Thursday, July 4, 2013
I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding JBB, my supply was low so he was always topped up with formula. This is despite the fact that I pumped for 40 mins after each feed and I constantly tried to increase my supply but unfortunately, to no avail. I was upset and not upset about this because I felt like I had done everything in my power to give him the best start. I did not want my boy to be hungry, so the formula was a God send. I was able to breastfeed, supplementing for 5 months, I felt good about it.
So, this time, I knew a couple of things - there was no way that I could pump for 40mins after each feed with JBB being a toddler - it would take almost 2 hours by the time I had fed Boo2, settled him and then pumped and this 6-8 times a day - it just was not a viable option. So, I researched milk supply as much as I possibly could and came up with a cocktail of supplements (fenugreek, blessed thistle, brewers yeast and alfalfa) 3 times a day from the day of the c-section. I also breastfed Boo2 exclusively for the first 6 weeks, not missing a feed so as not to affect the supply.
Now at 8 weeks, things seem to be going pretty well, supply is good and Boo2 is starting to fill out. He certainly has grown since the last time we have been to the maternal health nurse - I am looking forward to seeing how much for the two month check up in a few days.
Breastfeeding itself does not come easily to me though. I only feel comfortable at home, there is no way I can breastfeed in public, I am just not that confident. One of the reasons that I am not that confident is that I use a pillow and a nipple protector and I feel really uncomfortable if I don't have those with me. The other issue is that we do the normal hold on the left side but on the right, we always do the football hold and that is virtually impossible out and about. I also don't feel comfortable flashing my bits around to everyone. This is ironic, since after 6 years of IVF treatments and pregnancy, I have flashed my bits to so many strangers that it is beyond count - how can I feel uncomfortable now with something so natural - I don't know, but I do.
I am also not an earth mother, love every minute of breastfeeding, type of woman. I feel vaguely uneasy about it. There is a feeling of claustrophobia when I breastfeed and this is exacerbated because JBB always wants to be kissing and talking to Boo2. Then of course, JourneyDog who is Woolly wants to push his way on to my lap so I feel covered in people. I am a person who likes my own space and these days there are so many beings who are on me, I feel a bit stressed about it.
Don't get me wrong, I am super glad I am able to breastfeed my darling Boo2, he deserves the very best start in life. I just wanted to own up to my feelings over this very natural task. I definitely admire any earth mother warrior who can breastfeed in public, unfortunately, I am just not one of those people.