Breastfeeding a first baby is quite different from breastfeeding subsequent children…when you have more than one it goes something like this… The first few days…
- the days and nights merge into one big long day when everyone sleeps except you
- feeding can be a bit awkward even if you have done it before – different babies feed differently so don’t expect to be a instant expert or your baby to for that matter
- you try to sit comfortably to feed with a feeding cushion or in a special chair perhaps
- you try to ensure you grab a drink, your phone and perhaps the remote as you may be sometime
- you think about the ‘optimal feeding position’ , checking nose to nipple, tummy to mummy and so on
- wait… are all the other children ok? can you see/hear them? do they need anything?
- you ponder over what to wear everyday, asking yourself, can I feed in this?
Once feeding is established…
- after a few weeks you start to relax
- you are into a rhythm and so is your baby
- you don’t worry so much about what you are wearing as you have learnt to improvise
- you can predict more when your bay might be getting hungry and try and ensure this doesn’t clash with requirements of other family members
- you are still feeding at night but it is less chaotic than it once was
- you can feed in a range of positions and you are less awkward
- you no longer need to worry about optimal feeding position as your baby can latch well without too much bother
- everyone else still sleeps more than you but you are a machine…you can do it!
You know you are an expert when…
- you can feed standing up, walking around the house giving instructions to other family members or ‘supervising’ something
- you can feed whilst: cooking dinner; emptying the washing machine; loading the tumble dryer; bathing the older children; loading the dishwasher; typing; phoning someone; signing for a parcel and so on…
- you no longer care about what you are wearing, that boob can find its way out somehow
- you breastfeed during school plays, sat in car parks, walking around the supermarket, watching swimming lessons, karate lessons, horse riding lessons and whilst reading stories and helping with homework
- you have forgotten what your breastfeeding cushion looks like!
- optimal feeding positions are laughable