At 30 weeks I couldn’t be more excited to meet my bundle of joy; however there are reasons I dread breastfeeding.
“Breast is best” – I swear they drill that into an expectant mothers head so much that it repeats even in our dreams, or nightmares. Yes, breast milk has a ton of amazing benefits but I think moms need to keep in mind FED is best. The thing that bothers me most about the guilt that doctors and even other mothers put on you to breastfeed is that no one ever prepares you for the possibility that….. it might not work.
- Your baby may never latch due to a mouth defect, or nipple issue
- Your milk may take a long time to come in and your child refused to latch because after a few days they have gotten used to a bottle
- You may never produce enough and have to (GASP) supplement
- Or you may simply not WANT to
- No one makes you feel like these things are ok or better yet prepare expectant mothers for the possibility that this may take some extra work or you may need to pump or supplement.
If you haven’t guessed, breastfeeding was not easy for me and I am open to talking about it. My milk did not come in for 10 days. TEN DAYS! Despite seeing 5 lactation consultants (including paying for one to come to my house); power pumping, fenugreek, eating a ton of oatmeal and Gatorade, Lactation cookies, paying for a hospital grade pump… it just didn’t come. Ten days…… Ten days of guilt from watching my son drink formula which I was convinced was devils juice. Ten days of crying after trying numerous times and watching my son cry uncontrollably because he didn’t understand why I wasn’t feeding him. Ten days of researching “tips and tricks” and asking everyone I knew that breastfeed what their secret was. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t all of the research I had done and breastfeeding classes I took beforehand and after the birth not prepare me for the possibility that problems can arise.
My milk eventually did come in and I embarked on a journey of exclusively pumping (EP-ing) as my son was NOT interested in my nipples after he got used to the consistent and easy flow of a bottle. EP-ing was also something that the nurses told me would never work. Well, I made it work for 6 months and surprisingly became an overproducer and at 5 months had over 1,200 ounces in my freezer. Even though I made it work I did not enjoy it. Extra hours washing bottles, extra time in the middle of the night feeding THEN having to pump and store the milk and pure uncomfortable feeling. I am hoping in 10 weeks my next son will latch but I am mentally preparing myself that he may not and that is ok. That it’s not a reason to cry every day or snap at my husband for trying to help.
As I prepare for my second son my feeling is 99% excitement. I am excited to see him, have nighttime cuddle sessions, see his first smile or the first time he looks at you and you feel like he actually SEES you… the feels! I know the joy that comes with all of those experiences and I feel more prepared (I know how to change a diaper this time around….).
However I absolutely resent that my only worry is breastfeeding. At least this time I know that things can happen and that it is ok. If I have to pump again I am pretty much an expert. And nothing is worth not enjoying the first few days with the little person who has just stolen your heart.
And if I cannot breastfeed this time mentally I know it is ok – I want to tell everyone – it is just ok.
Till Next Time,