When I found out I was pregnant with my little boy, Freddie, I instantly knew I wanted to try Breastfeeding and luckily I was able too. Fourteen months down the line and we are still feeding (now and then). Never did I think I'd get the hang of it and I must admit I have been quite shocked and learnt a few things within the fourteen months of breastfeeding. There are a lot of things I wish I had known before I started and things I kind of guessed that would have happened. I had a few bits of advice from a couple of friends who breastfed their little ones, but otherwise nothing about the honest reality of it all. 

I got super attached with Freddie from the first ever feed. Something felt so different than feeding with a bottle. There is a different kind of bond, a special bond that you can't really explain unless you breastfeed. I absolutely loved it and although it did bring me to some difficult situations months ahead later, such as letting other people hold and cuddle him, letting other people take him out for a walk and so on. Not only was I attached, Freddie was too. It took him a very long time to get used to my partner, his own Dad. Because he was so used to me and constantly feeding, he never really had that bond with his Dad. Fourteen months down the line and Freddie absolutely adores his Dad, their bond is just as close as ours. 

In the beginning, your nipples will feel sore. You will then kind of get used to it and they won't be sore anymore, but when the teeth start to cut through you will probably feel sore again. I just constantly used the nipple cream when I started to feel any kind of pain during or after feeding. When they have most of their teeth through (like Freddie) be prepared for that first bite. Yup, it flipping hurts - really bad. Freddie has bitten me a few times and it's so painful. If you react - expect them to try it again. 

Right at the beginning, I was always told, if it hurts while feeding then all I needed to do was unlatch and latch back on again. Yes, this was the case sometimes but not every time. Your nipples do get sore at the beginning. Think of it as your nipples just need to get used to it - eventually, it doesn't hurt. 

That first week or two where your boobs go massive as they're full of milk, if you've formula fed then you will know - it bloody well hurts. Well, if you're breastfeeding, your boobs will still go massive and you still have to feed through it. It's not comfortable and I remember having some tears while feeding Freddie in those days. It hurts. But does get better. 

Baby can feed every 10 or 20 minutes or more. Freddie was awful with cluster feeding, although it didn't really bother me at the time (sometimes it did). It was hard when I had so many things to do but then he was constantly stuck on me. There were many times where he would feed for 20-30 minutes, then have a little break, only to feed again 10 or so minutes later - that was a pain. It can last for a few months or come from time to time.

At the beginning I just wore my normal underwired padded bra - big mistake. I honestly wish I'd known how comfortable nursing bras were as I would have worn them during my pregnancy too more than likely. When I bought my first ones, they were amazing and still to this day, I love wearing them. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go back to wearing my underwired ones, though.

I think most breastfeeding Mums get all the nerves for breastfeeding in public. Especially with all the negativity that's going on at the moment - which is a big shame. It took me a while to get used to feeding in public but I'm glad I did it from that first time I did. I don't feed out in public now, main reason being, he never wants a feed when were are out. 

Ok, milk squirt sounds odd - sorry! But yep, it does happen. So many times I've been feeding Freddie, he unlatches and milk squirts out either to the other side of the room or as many times, in Freddie's face. It's strange but absolutely hilarious. Leaking on the other hand is a nightmare, especially if you leak out in public (yep, happened to me a few times). Tommee Tippee breast pads were my favourite but I have heard others using re-useable breast pads that they recommend. 

Breastfeeding is hard. I never knew I'd have such an up and down experience of breastfeeding. I've hated it, I've cried, I've loved it - you name it. I've felt it all. The strange thing about breastfeeding is - it's exhausting. Although you are just sitting down feeding your baby, it's tiring. It's like the baby feeding on your is taking out all your energy. But it could also be that you're the one constantly doing all the feeds, there's cluster feeding and the rest. You don't know how much your baby has drank and it definitely doesn't fill baby up as much as a formula feed would - so feeding is more enough - on demand. 

If you've read my old blog posts, you may know that my two girls were formula fed. They've never seen or heard anyone breastfeeding before. It's just never been a topic of conversation. We did tell them while I was pregnant with Freddie that he would be breastfed and not be drinking out of the bottle. They were confused - especially Mia. She didn't seem that happy with it. Elliw, on the other hand, was a little confused but kind of 'got it' a bit more. She even shouted "is baby going feed off your boob Mam?" in public - in a supermarket. That was super embarrassing but something funny to remember. 

When Freddie was born, Mia was disgusted in me breastfeeding. She never wanted to see and always told me to start feeding him with a bottle. She even said it was disgusting, but after time she got used to it. Although, she did get embarrassed at times - such as feeding out in public. Elliw was total the opposite and asked lots of questions and even started 'feeding' her dolls the same, it was super adorable. 

I remember seeing so many breastfeeding clothing during my pregnancy and always throught "should I buy them?" but I am so glad I didn't. My favourite piece to wear is a cami vest that I bought from Primark for £4. I always wear it under any clothing I have. A breastfeeding vest can cost up to £20 or more, which is absolutely ridiculous and I honestly do not understand why people them. However, saying that, there are some clothing which are handy if they are breastfeeding ones, such as certain dresses etc. I live in shorts and vests and still do. 

When I started feeding, I did think about roughly when I should stop but it was more so to where I wanted to reach - something like a goal. But I didn't think about how I would feel about it and now that Freddie is 14 months old and has actually refused a couple of feeds - it seems as if he is weaning himself off slowly. It makes me so sad and the thought of never breastfeeding again is strange. I'm not quite sure how I am going to feel once he stops feeding all together. Something no one really prepared me for. 

Another random thing I found while I've been breastfeeding is how certain things that people say can really annoy me and even upset me. The worst thing someone can say to a breastfeeding Mum, especially in the early days is "Have you thought about bottle feeding?" and using the excuses that we need a 'break' and so on. Many different people have said things to me that have upset me - some more than others. I don't think they knew that it was upsetting me and I'm sure they didn't say it to upset me, but when you are trying your best with something that you love doing or even struggling to do - the last thing you need is negative comments. 

Here are a few other posts you may be interested in reading:

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