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My Motherhood Journey & Breastfeeding experience

I breastfed my son for a grand total of 11 months. That equates to roughly 48,000 minutes of my life. It felt like a lifetime but by any stretch, I feel the time spent is an impressive achievement. Despite lockdown, 2020 was one honestly one of the most rewarding years of my life. In this blog, I’m looking back at what it means to be a new mother and why every single breastfeeding journey is both beautiful and different. Items gifted by Lily and Ribbon.

From my the moment my son was born, I knew there would be no other feeling in the world quite like it. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be Pushed to the Limit – my blog on this reveals what happened during my 48 hour labour. Once Sebastian was born, the feeling of pride continued to burst out of my chest for months (and I’m not talking about the ginormous, bulging boobs that comes with breastfeeding!) He was here, and he is all mine. I grew and birthed a baby, and it still doesn’t feel real, even to this day.

The struggles of breastfeeding

What they don’t tell you at NCT class is that it’s going to be hard. Very, very hard. Almost impossible at times. You have to learn to juggle being a parent, being a partner alongside dozens of other things. But I made the decision fairly early on that his dad was going to give him a night time bottle to help ease the strain and I would breastfeed solely throughout the day. It seemed like a fairly good compromise but a few days into January 2020, Sebastian who was doing so well on me suddenly decided to stop latching. Cue panic, and frustration and tears from us both. This made for an extremely turbulent time and I couldn’t understand what I was doing so wrong. What can I do to make sure my son eats? Why am I such a shit parent? There are so many anxious thoughts that rushed around my head during those first few weeks – and those 3AM feeds seemed the hardest thing. Looking back, I don’t know how anyone manages to survive on such little sleep but your body gets used to it. Life just feels like one giant blurry mess. Add the pressure of exhaustion and heightened emotions into the mix, breastfeeding my son for the first time was by far both the most rewarding, and most stressful time of my life.

Hair up, baby on my lap – feeling at ease and comfortable is important when breastfeeding…

Once I had a breastfeeding specialist visit a few times, she got me back on track and the rest I would say, is history. Fast forward to November 2020, after a mammoth 11 years of combi-feeding, I slowly began reducing my breastfeeding with Sebastian and turned completely to formula. There was no immediate moment it happened, but when my son grew teeth – and he began use my boobs as chew toys. That’s when I called time out. It’s time to stop. The solid bond we had for 11 months was suddenly snipped and there were a few moments I did question myself as to whether I wanted it to end. More importantly now, my mental health can take priority again. I can start to feel more like myself – and I can share the feeding duty with my boyfriend who has been a fantastic dad from the very start. I know a lot of mothers choose not to breastfeed or simply can’t, that is completely down to them how they wish to tackle the situation. As they say, fed is best.

During the final few months of 2020, the team at Lily and Ribbon gifted me some gorgeous pyjamas and a nursing jumper. I want to showcase them here if any pregnant or nursing parent is looking for some lovely clothes to wear. They can also be bought as gifts! Finding suitable clothing for breastfeeding isn’t the easiest thing to find, and I seem to recall lots of the clothing stores online are bulky and frumpy. Thankfully, Lily and Ribbon got in touch and I’m happy to say each item of clothing is fashionable as they are functional. The colours are also stunning, I love these pyjamas so much I still wear them even now.

Ad – Items gifted by nursing and maternity wear, Lily and Ribbon

Pink Bamboo Maternity & Nursing Pyjamas (£45). The pyjama top has a panel for easy use breastfeeding. They come without any fiddly poppers, zips or buttons. They have been designed to fit a growing belly and the bottoms have a high, elastic waistband. These pyjamas are ideal for breastfeeding and would recommend to anyone! They’re lightweight and super comfy.

Ad – Items gifted by nursing and maternity wear, Lily and Ribbon

Star Grey Maternity & Nursing Jumper (£49) Made from soft 50% cotton, 50% acrylic blend – this crew neck knitwear jumper looks great when paired with your favourite maternity jeans. The clever zip access makes breastfeeding easy when out and about.

Have you ever found it hard to shop for breastfeeding clothes? I’m hoping this blog on Lily and Ribbon can point you in the right direction as their stock is both gorgeous and affordable. I certainly know where I’ll be shopping if baby number 2 is on the cards.

Please note, I was gifted these items in return for honest feedback. Head to the Lily and Ribbon shop to find out more on their brand ethics.

Emma Victoria Stokes

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