ONE of the most difficult things to accept during pregnancy is that you are no longer in control of what is happening to you physically.
For me, it was a lesson I had to learn pretty quickly from the start – during the first three months I was terrified of losing my baby… and not being able to do a thing about it apart from stay positive and be healthy was a concept I found so difficult to get to grips with.
When it came to preparing for labour, I kept an open mind and my birth plan was as simple as ‘give birth to a healthy baby!’
This paid off in dividends when my waters broke three weeks before my due date and 36 hours later I had a wonderful baby boy in my arms. Not the drug-free home birth I had been flirting with the idea of, but I didn’t care as I hadn’t built up any expectations and was happy to have all the drugs available to me to ensure the birth went smoothly.
However when it came to breastfeeding – I had my heart set on it… And to find my premature baby was a bit too teeny tiny and tired out to get the hang of it, and hasn’t quite grasped it full-time since, has been heartbreaking. Even though in the grand scheme of things, it’s really, really not the worst thing that could have happened by any stretch of the imagination.
That’s not to say I haven’t tried absolutely everything to try and get him to breastfeed exclusively. My days have consisted of plenty of skin-to-skin time, putting baby to the boob sometimes for up to 2 hours before he latches, expressing six or seven times a day… It has been a huge effort.
I’ve also invested in all the best kit to enable me to breastfeed my baby including a top of the range electric breast pump, snazzy breastfeeding pillow, three kinds of nipple shields and Bravado were kind enough to send me their Essential Nursing Tank which is smart, discreet and mega easy to use in public.
It looks like a normal vest top but it has a built in bra (you buy it according to bra size) and each side unclips so you can latch baby on when you are out and about without having to whip off your top.
It’s so comfortable and some of the nursing bras that I’ve sent are more complicated that this top. I fully expected to be able to fit back into my present-pregnancy clothes after baby was born but this has not been the case, let me tell you! So it’s really wonderful to have special garments designed to help you through this difficult time. Having all the right gear actually gave me more of a sense of control.
The top is £36 and available in a few different colours including blue and white here.