Here at Milkbar we LOVE sharing breastfeeding stories and hearing from our online community about their own experiences. Nothing #normalisesbreastfeeding more than writing, speaking and sharing all things boobin' related, which is why we're starting a brand new series of blogs where we speak to Milkbar mamas about how breastfeeding has unfolded for them.
From first time mamas to exclusive pumpers, those battling over and under supply, tongue ties, mastitis and everything in between, we are SO excited to share their words and experiences with you. We hope these stories will inspire, give you some tips for your own breastfeeding experience and help those walking a similar path to feel less alone.
Alex is a first time mama exclusively breastfeeding her baby boy. After having her mind blown by just how full on your milk 'coming in' in can be (ouch) and battling engorgement in the early days, Alex also initially struggled to come to terms with her changing body (and boobs). Now, 6.5 months on, Alex and her son have found their groove.
The early days can be hard to manage, especially when you're breastfeeding for the very first time. "The most unexpected part of breastfeeding for me was how painful it can be at first," says Alex. "No one informed me of what actually happens when "the milk comes in"! My body was in shock, and my breasts were so engorged and tender until the milk started flowing," she remembers, "As a first time mum it was challenging when bub was cluster feeding. The sleep deprivation is real!"
Pregnancy and breastfeeding has a huge impact on the way your body looks, and, sometimes more importantly, how you feel about it. For Alex, adjusting to being her little ones sole source of nutrition took a bit of getting used to but she quickly realised just how amazing the power of making milk really is. "I love breastfeeding and I feel powerful being able to give my little one the best and most nutritious feed he can have," she says. "The most challenging part for me is choosing to gain weight by eating more nutritious calories to produce more nutritious milk for my baby," Alex adds. "It took me a while but I love my body now more than ever! As long as my little one is growing healthy and strong, all is well."
It might be tough at times but breastfeeding has some pretty awesome moments. "My favourite thing about breastfeeding is having the sweetest moments with my baby boy, especially when we're both staring at each others faces while I nurse," says Alex. "I feel empowered being able to feed him with my own body and seeing him grow healthy and strong because of it," she adds. "There's just a special bond that a mama and baby have."
For the majority of us, consciously moving away from single use, non recyclable/biodegradable products is something we are actively committed to, but it can become overwhelming at times, especially working out where to start. While these easy eco-friendly product swaps aren't going to change the world overnight, they help us to play a small role in the greater good.
There is no doubt about it; breastfeeding is tough. It can take a huge toll on all aspects of your life, from your physical health right through to your mental and emotional wellbeing and even your relationship. Breastfeeding has the power to drain not only your boobs, but a big chunk of your life force. We get it. As breastfeeding mamas ourselves, we've been there. And we're here to tell you that there are ways to take care of your babies mama (AKA you) even when you're boobin' round the clock.