‘Right’, I thought.  ‘I’ve done this before, this will be a doddle.’  That was how I entered my breast feeding relationship with my second child, Princess.

I breast fed my son for six months.  It came so naturally.  There were no cracked nipples, no latching problems, nothing.  Both myself and my new born baby boy fell straight into it.

Having my son at 22 was a grounding experience, bringing with it a sense of purpose and responsibility.  He was an easy baby and nothing seemed to phase me, not the sleep deprivation, not the nappies.  I had the energy for it all back then.

 
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Fourteen years later, I thought, ‘Times cracking on.  I’m not getting any younger.  If I’m going to have more children I’d best do it now.’ 

 

Pregnancy was a lot harder than the first time round.  Now, really that should have been my first clue that perhaps things weren’t going to go as smoothly this time.

 

Breast feeding took weeks to establish with Princess.  We just couldn’t get the latch right.  I had a fantastic maternity support worker.  We tried every breast feeding position you could imagine.  Cushions were arranged like Lego to try and make things easier.

 

Princess was latching on so fast that she wasn’t in the right position to feed.  She had clearly missed her ‘nose to nipple’ classes.  Every time I fed her my toes would curl in pain.  I’d get anxious about feeding her because I knew it was going to hurt.

 

Princess would cry so much, it was heart breaking.  My husband was worried about both of us.  I was so tired, the bags under my eyes needed luggage trolleys.  Princess wasn’t gaining weight, she didn’t poop for about a week.  She just wasn’t getting enough milk. 

It’s so emotive when breast feeding isn’t going well, whatever the reason.  For some Mum’s it can be devastating.  As well as the feeding, I was struggling with my own issues.  Before Princess was born I was grounded, I had a sense of purpose and I had plenty of responsibilities.  When Princess arrived we were all thrown into complete chaos.  I was feeding and pumping, feeding and pumping desperately trying to get my supply to increase.  I had turned into a milking machine, I was really starting to feel for those dairy cows!

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If it hadn’t been for the experience I’d had with my son I most certainly would have given up.  I knew if I could just turn that corner it would be best for everyone, not just Princess.

It took about 4 weeks to get breast feeding established, and at the time it seemed like the longest four weeks of my life.  I found my Mummy Mojo and Princess learnt her part in the breast feeding relationship, but it definitely wasn’t easy. 

Princess was breast fed exclusively for nearly six months.  I stopped breast feeding her when she was fourteen months old.  Those early weeks paled into insignificance compared to the the amazing experience we went on to have.

Our third child is due in May.  She will be breast fed.  I wonder how our relationship will work out.  This time I’ll be prepared for anything.

 

Images courtesy of satit_srihin /razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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21 COMMENTS

  1. It’s always amazing how different peoples experiences are with each child they have, I often muse about what will happen with my next baby, we didn’t have a ‘great’ time but since I’ve trained as a peer supporter but sometimes I think that’ll be a hindrance rather than mean I have all the answers! Good luck with your next bub!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I tried to breastfeed our twins, but they were too small (premature) I expressed for them though so they still had my milk, just in a bottle instead. It was disheartening and I cried so many tears over it. Wondering why I couldn’t do it, what was wrong with me, maybe I should have tried harder etc, but it just wasn’t meant to be for us. Congratulations on baby number 3!! Thanks for linking up #binkylinky
    Emily recently posted…Binky LinkyMy Profile

  3. […] However a woman chooses or has to feed her child, she should never be made to feel bad or uncomfortable about these choices.  I would love to see a society where breastfeeding was the preferred choice as I do believe it’s best for Mum and Baby for lots of reasons, and I’ve personally found it the most convenient choice despite some of the challenges I’ve faced especially when feeding number 2. […]

  4. Fab post. It can be so hard to get started – I know how much I struggled with my eldest, but in reality it was only a few days. I’m so glad I kept going though because, as you say, that time pales into insignificance. After that, my other two fed like a dream.
    Good luck for the new baby!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Football flying squadMy Profile

  5. I struggled with breast feeding Potato in the early weeks for similar reasons. In the end we had to combo feed because it was that or be readmitted to hospital because he lost so much weight. It worked for is but I’m really glad I kept it up and managed to mainly breastfed. I was sad when I stopped eventually
    Thanks for linking up with #BinkyLinky

  6. Thats the hard part aint it? The start. I have to breastfeed with only 1 breast =P I dont even know how I was able to sustain his needs but I think we did. I exclusively breastfeed him till 6 months then breasstfeed and started with food till he is 2 =) #binkylinky
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Chalk RoadMy Profile

    • That’s brilliant! Well done. Breasts are designed to meet babies needs and you have done amazingly rising to that challenge. Thanks for a great, inspiring comment Zx

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