If breastfeeding is ‘the most natural thing in the world’ then why is it so hard? I haven’t been trying myself before you think I’ve gone full-weirdo, although I was tempted to have a go on the breast pump, (see yesterday)
My wife is determined to breastfeed or at least continue expressing milk for the boys to bottle feed on. Especially as Zac is still in Alder Hey after his operation and despite Ben being here with us at the Women’s Hospital, neither are actually with us in our room yet. This is heart wrenching as she’s not seen them both together since the birth.
So breastfeeding has become even more important to her to fill the gap in what, as a new mother, she feels is neglect but in reality is necessity – she cannot leave the Women’s Hospital yet. And breastfeeding mirrors parenting in that every person you speak to tells you something completely different.
‘Softly does it.’
‘BANG THEM SHUT IN THE DOOR!’
The only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that the woman should be relaxed. This means that my role is once again to shut my mouth, as at the birth. I get this Tourettes-level impulse to mutter ‘milky, milky’ when she’s trying to get in the zone, which is helping no-one.
One woman we’d never met before came into our hospital room late last night and tried to demonstrate a much more aggressive technique on my wife’s chesticles. I'm still not sure she definitely worked there.
We got told B.A.M.B.I.S. (Babies & Mums Breastfeeding Information and Support) were coming in today. They’re a group of mothers who are passionate about breastfeeding and help new mums to get to grips with it. The way they were described to me they sounded like a 1970’s Nation of Islam style aggressive paramilitary group, bullying women into lactating through brute force. I was waiting to hear them goose-stepping down the hospital corridors while Darth Vader’s music played.
The truth was that they were the polar opposite – helpful, supportive, friendly and they really put my wife’s mind at rest. If you want to breastfeed, their website is here. If you don’t, I’d probably not contact them if I were you. It’d be a bit weird.