To Boob Or Not To Boob



Well, hello there strangers.
Apologies for how long it has been. For those who don't know, I have an (almost) 5 month old baby girl called Aaleyah Noor. She is amazing. But also very demanding.

Before I gave birth I was adamant that I would solely breastfeed her knowing the benefits to both me and her. And I have been. Its been great, but there are some things that I wish I had been told beforehand.

Let me be clear, if you choose not to breastfeed or simply cannot, there is nothing wrong with it. Your baby will grow to be healthy and well. Some people cannot get their baby to latch on, some babies just refuse to take breast milk or it makes them sick. And for others, they simply do not produce enough milk to meet their baby's demand. There is no shame in bottle feeding at all. You are feeding a baby! There are people who cannot even do that, so we should be thankful no matter which route we take.

In my own opinion, breastfeeding is the easiest and hardest thing ever.
Easy, as you can literally just pick your baby up and put her on your chest - boom!
Hard, because it can take forever to finish a feed, and it may only be 20mins until the next feed.

Let me elaborate...

It took Aaleyah just over a full day to learn how to latch on and actually take milk from me. The first night was frustrating, but I didn't hesitate on giving her some formula at the hospital as I didn't want her to stay hungry. The second day I had to trick her with a couple of sucks from the bottle and then straight onto the boob - that was the only way to get her to latch on for the first time. After that it was some major screaming sessions until she realised that the only way she was going to get some milk was from me.

To begin with, Aaleyah was so hungry all the time. I would be feeding her all day long (I shudder to think the amount of people who have seen my boobs). She would fall asleep on the boob within minutes, but stay latched. I would sit around for ages! Downloading SkyGo and Netflix on my phone was the best idea of all time. It kept me from getting bored at night and from falling asleep whilst feeding her. Also, whenever she had the bottle in the early days she would scream at the boob before taking it - but I stayed strong to make her realise she needs to be able to alternate. After 6 weeks of constant feeding, it got better. Now its just so simple and easy to breastfeed her, she goes for the boob herself with mouth wide open.

Now for the downside. Breastfed babies can get hungry much quicker. There is no waste in the milk so it can be digested very easily, especially if you have an overactive baby like mine. so trips outside may have to be short and close to home if you do not feel comfortable feeding outside or in public. I have fed Aaleyah in the car plenty of times by the way. There is nothing wrong with it! Your baby is hungry, feeding him/her is mega important - do what you gotta do.

Aaleyah has always had formula, or expressed breastmilk in a bottle, but around 3 months she just refused to take the bottle anymore. It has made it extremely hard for me to leave the house by myself. And we've had to cancel so many plans because of it. It gets me down sometimes as you do feel like you need some time to yourself just to make a solo trip to Asda, but hey-ho thats life. What can you do? She is getting better at taking bottles from her dad, which gives me confidence to go get my brows done without worry etc. I am hoping that with the introduction of food she will get back into bottle feeds, for both our sakes.

Every story is different, but that is mine.

Romana x.

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