I was 21 and after a terrifying labour and painfully scary emergency section I had intended to breast feed my daughter from birth to toddler, however there certainly was very limited support out there.
Latching on for the first time I struggled, I struggled to get her on properly, I struggled with a partner who was embarrassed when I fed in front of family and I struggled to get myself in a better frame of mind so it was only a matter of a couple of weeks before I gave in… I failed … yet one more thing that I felt I failed at after it hit me hard about not being able to delivery my daughter naturally.
Fast forward 10 years to my second baby and a whole new life with a supportive then partner (now my husband) and 10 years more life experience mixed with a whole host more support than was offered with my first baby and I knew from the off I was going to breastfeed and I did I loved it, what I struggled with second time round was wanting to please everyone and include everyone so they could experience what I was experiencing (minus them actually producing a boob!)
At just over 10 days I started to use a manual breast pump to express milk so friends, family and my husband could feed him and he would still benefit from my breast milk… it didn’t work, I lasted around 4 more weeks of expressing and not feeding him myself when those pregnancy hormones sent me nutty.
I began to feel like a milking cow and resentment set in and feeding time and expressing time were filled with tears.
After a full on melt down, a phone conversation with my Mum and I had a decision to make breast feed or give up but expressing was not the way forward if I was not going to feed him from my breast …. By this stage I was so emotionally wrecked that I gave up, a cop-out maybe but I had totally lost the will to carry on.
Being 6 months pregnant currently I’m looking back on my breast-feeding journey to date and although it’s not great I managed around 5-6 weeks last time and it’s a super start but this time since this will be my last baby I really want to breast feed for much longer so I have come to terms with the past being the past and this time is totally new and it will be what it will be.
What will I be doing this time round:
I will not be expressing until I have breastfeeding established (at least not for the first few months) to eliminate the feelings I had last time.
I will purchase breast-feeding scarf to make myself more comfortable feeding in public and that hopefully will help me relax so I can get a nice milk supply going.
I will not give myself a hard time at where ever this journey takes me, I know many folks are pro breastfeeding and some are way too over the top on telling every parent how rubbish they are if they don’t breastfeed … it’s not helpful or supportive and in fairness post pregnancy Mum’s don’t need to feel like they are not good enough, they need support not pressure, they are already pressurising themselves enough for everyone.
I will be ready for every eventuality from bottle to breast ( I am sticking with the same range I used last time, Philips Avent worked well for me and although I used a manual breast pump last time I am going to use an electric breast pump this time in the hopes it takes less time, I must admit having taken it out the box it looks fab!
I will seek out some support locally to help me breast feed for longer and find some new Mums to make friends with since I work from home and have only a few people I would class as friends finding some breastfeeding ladies might help!
I have to say I am really feeling excited at the prospect of breastfeeding again, although I would be a fool to say I was not a tiny little bit apprehensive but this next chapter is sure going to be exciting.
If you breastfed what tips do you have to keep going with it?
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post