I have seen a lot of posts about breastfeeding as it was Breastfeeding Awareness week last week. Obviously we are supportive of breastfeeding mothers at the Healthy Mummy, especially with our range supporting breastfeeding women nutritionally. But of course, not all Mums have a smooth ride on the breastfeeding track and sometimes choice does not even come into it.
I thought I would share my two breastfeeding stories with you to show you how different they can be, even with the same Mum, me!
I am incredibly lucky that I have been able to breastfeed both my girls, but it has not been easy.
With Isadora, my eldest, I just assumed that I would be a great breast feeder and have heaps of milk as I have largish boosies. But she was born a little premature at 36 weeks and with her little mouth, she found it difficult to latch on. My hospital stay of 2 weeks was fraught with tubes to feed her, trying to pump my boobs until they bled, engorged rocks with frozen newborn nappies cooling them. It was absolute hell. I was devastated that it wasn’t easy.
The most amazing experience at hospital was when I was trying to pump these enormous breasts of mine while nothing would come out. My husband brought Isa to me and we cuddled all three of us. A short embrace and the pump bottle was almost full!! No kidding! Hormones, amazing!
When I returned home, my journey got a little tougher. I fainted in the shower with a 39 degree temperature. I had mastitis. For some reason I thought I was hot because I was ‘sweating’ out the pregnancy. I don’t know where I read that one!!! But a quick trip the doctors and I had some antibiotics. Unfortunately I wasn’t prescribed a double dose and came down with mastitis again 2 weeks later. Wow, this breastfeeding thing was really quite sh*t! Excuse my French.
But I persevered and we got through, with a nipple shield and a hell of a lot of cabbage leaves and airing of my nipples. We were in an apartment then, with quite large glass windows….my poor neighbours!!
When she started weaning and starting solids, I got mastitis again, twice! Man. But after the first bout, breastfeeding was quite successful. Isadora was and is a little one, still only 13kg at 3 years of age, so she didn’t feed a lot. By 11 months I returned to full time work and she was on formula.
With Maya, I was super nervous about mastitis. I was almost ready for it, but breastfeeding this time has been so much easier. Don’t get me wrong, there were still the red raw nipples, and aching boosies. But I just put her on the boob as much as possible and well and truly demand fed this time. She cries or cried, she gets the boob. Period. The best pacifier ever.
But, this is a big but. I have created a little rod for my own back. I have demand breast fed since day dot and now she won’t even entertain the idea of bottle. With Isadora ,me, the judgemental first time mother, at mother’s group when mums mentioned they were having difficulty with their babes taking a bottle I thought they weren’t really trying. What an annoying person I am for thinking that, and karma has come to bite me because little Maya is not interested in a bottle at all. And we have tried pretty hard.
I guess there are no real reasons for her to take a bottle yet, except the idea of just a break and maybe a few to many glasses of red wine, but I just want the option. But, I cannot complain, she feeds well and is starting to eat more solids so I can already notice at 7 and a bit months that the amount of feeds are slightly decreasing. Although the worst part is she is up 2 or 3 times a night still.
I guess I just wanted to give a little hope for some mummas out there that maybe had a hard road with their first baby and went to the bottle. Your next baby may be completely different and love the boob and breastfeeding. Every child is as different as every mother is.
Always give yourself a chance. But at the end of the day, breast might be best, but the sanity and health of the mother is the most important. It is ALWAYS best to just feed your beautiful baby in any way you can, and that very well may be bottle. And you know what, your baby will love you just as much. Because you are feeding them. Period. And cuddles are cuddles however you get them.
And of course if you are breastfeeding mother or mother in general have a look at our range of awesome products, specifically designed for mothers and breastfeeding ones too. The Healthy Mummy range is one which is supported by nutritionists too.