Breastfeeding is definitely one of the unexpected joys of being a mum, I knew I wanted to but I didn’t ever expect to enjoy it so much. I’m in constant amazement at the body’s use of hormones to guide you as a mother; the rush of oxytocin during feeding makes waking up a million times a night that bit more bearable. Similarly the perfectly content grin just after they’ve shit all up their own back, through their clothes, and on to yours, is clearly designed by nature to stop us from throwing the whole baby in the bin along with the soiled onesie.
This picture is from the first time Isla latched on, I struggled a bit to begin with, but as we ended up having to stay in hospital for nearly a week, I had loads of support with mastering breastfeeding. After a lot of wiggling trying to get her to latch on, and thinking it just wasn’t going to happen, one of the nurses (an absolutely lovely, no nonsense, seen it all, wee woman) shoved the baby on to my boob, and all of a sudden we got the hang og it. Even after that I hadn’t been sure I’d make it to the recommended 6 months, the first few weeks seemed like I’d never have my boob to myself again, but now I’m halfway there I can’t imagine stopping.
You definitely develop a certain confidence as well, there’s nothing like sitting with a boob out in the middle of a nice restaurant, with a baby refusing to feed and milk spraying everywhere, all while a waitress attempts to take your order, to force you to embrace your own body. I think if we didn’t have this bizarre concept that women’s nipples should be hidden while men’s can be proudly out and about, then a lot more women would breastfeed.
I always wonder what Isla dreams about when she smiles in her sleep, I imagine she must think of boobs. Just rows and rows of boobs, fields of boobs, rivers of milk and trees with nipples.