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Pregnancy Diaries #8: An Honest Chat About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Ava was hard work. It started with a five day post-birth hospital stay as she refused to latch and had to start combination feeding and ended with her slowly gravitating towards the bottle more and more until my supply had all but dried up. I kept it up for three months.

And, looking back, they were an emotional three months. I wanted it to work so badly. I wanted to breastfeed her and create that connection that I thought, at the time, could only come from her relying on me to provide her with what she needed. But the experience I had imagined didn't really live up to reality. I had pictured us reclining back in a nursing chair whilst she snuggled into me and I soaked up those moments but, in reality, there was a lot more bleeding and blocked ducts and hours spent trying to hand pump enough milk into a bottle to satisfy her. By the time she finally got used to breastfeeding, I just couldn't make enough milk. She would feed for almost the whole evening sometimes and then I had to top her up with a bottle because she just hadn't had enough. Add into the mix the fact that she was only around 5lbs when she was born and you have the recipe for more stress and worry than anything else.

So, with Baby #2's arrival imminent, I am starting to think about whether I want to give breastfeeding another shot. I am trying to see where I went wrong last time - whether there is anything I could do differently second time around to make the whole process a lot smoother. And there are a few small things that I know I will be doing differently this time around. However, I don't blame myself for things not working out first time around. I feel like every child is different and every breastfeeding experience is different so I am trying hard not to beat myself up about it.

Anyway, this time, I don't want to admit defeat so easily. I feel like pressure at the hospital and my own worry about whether Ava was getting enough really hindered me the first time around. It had me reaching for a bottle rather than trying to nurse because I didn't have that assurance that what I was doing was good enough.

Also I didn't feel that comfortable breastfeeding in front of other people. Even around friends and family, I felt the need to remove myself from the room to feed the baby and, soon enough, I was reaching for the bottle instead as it was just more convenient and a whole lot less awkward. This time around, I think I will just expect people to deal with it. I mean, it is one of the most natural things in the world so why should I feel uncomfortable?

And I also want to invest in an electric pump instead of a hand one because the hand pump I had before took so much of my very little free time and didn't really work well anyway. This time, I know a bit better which things are worth investing a little more money into and I think an electric pump is one of them.

I feel a lot more optimistic about breastfeeding this time around. Maybe because I kinda know what I am doing and feel a little more in control because of that. Either way, I am excited to start this new chapter and see where it takes us.

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #1-7
I'm Not A Cool Mum & That's OK
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
My 24 Hour Labour Story
Our Weaning Journey
Our Breastfeeding Journey May Be Coming To The End

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