Breastfeeding is Harder than it looks
When I found out i was pregnant I immediately planned in my mind for the future. What kind of mother I'd be, what I'd feed my baby, how i would fit in work, how I'd dress them...the list was endless. It was a mixture of excitement and fear of the unknown fueling my ideals, and little did i know becoming a mother does NOT go how you 'plan', i can laugh about this now as the baby days have passed, but wow did i learn and often the hard way.
Whoever tells you having kids is easy, is hiding either some big truths from you or hiding the secret ingredient, because 10 years after falling pregnant, I'm yet to find any secrets.to make it easy.
Ill save the joys of pregnancy and childbirth for another blog and move onto what i think is a super important topic. Now I'm not sure what the most recent ways of educating pregnant women is, but when i had my first, i went to a 2hr pregnancy and birth class and learnt about forceps and how to bath a baby (that's all i took from it). None of my friends had started having babies and i was ABSOLUTELY unprepared for what was to come.
Why did no one tell me babies don't always sleep properly? and why did no one prepare me for how to feed a baby? the two biggest things you need to know about in my opinion. We survived the pregnancy, and survived the lengthy labor and had this perfect little man to love....NOW WHAT?
I was NOT aware he would spend hours laying awake staring at the world with his big blue eyes and i really wasn't aware that trying to stick my nipple into a hungry babies mouth could be as traumatic as it was. I'm telling you now IT DID NOT come naturally for me. It wasn't easy. That first couple of days was a blur of emotions, pain after birth and trying to feed a baby through grazed (yes GRAZED) nipples! The memory of that pain still makes me cringe. The stinging sensation when you had a shower was also a nice little addition as if we didn't already suffer enough pain. I saw a lactation nurse who gave me some help and i was off home to fumble my way through with a newborn.
What happened over the next month is honestly still a blur, I was hormonal, my baby didn't sleep and i felt so alone. And no matter how hard i tried breastfeeding wasn't working, my boobs were like big hard rock melons and by 4 weeks i suffered my first lot of mastitis. This...THIS i would not wish on ANYONE. If i thought id had pain before then this sent me into a new realm of sickness. Mastitis is usually the result of a blocked milk duct that hasn't cleared. Some of the milk banked up behind the blocked duct can be forced into nearby breast tissue, causing the tissue to become inflamed. The inflammation is called mastitis. Infection may or may not be present.
It was at this point I decided id had enough. it just wasn't working i was miserable and my baby was not sleeping. The switch to formula feeding was honestly just as traumatic. I was worried i was making the worst decision, i cried about it for days, I felt like i was a failure as a woman (ridiculous i know) reading about the different types before making the switch. A few days later an amazing thing happened. My pain went away, and my baby started sleeping and seemed satisfied! I finally felt some relief, but gosh those early days can be hard.
I had two more children since and the experiences again were very different and i was able to feed them both through breastfeeding for over 12 months! Not without different problems and i had mastitis 22 times over those years (OUCH) but i learnt a few things and i was not as stressed or as hard on myself
All i can say is don't be so hard on yourself, whatever choices you make for YOUR child/ren are exactly that, YOURS!