You can’t breastfeed. So what?!!! Everyone has a different feeding journey with their baby and one thing I want to be clear about is whatever yours may be- expressing, formula, breastfeeding or a combination, we as women need to stand together, unite and encourage each other. Motherhood is tough enough and we must support each other. Even though every journey is different and unfortunately doesn’t always go the way we plan, we are all in it together and so we need to build up our fellow mothers, not judge or tear apart for choices beyond our control.
If you read my BLOG ‘Expressing Chose Me’ you will learn about my journey and how I became an ‘Expressing Mumma’. Naturally, at first I was upset that I didn’t get the chance to breastfeed my baby, however, I soon realised that I need to look on the bright side, accept the situation and acknowledge the positives. Therefore, I have included a list of what I believe are the positives of being an Expressing Mumma below. So if you are expressing like me, the following may give you a little bit of encouragement to continue and see a bright side to your situation.
1) Most importantly your baby is still able to receive the goodness of breast milk. It may not be directly off the breast but they still get all the nutrients, that can’t be recreated in formula. Breast milk has anti-bodies for immunity, the right level of fats, protein and minerals, it is good for babies health, there is less chance of obesity, it is better for the bowels, and it also helps the mother’s body post birth, plus many more. You just need to google or ask your doctor if you are looking for even more benefits to giving your baby breast milk!
2) You know how much your baby is receiving each feed. Good if you need to focus on baby’s weight. This was important to us in the first few weeks.
3) Feeding on the go…. Babies can be feed in a range of places that breast babies can’t. In their car seat, while you are out hiking (yes I have done this!), in the pram on the move, walking around the shops, etc.
4) Body Conscious: I have nothing against people who breast feed in public and I’m all for supporting it. My sisters do it, my mother did it and my friends do it. However, I personally have always been very self-conscious and a body conscious person, I even hate wearing bathers at the beach in summer! So it is a benefit for me to know I can feed my baby her specially prepared milk where and whenever I like.
5) Other people can help feed your baby if you choose. My husband helps out and it has created an extra special bond between him and bubs. This can also be very handy at 3am, if you need to go out or if you are heading back to work.
6) No baby biting or chewing on your nipples! Especially once they grow a few teeth!! A friend shared this one with me!
7) Less likely to suffer from cracked nipples! (See above!)
8) Control: You can regulate the amount of milk your baby gets and the speed at which they receive it. Good if you have fast milk flow or you are interested in the quantity baby is taking. Friends have shared how they need to lie on their back or in crazy breast feeding positions as their milk flow is faster than their baby’s ability to take in the milk.
9) No unflateering maternity wear: Depending on your expressing routine, I found that I did not need to wear breast feeding/ nursing tops. This was good as I found that unlike my beautiful breast feeding friends when I was out I could wear what I wanted, as there was no need to be lifting my top or unclasping my bra every time baby wanted to feed or have that annoying a 3 second feed. So expressing gives me a greater range of clothing options as well as not having to worry about special maternity bras- unless I choose to.
I am sure there are even more positives to expressing, so please email me if you have any more you would like me to add to this list.
So in conclusion I really hope that if you were feeling a bit down, or if you need some encouragement, and were thinking to yourself why am I doing this?? or wondering if expressing is really worth all the effort?? I hope the above list will help you feel more positive and encourage you to keep persevering. REMEMBER….you are doing an absolutely fabulous job! You’ve got what it takes! I know you can do it!!!! 🙂 Keep going!! Think of that wonderful breast milk!!! 🙂