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BOOBS FOR DAYS

*Disclaimer - this is purely my lived experience, please seek medical advice from a lactation consultant, paediatrician or the Australian Breastfeeding Association Helpline on 1800 686 268.

OH MY GOD. BREASTFEEDING...

If you've done it, about to start, know a new mama or will in the future - please know this one is bloody brutally honest... so brace yourself.


Let me start with: This is HANDS DOWN THE hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Let me just applaud our mothers and grandmothers who kept the difficulties of breastfeeding a GOD DAM SECRET for so long. WHY? … they must block it all out so that it doesn't taint their love for their children!


I’m still breastfeeding exclusively - 6 months and going strong but my god the first bit nearly broke me. This blog is going to be brutal to a lot of advice givers and not an overly positive account of my journey but IT HAS to be shared.


The world and in particular women are doing ourselves an injustice… we have these bloody beautiful baby showers where we dream of our outfits, cakes, custom cookies, names, balloons, flowers etc when we know NOTHING and maybe I was just an uneducated idiot but I swear no one really told me much, or perhaps I didn’t want to listen. I'll paint you a picture... I was living in a Covid world and all the antenatal classes were cancelled so that probably didn’t help. After birth I really felt someone literally dropped a kid on me (quite literally) did a quick slice and dice to me (emergency c section) and then gave me that much mixed information and sent me on my way with no bloody idea.



Can I just say the amount of times someone has said to me “ you're so lucky you could breastfeed,” I feel like saying “Listen here bitch it ain’t luck it was BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS and PERSEVERANCE". It was also:

- 5 weeks of me crying my arse off to my husband about how f*cked it was”,

- A CMPI (cows milk protein allergy) showing up in symptoms like colic

- Literally me gripping the walls of my shower as the water hit my giant painful double H size boobs!

- It was some bloody gorgeous size 6 chick with an A cup in a bra fitting change room seeing me in my disposable underpants (7 days postpartum) being told good news your not a size 14 but a 12I

- It was me lying down on my side to feed Stormy because I was too sore from a C section and back pain to hold him and not bloody suffocate the kid.


Let’s start with the baby shower… mine was beautiful. Since I loved shopping for baby clothes, I told my amazing friends I wanted only functional mum stuff as I knew nothing really. I got everything a new mum could ever want and it’s actually saved me a fortune and set me up to succeed. My hilarious friend Kate who also didn’t have kids commented - JESUS are the nipples really this bad, what’s the GO! The mums all laughed - hahahahhaha if I knew what I know now I would have taken my nipples to a 5 star restaurant and wined and dined them in preparation for the trauma they were about to endure or maybe I would have just had a funeral for my boobs.


Then the birth (no major details, that’s for another day) but induction, 12 hours of labour and then emergency c section. Stormy latched straight away but my milk didn’t come in for over a week and stormy lost over 10% of his birth weight.




Looking back things that were NOT helpful:

  • Comments like “wait to see if you need a pump” - everyone I've ever spoken to needed a bloody pump.

  • Multiple midwives telling you how to latch but all having different advice

  • Formula top ups as it affected my supply (lucky Stormy wouldn't take the formula but so many mums could never get enough supply and some put it down to the top ups).

  • Comments like "it shouldn’t hurt if your doing it properly"! For GODS SAKE - I don’t know anybody that has had someone attached to their nipples every minute of the day before having a baby? OF COURSE it’s going to hurt you morons - unless you’ve got some kinky ass partner that’s going ham on your nipples all hours of the day!!!

  • I must admit that I really struggled with the older midwives, there was just no sympathy and some of them I swear had no souls. I get it they see us silly women all the time that can’t get our shit together and they have kids and have done it all before. But the older ones I had were the tough love type. In my broken state I needed a god dam therapist who soaked my nipples in numbing cream and cried with me.

  • Syringing collustrum, pumping, waking the baby every 2 hours to feed and my milk not coming in for way too long.

  • The fact that my husband didn’t have any milk in his boobs.


HELPFUL THINGS:

  • All of the stuff my mum friends got me at my baby shower, nipple pads, creams, bottles, letdown pumps, shields - SAVED MY LIFE.

  • The beautiful midwives who actually helped and showed empathy - the ones with me at 2am, 3am and 4am teaching me stuff I never thought I'd master - THANK YOU ANGELS

  • My midwife Hayley at the Versace who I was just an absolute monster to but somehow she was still the nicest person I've ever met.

  • The fruit pack my godparents sent me

  • MY HUSBAND: who was up with me, sterilising, cleaning, giving me boob bikkies, making me tea, burping Stormy, cuddling me and Stormy, dealing with my non stop crying from the hormones. Every time I looked at him in that period of my life I cried - he was a godsend.

  • Visits from my mum and mother in law... the only people that truly knew how I felt.

Things that are normal but I had no idea:

  • Milk not coming in straight away due to traumatic birth

  • Horrendous sore nipples/boobs for 5 - 6 weeks postpartum

  • Gigantic boobs - like did you know it goes past DD? I DO NOW!

  • The baby usually loses some of it's birth weight when the milk doesn't come in for the first few days.

  • One boob can be favoured and that was normal.

  • Milk being yellow at the start as it’s collostrum and it's super gross looking!

  • New mums are highly likely to form an addiction to breast milk cookies!!

  • Anxiety about feeding in public and having to be home to feed in the beginning.


At one point I told my mum, "I won’t be going out anymore". Until my beautiful friend Aimee lent me her breastfeeding cover. It changed my life… Here is a link to the ones I sell - the best thing ever for the first few days in the hospital.

- I would be lost without it and all new mums need one for those first few days when your dad, father in law, brother and doctors walk into your room to visit and your starkers with the big canons out like a deer in headlights! Oh new mums you know the feels!! haha


- So for 5 weeks I bloody struggled. We found out Stormy had a cows milk protein allergy and that apparently is as common as 1 in 4 babies according to my paediatrician.


Image taken from milkandlove.com.au


It showed up as stringy poos and only that I randomly asked at a check up did we even find out, but he was a different baby once I changed my diet. Lucky me this meant I have been unable to eat dairy or soy for 5 months now - FML the shit we do for our kids.

So next time you ask someone “are you going to breastfeed?” you should really say “ book those nips into Versace for a seafood buffet the poor suckers don’t know what’s coming”


The other thing I’m going to say is: the shame and degrading comments to mums who feed their babies formula - SHAME on you… how dare you pass judgement unless your living their journey? you need to SHUT UP quite frankly. Being a first time mum is tough shit and breastfeeding for me personally nearly sent me over the edge in the beginning of motherhood. It’s something we have been told all our lives that we were born to do it yet it’s not easy and in fact most people I know can’t do it or went through too much to continue to breastfeed.


This blog was big I know but all jokes aside - breastfeeding is HARD, it can be done yes, but it’s not easy and no-one sat me down and told me how bloody difficult it can be.


I’m still going because... 1. It’s easier now 2. Stormy is still CMPI 3. He hasn’t been taking a bottle 4. He doesn’t like the taste of the prescription dairy free formulas Please know that I miss out on big drinking sessions, dairy and soy products, sharing overnight feeds and most of the time - sleep. I also can't really wear dresses without buttons and I have come to terms with the fact that my boobs may never return to DD - motherhood for sure is a sacrifice.

I hope this helps someone who is about to have a baby, currently breastfeeding or a mum bloody thinking back to that intense time in their life - YOU ARE A BAD ASS BITCH! Tag those new mums... they need this one for sure. Bliss xx Ps… too much? love your comments and feedback. www.stormyandme.com




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