It’s one of those topics that people either love to talk about, or want to stay completely clear of.
And today I’m going to tackle it head on….breastfeeding.
I’ve breastfed before. In fact, when I was planning life as a family and awaiting Henry’s arrival, I didn’t really consider any other option.
I was lucky, Henry did take to breastfeeding pretty well, with a little help from the birth centre I gave birth in. He gained weight and seemed to do well. However my main obstacle was me. I had a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. I loved the bonding, and that I could provide for him by myself, but I was also super uncomfortable and hated the idea of feeding in public. (I’ve got no issue with feeding in public from others, I just felt really self-conscious and just couldn’t shake the associated anxiety). We continued to breastfeed for three months combined with formula, and eventually stopped as my supply slowed down. I was both happy and sad for the end as I’d become more comfortable with breastfeeding, most likely as I was only feeding at night.
So that’s my previous journey, and with a second baby on the way, it was only natural to start to think about what we want to do this time.
Again, I want to breastfeed. But this time I feel like I’m more prepared.
Breastfeeding classes are helpful with the facts, but realistically you learn pretty much everything from actually doing it. And I hope that experience will enable me to have a better, longer and more enjoyable time with breastfeeding.
My hope is to exclusively breastfeed for longer and to give pumping a proper go this time.
I only had a manual pump last time around so only really attempted pumping a couple of times, and just didn’t get along with it. This time I’ve kindly been gifted an electric pump from Lansinoh*, which I hope will be able to use better, enabling Dann to get a few feeds in too, whilst saving us from formula spending (no issue with formula, but man is the stuff expensive!!). In fact, I’m fully kitted out ready for my breastfeeding journey, ahead of time. Last time was more of a work it out as we went along. This time I feel like I know what I need, including my breastfeeding pillow (currently residing in the loft), milk bags, breast pads, and of course that all important nipple cream.
Aside from being a bit more prepared with the logistics, I think I’m a more confident mother in general, so the thought of feeding in public doesn’t fill me with dread. I think having a toddler who can and will have a tantrum whenever he fancies it has made me far more resilient to public embarrassment, so feeding in public should,in theory, be a breeze!
Most of all I’m hoping to build a bond with baby boy. Although I think a bond can be built no matter how you feed, I loved the bond Henry and I built while I breastfed, and as I’ll be splitting my time between two of them, I want to build as strong a bond as possible.
I guess my biggest worry is the logistics of feeding and entertaining a toddler at the same time. Henry is relatively self-sufficient but definitely has his clingy moments which include the need to sit on my lap at various points in the day.
But I guess that’s the thing about journeys, you don’t always know where they’re going to take you. And a successful journey can only be measured by yourself, so I’m aiming for happiness above all else for my breastfeeding journey.
*post contains PR samples provided for review, this post is additional to the review due to come at a later date