As it’s breastfeeding awareness week I thought I would share my experiences with you all.
When I was expecting my first child I had all hope and dreams of breast feeding.
I had bought one bottle so I could store expressed milk and bought a manual AND electric pump.
I was offended at the thought of not breast feeding my child. My expectations were high. Too high.
When Eva was born in August 2009, she cried. She cried a lot. She fed a lot. For an hour each time with two hours max in between each feed. This was day and night. I struggled to get her to attach and stay attached. I was tired then became exhausted. I went to support groups but I felt unloved and unwanted by my own child and seeing other perfect mothers with their perfect feeding patterns I just felt depressed.
I expressed a few times. After expressing for 45 mins and the milk barely reaching the 2oz line, I cried.
I introduced a formula bottle and with in days she was on the full time (she was 7 weeks old). I was disgusted with myself. She loved my so little that she won’t take my milk yet will wolf down a formula bottle in minutes.
I found it difficult to bond with my baby as I didn’t know how to other than by feeding. I became anxious and irritable. I had to get my medication changed to help me through this time and some counciling.
I realised it wasn’t my fault or Eva’s that’s she didn’t want to be fed and I was given ways I could bond with my baby, though baby massage, swimming and play.
When I was pregnant with my second I had my mind set that I would not put myself through the stress of breast feeding.
However, when little Fae was born on Boxing Day 2011, as soon as she was set on my, she suckled on my within seconds. Was was breast fed form 8 months and had a formula bottle every night since she was born.
I loved breast feeding this time. Even though it was tiring I and she had the same full on feeding pattern as Eva did. I did not express at all with Fae and if she needed a bottle when I was not around she was happy to take a formula feed.
I put no pressure on myself to feed and when I was going back to work I weaned her of the breast.
I was happy to feed everywhere and any where and enjoyed the bond between me and my daughter.
I would urge everyone to try breast feeding bit to put no pressure on yourself to do it as it will have negative effected on you and your child. I wish I had taken the laid back approach with my first daughter and I am so glad my second little girl gave me no choice but to feed her.
If you see a woman feeding in public smile and embrace nature nurturing the young. There are so many storied of bad experiences of feeding in public. You don’t know how vulnerable this mother is so support her and tell her how lovely it is to see.
Christine from QueenieJBHair