This week’s guest post is from Sam Stone. Her blog has a great Random Acts of Kindness page that will brighten your day!
If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!
Before having children we thought we knew it all. We attended the antenatal classes to learn about labour, breastfeeding and how to generally care for our newborn baby. We left with a wealth of knowledge or so we thought.
At this stage I had set ideas on parenting. In regard to breastfeeding, I thought I would have no problem with it and therefore would breastfed our baby for the first year.
When our little girl was born these set ideas all went out the window.
Breastfeeding wasn’t easy
After a terrible labour that lasted two days, my milk supply was fairly nonexistent and our daughter was practically starving.
A lactation consultant told me I would need to supplement the breastfeeds with formula. I would also have to express after each feed to help my own supply.
This was a long process. In the early months of our daughter’s life I hardly slept. By the time I had breastfed her, bottle fed her and expressed it was time to start the whole process again.
I was devastated that breastfeeding hadn’t been easy. I put a lot of pressure on myself to breastfeed.
The devastation mixed with lack of sleep led to post natal depression and several visits with a psychiatrist.
It was an extremely tough time for the whole family, especially my daughter and me. After lots of tears and no sleep, we got there and I breastfed her for nine months.
However, I was scarred by the whole experience.
Would the second time be easier?
When I got pregnant with our second baby I was anxious about breastfeeding and getting post natal depression again. My husband and I talked about it and decided that this time I shouldn’t put pressure on myself to breastfeed if it doesn’t work out.
Once again my milk supply was low to non-existent after his birth. He also had terrible problems latching. My nipples were completely shredded. I was shocked at just how badly damaged they had become.
The same lactation consultant tried to teach me how to latch him properly to the breast. She suggested that I bottle feed him expressed breast milk to allow my nipples to heal. In spite of this, my nipples did not heal well.
Extreme exhaustion started to set in again as I was getting no sleep.
I tried breastfeeding him again and it just wasn’t working.
Happy mummy, happy baby
The feelings of post natal depression started for a second time. I was completely devastated. My husband reminded me that we had decided I wouldn’t put pressure on myself to breastfeed if it didn’t work out. I just couldn’t help it though.
One night I sat in my son’s room and simply couldn’t stop crying. My nipples were in agony and I felt like a failure for not being able to breastfeed my kids properly. Every time I tried to feed him we would both ended up in tears.
I spoke to my psychiatrist, she told me that I needed to look after myself and there was nothing wrong with bottle feeding our baby. My family was also very supportive.
When we made the decision to stop breastfeeding it was like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. We had tried to make it work and it just didn’t. My son is extremely loved and cared for and is now bottle fed. The whole family is much happier for it.
If you decide to bottle feed you might have expressed breastmilk or you might use formula. Both are great options to make sure baby if fed and happy and mum is happy and well!
Sam Stone is a product manager, wannabe freelance writer. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and two young children. In her spare time, she blogs at http://alifeonvenus.blogspot.com.au/ about anything from sports, parenting, and trends, to happiness.
You might also like:
- ‘Gobby women against breastfeeding are fighting the wrong war’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Top tips for Breastfeeding (hinckleyyummymummy.wordpress.com)
- The Benefits of Breastfeeding (lifeloveandlivingwithboys.wordpress.com)
- Breast is Best, But Not Always Easy (oncloudcoco.wordpress.com)
- When You Aren’t Breastfeeding Your Baby (everydayhealth.com)
- Are You A Good Mum If You Don’t Breastfeed? (thegoodmotherproject.com)