Sometimes breastfeeding has its drawbacks. Yes, it provides vitamins and minerals, quenches a thirst, creates a bond la la la…However, there are times when ones milk flow is more of a hinderance than a help.
I think every pregnant woman who wishes to provide a udderly great start for their new-born, knows to expect some kind of pain when breastfeeding. It wasnt enough for God to give us the task of bearing young, He followed that up with severe sleep deprivation, delirium, and a week of grating your nipples, slowly, against a cheese-grater! Yes, that’s how the milk providing starts.
Here are a few of my milky mishaps:
When my littl’un was four days old she suddenly started vomiting blood. It was midnight. I hadn’t slept for a week. My four day old daughter was dying. Or so I thought. In a mad panic, we rushed to A&E – I didn’t even get dressed! After a thorough check the lovely young Doctor advised us that my little one was simply expelling the blood she had taken from my breast!!
Aaarrghhh, I’m poisoning my child!! What? She’s drinking blood from my boob? Oh my God, I’ve given birth to Bella from Twilight! I was horrified. I was in agony. She was in agony (well, apparently not but you don’t drink blood and feel ok, surely?!) – this breastfeeding lark is vicious!
Having fed the littl’un at some point before or during a visit to my work place for a ‘show around’ (I used to hate that!! When women bring their babies into the office…I’m now one of them!). I made my way home on a one hour train journey, then a twenty-minute bus ride. When I got home, I discovered that after having fed her, I had not replaced my boob. I had therefore been walking around central london with one boob in the bra and one boob, dangling freely, out the bra!! It was the middle of summer, you can only imagine how it looked! Lord only knows if I was like that in the office, it’s not as though I would ask my boss..‘oh by the way, you know the other day, I didn’t misplace a nipple on your desk did I?’
On the Road
Having not driven for ten years since I got my licence, I decided I was going to retire my personal taxi man (him indoors) and get back on the road. I had never, ever, driven on a motorway. One day, I took the plunge with missy in the car seat and satnav in place, to drive a whole hour out of london on the motorway, to visit a friend in Windsor. I was doing very well. Until, the satnav told me to ‘carry on in the right lane and head to the M4’. This translated in my brain to ‘panic!!! Go into a milk producing frenzy right now and squirt your milk all over the windscreen!’. I don’t know what happened. My jugs filled up straight away and lactated through my bra, through my top and dripped like a leaking tap. This hadn’t happened for ages (yes, it is a frequent thing in the early days). No change of bra, no change of top.. what’s a mother to do? Open the window and let it dry off. Wrong! When wearing a white top, this only makes it worse by yellowing the stain into two big frayed round blotches of crusty dried milk. It really isn’t great when you can’t fix or control your own plumbing!
Keeping it in the Family
Whilst visiting the in-laws in Italy, I was told to drink beer to increase the milk production. Odd but it worked. My knockers were bulging. I was breastfeeding in a corner of the room, peacefully. Then the father-in-law came home mid feed. I thought I would stay put seeing as I was well covered and the littl’un was almost asleep. He came and sat next to me to ogle his new granddaughter. At the time, I thought there was something quite wrong about that. In hindsight, I now know that the wrong bit was when littl’un, awakened by the voices, plopped herself off the boob and milk squirted right in father-in-laws direction, all over his knee! He let out a yelp, well, more of an “Eeeeeeeeehhhh” (you can imagine the Italian hands flying!) as if I had done it on purpose!!! No, I really didn’t, these things have a mind of their own, I’m just playing host for a while: Naughty boobie, don’t EVER do that again!!