I think I’ve gone into a full blown tantrum. Firstly, I’ve got a big report due in on Thursday and in true University style, I’ve left it all to the last minute, so that’s stressing me out. And, secondly because Mike has gone and left me on my own for 2 weeks. I literally can’t function alone and tonight it ended in tears when I got lost going to my NCT class (we’ve only been there 4 times before!). I took a wrong turn down a one way street and when a woman came round the corner in the opposite direction, instead of reversing just a wee bit to let me get past so I could turn around (and despite my attempts/pleas for her to do this) she insisted on making me reverse back onto the main road. Does she not know I’m unhinged at the moment and liable to get stabby (to quote a school mate, Miss Rubery, from a Facebook post earlier today!).

Lady in car, if you are out there, you are mean and you made a pregnant woman cry with your meanness! I hope there is such a thing as Karma.

Anyway, I mainly cried because Mike wasn’t there with me, I miss him and that wouldn’t have happened if he had been there. Plus, I was still lost.

Other than that, NCT was breastfeeding day! Urgh. I’m now slightly terrified at the prospect. So, for Mike’s benefit for having missed it, here are the highlights:

  1. Eat what you like! It’s a myth that you shouldn’t eat or drink certain foods while breastfeeding – including spicy food or broccoli or, my personal favourite, alcohol! Apparently only a minute amount crosses to the milk. To quote the lady, as she so eloquently put it, you don’t need to ‘pump and dump’ your milk after a night outย (although you probably wouldn’t want to get totally bladdered still!). Hooray!
  2. Cooling Cabbage – After the first few days after the baby’s born, it may not want to feed but your boobs will likely be full to bursting. To sooth your sore boobs and suppress the production of milk put a refrigerated savoy cabbage leaf in your bra. I bet you didn’t think I was going to say that. There’s apparently a chemical in the leafy green that does both those things (suppress and sooth). Bit cheaper than anything you’ll find in Boots.
  3. Skin to skin – babies find being skin to skin extremely soothing and it even helps to regulate the heartbeat. It doesn’t need to be just Mum that does this, Dad can do it too. It can also help if you’re struggling with breastfeeding to almost ‘reset’ the baby, like starting from scratch again – if you lie at a 45 degree angle with the baby directly on your skin, head on your chest, feet down, it may start to route around (i.e. look for your boob) and get latched on properly (I believe some more research is probably needed for this one).
  4. 6 is the magic number – it seems that things should start to settle down around the 6 week mark. This is often a time when mum’s might give up on breastfeeding because they think they aren’t producing enough milk but in actual fact their baby is going through a growth spurt, so they need to feed more in order for your boobs to catch up and start producing more.
  5. Express yourselfย – if you do want to start expressing your milk ready for a night away (or in my stupid case a whole week of working during the day in Vienna when the baby’s only 8 weeks old – Mike and babe are coming too but it will certainly be interesting), you should start expressing every day at the same time to trick your boobs into making more milk so you have it when you need it. The good news is that the milk will last for 8 days in the fridge!
  6. Words I don’t want to hear again – engorged and suckling at the breast. I heard them a few too many times tonight and I like neither.

There were loads more points (as you can imagine what with it being a 2 hour session) but these were my favourites. I left feeling a little bit anxious, mainly due to my work trip and how I’m going to express enough milk each day. But also because I think I’ve been putting unrealistic expectations on my weight loss after the baby is born.

Until now I hadn’t really thought about the fact that the little muncher could be wanting a feed every 2 hours (that’s 2 hours after it first starts feeding, so you might only get half an hour off at a time if it’s hungry!) and generally I’m going to entirely knackered/foggy headed. Once I’ve written this freaking report I’m going to write a menu plan for Mike, including instructions for juices, so that hopefully I can eat really healthily despite all the fog. You wait, I’ll be slapping the green juice out of his hands and insisting on an Egg McMuffin.

Are there any mum’s out there that can put me at ease a bit? Please pass on any tips you have for getting through those first few weeks… Did you try and lose weight during this period? Or am I kidding myself? Where’s Posh when you need her?!

I should point out that I totally understand that those first few weeks/months are amazingly precious and I would never put weight loss before bonding with mini-mike but if it is possible to do both, I’d like to know about it!

Image courtesy of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals