Babes and Breasts

One thing that became apparent to me the very moment that Daise entered this world was that the breast is a big part of the mothering experience. I remember the moment that she was placed on my chest (screaming) and thinking “oh shit, I am the only one in this room that can make her quiet” and I knew it was up to me and the girls.

Let’s get this clear. I found breastfeeding HARD. I think the very first feed that she had caused a graze, which then bled and got infected which in turn became mastitis which was misdiagnosed until I found myself in hospital 5 weeks later for 3 nights with a freakin’ breast abscess! I hated the midwives that suggested to me to put cabbage leaves on my swollen, hot, infected breasts (seriously like that was going to help me while I was on IV antibiotics), I hated the lactation consultants who told me to do it *this* way, then another one would tell me *this* way. It was all SO confusing and for the love of sweet baby jesus it HURT.

Then we eventually worked it all out – and after feeding through said abscess and the pain and tears of it all I really was glad that I stuck with it because we just worked it out after that – the milk came when she needed it, my boobs no longer resembled lumpy rock melons and it just kind of worked. Oh but the drama of it all! The opinions! The pain! And the tears…

I have been thinking about this all again because well my breasts are starting to look rock melony again and along with the fear of labour, I must say the fear of breastfeeding has been front of mind. I SO do not want to go through all that drama again. In fact, I am not really sure that I have it in me to keep going through all that – formula would be turned to much sooner because I have done it before so what’s the point in being a martyr about it all?

And an interesting discussion was had on the weekend between friends. My oldest and bestest friend who has just had a baby 4 weeks ago was having trouble with her milk coming in when she was in hospital. She had had a caesar so it was taking a little longer, and her little boy was HUNGRY! After 3 or 4 sleepless nights and going out of her brain she called her sister, who had a babe a few months ago to come in and feed her baby. She did, and Joe slept soundly for the first time since he had been born. She managed to get her shit together in the process so everyone was a winner. I must say I was a little shocked at first – I don’t know why – it is just breast milk and between sisters but still I was a little shocked. Maybe because I had never contemplated the thought before. And then I thought about it a little more, and it didn’t seem like such a bad idea to me at all. In fact it kind of made sense. In fact, I checked with her that she would still be feeding Joe when our babe is due in Oct and asked her to be on call.

But it was an interesting thought. Got me thinking. And got me wondering? Would you let another woman breastfeed your child? You know what? I think I would.


  1. I don’t think for me, personally, I would be able to do that. It would freak me out too much. I don’t have qualms about other people doing it with their babies, and I even think donating breastmilk is a fantastic idea, but for me breastfeeding is intimate, especially with a newborn, I’m not sure I would feel comfortable seeing my baby be that intimate with another woman. From a bottle I might be able to handle, but I’m not sure. However I was never able to breastfeed, my boobs simply do not work (I don’t even produce enough colostrum and I’ve never had milk come in), and my first son got severely sick when I tried to breastfeed him (he was so dehydrated he was on the verge of organ failure, and the midwives just kept telling me to feed him more, yup, helpful). The second time around I didn’t even bother trying, the guilt and pain from the first time was still too raw and formula it was. If breastfeeding had been sucessful for me then who knows, I might have a different view on it. But again, that’s for me personally. I’m generally pro-choice with breastfeeding and bottle feeding and am very much a “what works for you” kind of person.

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