Monday, April 20, 2015

Who Knew Breastfeeding Could Make Your Feet Hurt?

I used to blog every week before becoming a Mummy but now I'm only blogging when enough of my braincells club together for a sentence. There's no doubt that running a business and being a full time parent is a form of elective insanity but here I am almost 11 months in and Butterfly Collection is thriving, the baby's still alive and most days I'm dressed by 3pm!

Before having Evelynne I had helped a lot of women find comfortable, well-fitting nursing bras. I understood the biology of breast size fluctuation, heightened skin and nipple sensitivity, mastitis and leakage but I had to experience the true mysteries and secrets of breastfeeding for myself.

I love this series of doodles by Lucy Scott
1) Breastfeeding made my feet hurt. That was not something we covered in our pre-natal classes! It took me ages to work out that it was the way I was breastfeeding that was making my feet hurt. I didn't purchase a nursing chair so I've been using the armchair in our living room. Evelynne is a small baby and my torso is long so I have to lift her a long way up to feed. I use a feeding pillow but I still need to lift my knees up to get her to the right height. I've basically been on tiptoes every few hours for almost a year, no wonder my feet hurt! If I could go back I'd invest in a breastfeeding chair (low rise) to save my aching feet.

2) I imagined that breastfeeding would be this peaceful, gentle time but Evelynne had other ideas. Since being just weeks old her favourite thing to do whilst feeding is to bounce her legs up and down, frequently kicking me in the head. As she got stronger she became very adept at trying to back-flip off her feeding pillow mid-boob!

3) When Mr Butterfly and I attended our prenatal class there was a demonstration of breastfeeding the baby in a sling. In theory you can breastfeed on the go. Fast forward 4 months and I've got two large breasts and a 6lb baby stuffed in a sling and the baby was definitely outnumbered! Trying to latch her without my GGs engulfing her entire head was impossible - no feed and go for this busty Mummy!

4) I had zero volume change during pregnancy and breastfeeding which completely threw me. I'd had clients who went up 3 cup volumes in their first trimester so I was prepared for a change to my 32GG pre-pregnancy size. I had to switch to a 34G, which is the same volume as a 32GG but on a longer band, because I just couldn't wear my band as tight anymore but the rite of passage size increase never happened and it made me wonder whether my milk would come in. Evelynne was a little early and I was induced so my milk needed a little encouragement with a breast pump. I rented a hospital grade pump and I'm so glad I did because I really don't like pumping so at least the hospital grade pump made the whole thing faster (I rented from London Drugs).

5) I've been really fortunate that I haven't had painful nipples from breastfeeding. Evelynne latches well and even with the emergence of teeth her latch is still comfortable. However, I didn't account for "boobs meet razor sharp baby talons". Keeping a baby's nails short can be tricky and they seem to go from manageable to machete-like over night! Every now and then my boobs look like they've had a run in with a tiny Edward Scissorhands. A little antiseptic cream helped the angriest scratches.

The unexpected acrobatics and physical injuries have only added to the incredibly journey that has been breastfeeding. I feel incredibly lucky that I've been able to experience breastfeeding, mini-Wolverine scratches 'n' all! xx