For the past three days I feel I’ve achieved very little outside of feeding baby. I’ve fought to put a load of washing on (we were running out of nappies, it was getting desperate!). I’ve cooked a simple meal. But for most of these three days I have had a very needy infant who is feeding, seemingly endlessly, who will not play next to me on the playmat but must instead be held. I’ve found myself grumbling “I want my boobs back” as it really feels they are now property of baby.
Most of the time I can find a way to deal with a day of increased need; thus far it’s happened on the odd random day. The difficulty this time has been two-fold: it’s been three consecutive days, and we’ve been in lockdown. Add to this I’m quite introverted and like my own personal space, and I guess it’s no wonder I’ve been a little tense and prone to tears.
I’ve had my husband with me, and he’s been fantastic at taking little one for an hour in the morning to give me a lie-in. He’ll sit and play with her so I can get some breathing space throughout the day. But he is still ‘other’ - and at the moment, baby wants mummy.
Now I know that she’s exhibiting normal infant behaviour: she’s boosting my milk supply because of an increased need; and she’s going through a phase of separation anxiety and seeks reassurance that I’m there. I can rationally know this, but it doesn’t mean that I find dealing with it easy all the time.
I sit here now, after the easiest bedtime we’ve had for a few days, and I can see that I went out to do the food shopping today; that change of scenery was enough to give me a breather and come back with renewed energy, so I’ve been calmer and more engaged for the rest of the day. I admitted this morning that I needed to alter my mindset and not worry that I won’t get my long list of chores done for a few days; and therefore I found being a couch potato not quite so frustrating this afternoon (in fact I relished the snuggle we had). I’m sure I’m going to have more days where I want my boobs back, and I’m not going to beat myself up for thinking and feeling this. After all, I am still an individual. But most of the time I’m happy to share my boobs with baby without complaint and give her the comfort (and nutrition) she needs.
All of us Milk Mentors peer supporters are or have been breastfeeding mums and we are here to support a wide range of breastfeeding related situations - whether that’s a latch that hurts, considering weaning, or dealing with a breastfeeding aversion. If you feel you want to chat to someone join one of our online support sessions, find us on Facebook, or get in touch with an individual peer supporter on a 1-2-1 basis via our website.