Yes, I said it!
Firstly, let me start off by saying that there is nothing to be embarrassed about...I have them, you have them and they come in all different shapes and sizes. This week at Mamamade we are celebrating world breastfeeding week, and we are here to let loose and be proud!
No matter what people say, boobs or "breasts" whatever you want to call them "they are great!" Not only do they guard you against impactful Lego blocks and Disney dolls, but they are also a part of your body that Mother Nature was thoughtful and considerate about. So, even though it's not a shocker how important they are, it CAN BE a shock just how rapidly and significantly they can change before, during, and after pregnancy.
Here are a few things you should know about breastfeeding...
The body doesn't like to waste time! ⏰
As soon as you've delivered your baby your body gets to work. A hormone called prolactin is released to trigger your milk-making machinery. The first fluid that your boobs will produce is known as colostrum, It's a thick, concentrated food that is rich in all the good stuff your baby needs after being brought into the world. From then on, your baby's sucking motion on the nipples will continue to stimulate the production of "Actual milk" within the next few days.
It's not easy and it's definitely not for everyone! 💯
When you've mastered the skill of latching (which helps to create a comfortable breastfeeding experience for both mother and baby), your milk will come through, meaning that your boobs will feel bigger, heavier, lumpier, and for most women painful. Yikes. Feeding on demand helps provide a lot of relief. During those first crucial weeks, your baby will most likely feed at least 8-12 times (more is also normal!) every 24 hours.
Breastfeeding isn't always intuitive and most of the time it can be very tricky to start off with. And news flash: it's NOT normal for it to be painful (whatever your granny might say...) So please don't be a hero and feel like you can't ask for help! Whether it be from your midwife, friend, family member, or a lactation expert you can always find support close by.
- If your boobs feel heavy or start to leak.. let it out!! That's your body's way of saying "it's time to unload the baggage". That could mean breastfeeding or pumping time.
- Don't feel like you have to! If breastfeeding isn't working for you, don't push yourself too much! you just grew and popped a watermelon out of a peephole. There are always other methods to feed your baby. Yes, breast is not always the best option. At Mamamade we encourage freedom of choice. It's the 21st century - you deserve to do you! And you also deserve the right support if you do want to breastfeed but are struggling.
Image Source @Mothermusemag
Society Standard! 👀
For as long as we can remember boobs have been sexualised and have been made into a taboo. A survey conducted by Public Health England found that "6 out of 10 women who breastfeed felt self-conscious and took steps to hide in public, a third felt embarrassed or uncomfortable nursing outside the home".
- We at Mamamade believe that this mentality and sexual bias has got to change, and the first step toward change is knowing your rights. Did you know that it is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public space, such as a cafe, shop or public transport?
- The law is on your side and so are we!!
You Are Not Alone! 💕
Most people including expecting and new mums are clueless about postpartum boobs. It seems as though everyone is so focused on everything else, no one talks about the aftermath of your mothering breasts! Whether you choose to breastfeed or not your boobs will change (sorry!). The flow of milk production and stock management within your newly plumpy breasts will eventually result in a hit of gravity. It does depend on your genetics and luck! We know that one boob will always be a bit bigger than the other, but this is notched up and possibly more noticeable. You may even get some stretch marks (or as we like to call them "ocean waves on your body"...ahh how majestic).
Let us share with you some tips and tricks of the trade:
- Wear a supportive bra. I can't stress enough the importance of getting a bra fitting! Yes, I know bras can be uncomfortable and most of the time you can't wait to fling them off - but they really do help. Firstly, the bra holds your boobs in place. Secondly, it gives you that little lift, and thirdly, it helps with your posture and postpartum back pain (ooooh...the back pain).
- You need to own two sets of bras. One would be the comfies. Those are the boob huggers that you need on a rough day or when you're lounging around. Second, we can call the confidence boosters: The sexy set that you put on not for anyone but yourself! You've been through a lot and body change can be so hard to adjust to. You need to support yourself and understand this new you, because if you don't then no one else will.
- Moisturise and massage! This is a great way to keep your skin hydrated and reduce the aggressiveness of stretch marks. While you're there, may as well take the time to look for any lumps and bumps, because you are never too old or too young to develop breast cancer. Flick through our Instagram to find a post on "How to check your boobs", If you're still unsure consult a doctor or your local GP.
Treat Yourself, You Deserve it! 👑
Thank you for tuning into our get-to-know-your-boobs session 💪🏼
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!