The amount of times I’ve been asked over the last week, how often and how long do you nurse baby, is astounding. And my answer has generally been
“well I dunno”
Followed by a rough guess based on my perception of the last 24 hours.
If you’d have asked me this at the start of my breastfeeding journey almost three years ago, I would have been able up reel off a set of accurate feeding times from the last 72 hours. Back then, when I was feeding I was doing nothing else, I sat, nursed and winded and nursed again to ensure she was fully tanked up. It was all about clock watching, and all too often that sense of failure when Babe wanted to nurse more than once in two hours. In summary it was a crap. I clock watched, I twitched, it almost became obsessive – to me and hubby. Why didn’t someone just tell us to let go and go with the flow? Literally. We felt pressurised particularly compared to bottle fed babies. When people made comments like “is she feeding again?”, it made matters worse.
If only I’d been educated enough, and confident enough to explain that when babies are born their stomach is about the size of a medium marble. Of course they need to nurse frequently.
This time I don’t count, I don’t keep checking the clock. He feeds when he wants to feed and we all just shuffle around that. I might pass him over to daddy to wind while cracking on with making a bit of the dinner and then resume feeding part way through for another five minutes. Daddy will then step in and finish off dinner. It’s this understanding and flexibility between my other half and I which I guess is instrumental in making this work so well.
Obviously going out is a bit trickier, but as I’m not bothered about nursing in public, it’s not such a big deal. I mainly need to tide him over for the car journey.
In summary, it’s relaxed and liberating. How come mothers (and fathers) aren’t made aware of the benefits of on demand feeding? If you’re feeling stressed out my all the clock watching, why not give it a go…try going with the flow.