Friday, 28 October 2011

Breastfeeding: Beginings


My first impressions of breastfeeding were not entirely accurate. For all I had read it had not clicked yet that milk doesn't just instantly turn on. First comes a thick yellow liquid called colostrum. Then, a few days later real milk starts. For me, about four days after birth the yellow liquid became paler until by ten days after birth it was a thick creamy milky colour.

T minus 4 hours till Hunter's arrival...

Then there was the whole breast thing. Previously my breasts were sexual and sexy things, cleavage and decolletage, private. The more pregnant I got, the bigger they got, and as my milk was coming in they became a pin up dream- except that they had never felt less sexy in my entire life. All the hormones made my areolas very dark which was constantly shocking to me, every time I saw myself in the mirror was a complete eye widener.

Also I was both prepared and unprepared for the feeling of having someone suckle on my nipples. This little mouth that could barely open up wide enough to have the nipple fit inside, lips and tongue moving in a primal way, born knowing that this movement brings sustenance: it blew my mind. It was a total animal instinct moment, which interestingly solidified my thoughts on human evolution from primates. Nothing has ever felt so tribal, so animal as breastfeeding.

And lastly, there was the pain. Within 24 hours (and lets face it, a newborn child literally has a stomach capacity of mere teaspoons, so I wasn't feeding him often, and each feed was brief) my nipples felt weird. Unpleasant. Sort of sore. Nothing compared to the actual delivery of my baby or anything, but notable. The Midwife said that was normal and would soon pass. So I accepted it and prepared myself for it to pass.

1 comment:

  1. You've written so much about your breastfeeding experience, and so honestly. I'm always fascinated to hear actual birth experiences, too. Both of mine were so different and I think it's great for women to tell their story so that others know that different is still 'normal' and ok. Oh yeah, and mostly because I'm nosy.

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