I love breastfeeding. I love the sense of achievement it gives me.
Each month, as I watch the scales change at the doctor’s office, I feel a bubble of pride swelling inside me. I created those fat rolls on her thighs.
I love feeling her drift to sleep in my arms at the end of a busy day. I love when it is just the two of us cuddled up feeding whilst the rest of the world rushes around outside the window.
I love that I can soothe her when she cries, that a quick feed can help us reconnect and bond when we have been apart.
7 Annoying Things My Baby Does During Feeds
I love it but also I hate it. You see, my baby isn’t the polite little newborn falling asleep at the breast anymore. She’s older and bigger and way less polite these days.
Now she doesn’t want to stop baby acrobatics to have a feed so she feeds whilst rolling around. She pulls my hair, she sometimes coughs milk back onto my boob after a feed.
She is essentially the world’s worst dinner guest and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Here are just seven of the annoying things she does when I’m feeding her:
#1: Laughs Really Loudly Just Before I Feed Her
My baby has developed a habit of laughing with excitement. She does this when we head out to pick her sister up from school, when her daddy arrives home from work and when I am about to feed her. She knows it’s coming because I lay her across me and suddenly start fiddling with my top.
Whilst she’s waiting for me to hurry up and heave out my boob, she lets out a very loud machine gun style laugh. It’s quite funny unless we’re out in public. When we’re out in public, the eruption of loud laughter just makes strangers turn around to see what’s going on so I end up flashing the whole room my nipple. Again.
#2: Bites Me
Those two adorably white teeth in her otherwise gummy smile look pretty harmless but, trust me, they’re not. They’re razor sharp and I know because I’ve been bitten. Yes, on the boob.
I get it, she’s teething or whatever, it helps to bite down and apply pressure to the gums but wouldn’t it be great if she could do it without my nipple in her mouth?
The first time it happened (yes, it has happened more than once) I was enjoying a pub lunch with my friend when I suddenly shot about three feet into the air, much to the amusement of my friend. It turns out having your nipple bitten is quite painful, who knew?
#3: Kicks Me In The Fanny
Bedtime is supposed to be this magical time of day where we read stories and cuddle and bathe in love, so why is it I’m always getting kicked in the fanny? I lie down next to her, her head lovingly propped against the crook of my arm, to feed her. She should melt away to sleep in minutes but instead she usually kicks me quite hard in the fanny. I have no idea why.
Sometimes she pulls down my pyjama bottoms whilst she kicks me (I would say accidentally but I don’t believe there’s anything accidental about the late night attacks I suffer at her chubby little hands) just to add further humiliation to the event.
#4: Yanks My Other Boob Out
One mouth, one nipple. That’s pretty simple, right? Apparently not. If we’re sitting in a busy cafe and I’m trying to feed my baby discretely, it’s almost guaranteed she will at least try to expose my other boob.
Her warm little hand works its way up to my chest and rests gently on the balcony of my bra, and when I’ve let my guard down and stopped paying attention to what she’s doing, she quickly yanks down the other cup. Let’s just say my cup runneth over.
#5: Pinches Me
This is a new and terrible one. She has started to pinch. She has sharp claw-like nails that she uses as weapons and, unfortunately for me, my boobs are the target. It’s usually in the moments before she drifts off, when she’s in that strange state between wakefulness and sleeping – the time you really don’t want to disturb them in any way.
She’ll suddenly start nipping me, squeezing the skin on my boobs between talons. I have tried to distract her with toys, redirect her hand to play with my clothes and even offered my hand as a substitute pinch victim. Nothing works. She just wants to nip my boobs.
#6: Pulls Away Mid Feed
I don’t want to show the whole world my nipple. I know my right to breastfeed in public is protected with and without flashing my nipple around, but I’d just rather not. I try to feed without showing too much flesh although, to be honest, that’s not always up to me.
One thing I’ve noticed is my baby thinks it is hilarious to show everyone in the cafe my nipple. The slightest noise from the other direction and she will pull off to look around, exposing my nipple to the world.
This often happens when waiting staff come to take my order. Their polite questions interrupt her concentration and she pulls away, leaving my nipple hanging awkwardly in the air between me and the teenager who has come to take my order. One dignity with a side order of self-respect, please.
#7: Stretches My Nipple
When she pulls off and flashes my boob to the world it is quite embarrassing but nowhere near as bad as the other option. The stretch.
You see, a loud noise from across the room might get her attention but not quite enough for her to unlatch. Perhaps she’s too hungry to actually let go but still curious as to what that noise was.
Instead she will simply turn to look around the room With My Nipple Still In Her Mouth. It’s a bit like the scene in The Exorcist when Regan’s head turns 360 degrees, only imagine Regan had a nipple in her mouth at the time. You don’t know pain until you’ve tried to breastfeed a four month old in need of an exorcism.