More breast talk. The community midwife support worker visited the house last week. We went over what we’d discussed in the ante-natal class about breastfeeding (which was good because I’d forgotten half of it) and she gave me some practice in holding a doll in the position they’ll recommend for feeding. She left a whole host of leaflets on the table with advice on cot death, contraception, nappies (including pictures of poo so we can see what colours it will be – pity the poor soul who had to take those shots…) as well as feeding. It’s all preparation as they’ll be on hand at the hospital to help you to start with and she can come back to the house to coincide with a feeding time if I want her there once the baby’s born.
Shall we just have a moment to celebrate the wonder that is the NHS midwifery service? Yes, let’s.
Right, and carry on. I’m definitely keen to breastfeed and really hope I can do it right. Is there anything else on the planet where your instructions to do it properly include the line “tickle the baby’s nose with your nipple…?” Isn’t that hilarious and sweet at the same time? I want to use it to lose as much weight as possible and to save us some money, as well as it being good for the baby obviously.
(My bridesmaid’s dress for my sister’s wedding has been sent to me and I’ve found a dressmaker who can do alterations 2-3 weeks before the wedding. If the baby needs to be induced, then there will only be 2-3 weeks to go anyway so I’ll need to be at her shop as soon as I’ve given birth… eek! Since there will clearly not be time to lose anything at all before the wedding I feel the answer may lie in a large pair of control pants.)
But it’s important not to get too hung up on breastfeeding. There are constant reports of women feeling pressured to breastfeed and getting upset if they have trouble. Clearly I want to avoid this if possible. The community midwife was very clear on it needing practice and not to expect instant results. Perseverance is the key. And not getting stressed. And tickling her nose with my nipple.
And talking of such things in a unrelated context, it turns out that there’s all kinds of stuff people “know” about breastfeeding that I was completely unaware of. Some will tell you that if you’re breastfeeding then you don’t need contraception. What? Someone mentioned it at our ante-natal class and I thought it sounded like an old wives tale. But lots of people had heard of this. Come on, really? The midwife was pretty dismissive and said you really should be using other methods too. Having said that, the leaflet from the midwife did mention ‘natural’ contraception methods. Did they mean the rhythm method? In this day and age? Really?
With this in mind and while praying for my libido to reappear after the birth (it’s not as daft as it sounds – one couple were discovered doing it in a maternity ward bed by a midwife so why not me? Well, not the public exhibitionism but the urge…) my husband and I added a box of condoms to our weekly shop. (Incidentally, aren’t they expensive these days? No wonder the 13-year olds want access to the pill.) If you want to feel ridiculous I recommend buying a packet of condoms when you’re nine months pregnant – it must have been all the checkout woman could do not to say “Aren’t you a bit late for those?”
And apparently breastfeeding may delay periods too. Not that I’m keen to have them back but my mooncup may disintegrate through lack of use… So I suppose those two things are related. Still, let’s not take any chances shall we?