my breastfeeding didn’t!
I knew it happened to a lot of women, their milk doesn’t come in or it is to painful and they can’t breastfeed as they planned. For me my milk wasn’t coming in or it was coming in very slowly. I was fortunate that when my son came out he latched right away and went at it like a champ, but the poor things effort was not to be rewarded. I was in the hospital for 4 days working hard to get my milk to come in, and all though I had some it was not enough. The baby was losing more weight than expected, so we had to supplement. Much to my surprise I felt so sad, down and like I failed in some way. I knew logically it wasn’t my fault but I wanted my baby to have the best and their is nothing like mothers milk. Also I knew how bonding it can be between mother and baby. When we finally got the baby home I tired everything to my make supply go up. I mean everything! but nothing changed. I had a little bit of milk but not enough to solely feed him on my milk. So after a long fight I accepted that I won’t be able to exclusively breastfeed. Now my baby has both mamas milk and formula.
Even though he gets very little milk from me he likes breastfeeding. I find it calms him and I think it makes him feel secure. At the moment I breastfeed him before every bottle of formula. Everything was going good until the first time I had to feed him in public. Now, I have big breast so when I pull one out its very noticeable. I know it is the most natural thing in world, but it does take some getting use to whipping out your breast in front of total strangers.
At first I tried to cover his head and my breast with a cloth when he feed but he hated it so that didn’t last long. Then I tried a poncho which worked pretty well but one can not wear a poncho every day, and then I thought about getting breast feeding cloths but I was like that’s a big investment for something I will use only for 6 or 8 months. So I threw my hands in the air and just had to get comfortable with having my boobs out. You know babies don’t just stay on the boob all the time, sometimes they play or take a break and your nipples are just out there for all to see. It can be quite challenging to be discreet.
At first I was stressing but then I realized that makes the baby stressed. I had to let it go. The turning point was when my husband took a photo of me breastfeeding our son in a cafe during lunch. It was beautiful. I instantly stop worrying about how it looked. The fact was it was beautiful and moving. My husband always gets this loving look in his eyes when I am feeding our son.
So how to get over breastfeeding in public? watch yourself doing it. Look at yourself in the mirror or have someone you are comfortable with take photos of you so you really see just how beautiful it really is. You soon realize it is not sexual or offensive in any way. Getting comfortable is important because even if you cover yourself normally there is always a day you forget to bring what you need or it just not possible. I think the baby and other people feel when your not comfortable with it. So before you get out there make sure you spend sometime observing yourself. Give yourself time to get relaxed about it. Breastfeeding is not easy but once you get it going with time it becomes a relaxing and joyful moment for you and your baby.