I've always known I wanted to breastfeed if I was ever fortunate enough to have a baby. So, when those little blue lines confirmed that I was pregnant, I didn't give it a second thought, I would give breastfeeding my best shot!
Here I am, almost 8 months in, with a totally new understanding of what it means to breastfeed. I knew what it meant of course, I just never understood how amazing it could be. Tobias has fed beautifully from the word go. I have to say, we've been extremely lucky, there have been no hurdles along the way. Since entering the world of motherhood and chatting to other breastfeeding mums, I realise just how lucky we have been to avoid the challenges so many others face.
In those moments of chaos when we first brought Tobias home, our house (like many others) became a buzzing hub of family and friends keen to meet our new baby, the doorbell didn't seem to stop. It's already an overwhelming time, my partner I were busy adjusting to life as new parents, and I was recovering from giving birth. However, it was those peaceful moments of breastfeeding my sleepy newborn that centred me, and calmed my busy 'new mum mind'. The first couple of months seem like an endless cycle of feeding, they can be tough. Somedays you may find yourself asking if it will always be this time consuming and tiring. However, the cluster feeding will end, and I promise you, you'll miss those newborn feeds.
Now Tobias is a bright 7 month old boy, with a personality of his own. His breaks between feeds are significantly longer. He's started baby led weaning, and breastfeeding has once again taken on a whole new role. There's something very comical about breastfeeding your baby and watching as their head turns when they catch a glimpse of the television, or you look down and see that there's a bit of leftover rice cake on your nipple, or they take a break to look up at you and give you a little smile.
The nighttime feeds are still quiet and calming, often the fussing stops and he gently falls asleep. Some people have told me that I've made a rod for my own back by feeding on demand and feeding him to sleep. The way I see it is, as long as I'm willing to give this time to breastfeeding my son, then it shouldn't matter what anyone thinks. After all, in the grand scheme of things, these months of his life will be short, and before I know it he'll be in his own room and need no more than a kiss on the head to fall over to sleep.
I didn't realise how many ways breastfeeding would impact us. The bond itself is something you just cannot understand unless you've experienced it, it's hard to put into words.
My advice is simple, take each day as it comes. Never allow yourself to feel nervous about feeding in public. Your baby has every right to comfortably feed wherever and whenever they need to, and if anything you'll be helping to normalise something that shouldn't even need to be normalised. Join a breastfeeding Facebook group or get chatting to another breastfeeding mum, being able to relate to someone else will make you feel much stronger. And finally, enjoy it, relish every breastfeeding moment.