Instagram post - National Breastfeeding Awareness Week - how to be still

❤️ Nation Breastfeeding Awareness Week ❤️

20th to 26th June 2018

This is us in the first 6 weeks. Sitting on the bedroom floor. Dressed! Next to me is an apple core, a box of cereal bars, 2 bottles of water, a green smoothie and breast pump.

So much stuff for me. Lots of time spent thinking, how do I make sure I'm strong enough to keep this silly faced heart squasher going.

A huge part of my breastfeeding journey has been learning to sit, be still, wait for my baby.

I remember some people telling me about slowing down in pregnancy and in the first weeks, about it being ok that you can't do all the things that you could do before in the same way. But, like so much of life, it is hard to know what that means until you live it.

And in our world of doing it all, all at once - where you frequently simultaneously eat dinner, reply to a work email while on the phone to your mum, with the TV on in the background - when you become pinned down by a little body that requires both hands, a boob and your attention, the shock of slowing down is a real thing.

We talk about mums becoming able to multitask better, and yeah sure - we want to carry on doing those things we did before, just with a baby. Everyone else is keeping their homes spotless, doing their KIT days, the school run, their eyeliner? So we can. No, not all the things, all the time.

I remember loading the dishwasher while breastfeeding, so slow and frustrating.

But it stops being frustrating when you realise how extremely precious is it, how it is totally your right to enjoy that time. (Most of the time, sometimes you just want to eat a hot meal without something touching you.) I keep reading and hearing that some people stop breastfeeding because they didn't expect it to be how it was (slow, painful, boring) - so let's keep sharing how it is, let's allow slow to be OK.

There can be many hurdles to successfully breastfeeding. I think allowing women space to be OK with slowing down: not meeting our own exacting expectations, losing our old status and caring for OURSELVES, is a much bigger challenge for our society in raising the rate of breastfeeding than any physical challenge like low supply. ❤️