You hear about the morning sickness, weird midnight cravings, the difficult pregnancy and the 72 hour long labour stories as soon as you announce you are pregnant – but nobody tells you about breastfeeding and how difficult it can be!
From all of the above, I experienced almost no morning sickness, no weird cravings, had a generally easy pregnancy and my labour was no longer than 4 hours. But boy did I have it rough when it came to breastfeeding!
First of all my baby was born 2 weeks early and was quite small (2.4kgs / 5.5lbs) and did not have the strength needed to breastfeed. Secondly she was born with a tongue tie – which also made it even more difficult.
And thirdly, after having countless midwives come over and squeeze my bare breasts to help me collect the colostrum ( which was described to me like liquid gold for the baby’s health) and after 5 days of breastfeeding support and help with getting baby to latch on – I was discharged home with a note to also feed her some formula to help with the feeding as natural breastfeeding wasn’t really working!
Enter ARDO – best hospital grade pump (worked for me better then Medela), which you can see in the picture below.
It has been the hardest thing I had to do, and between feedings and pumping sessions every two hours I felt like a milk machine, and not very human at all!
I am not surprised that most mothers in my NCT class gave it up after a few days. With the level of formula available nowadays, it almost makes me wonder if it was even worth the effort!
Breastfeeding will either happen for you as a mother naturally or it will be the most un-natural struggle! Whichever camp you fall in, fed is best- and breastfeeding is not easy! The cracked / bleeding nipples are almost not worth it – so whatever you do – just do what feels right to you!
It took me a long time, and many Lactation consultants to realise breastfeeding is just not natural for some, and that’s ok! You’re still a caring mother and in 3 years time nobody will care about how you fed your baby!
So get over it and don’t get pumped up about it! 😉