Did you know that August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month? During the month of August, moms all around the world share stories of their breastfeeding experiences, both positive and negative, to bring awareness to breastfeeding. In addition, many wonderful companies like Tommee Tippee highlight their breastfeeding products for new and expectant moms, to help make the breastfeeding experience more enjoyable and a positive one.
How many of my readers breastfed their children? I, for one, attempted to breastfeed both of my girls, but failed both times. When you are pregnant, the last thing you think will be hard is to breastfeed your baby, as they crave that closeness with you. But, if you have ever breastfed or tried to breastfeed your baby, then you know how hard it is. For one, you have to get the latching on just right for it to work, both for your baby, and so that you don't experience pain and discomfort. Once you have the latch down, the next hard part is keeping the milk coming in, and making a point to either breastfeed your baby or pump your milk, as not to engorge your breasts, for one.
With my first child, it took meeting with a lactation consultant in the hospital the day after giving birth, to teach me the proper latching on technique and football hold. I was happy when I finally got and saw that breastfeeding was a wonderful bonding experience with my daughter. But, after a 14 hour labor and delivery the day before, and being so stressed out and tired as a first time mom, I found that stress works against you when you are trying to breastfeed. When it came time to pump and store my breast milk, I found I wasn't producing enough milk. The first try at pumping, I was lucky to fill a small bottle. But, after that, the pump would squeeze away, but only dribbles would fall into the bottle.
This was very upsetting as I felt like a failure as a new mom. What was I doing wrong? I had thought after reading all the different new parent books that breast is best, and that was the way I wanted to go with my daughter. But, when the milk wasn't coming in and I found myself exhausted from being a new paranoid parent, I had to decide to continue trying to breastfeed and pump, or switch to formula. I tried for two weeks after we left the hospital with breastfeeding, but found myself reaching for a formula bottle, as I was too tired from being up all night and the pumping wasn't producing much. And, I found that when you don't pump on a consistent basis, you don't produce enough milk for pumping or feeding. Thinking about what was best for my daughter and what worked best for me as a new parent, I made the switch to formula feedings. I did say to myself that if we ever had another child, I would attempt to breastfeed again...and, that I did, when we welcomed our second daughter 15 months later. :-)
How did my second go around with breastfeeding go? I got the latch down pat the first time and for the first few weeks everything was going great. The feedings were great and when it came time to pump, I was able to fill a handful of bottles for later use. But, then, stress caused by my daughter needing to have surgery to correct a pyloric stenosis diagnosis (just like my first daughter had), and finding myself trying to care for two children under the age of 2, my breast milk production started to decrease, and I eventually found myself going through stored bottles and not being able to restock as I was having difficulty yet again pumping and producing enough breast milk. So, again I had to make a tough decision, as I really hoped to be able to breastfeed my second child after a first failed attempt, to either continue to try to stick with breastfeeding and hope my milk production would increase, or switch to formula feedings. I ended up switching to formula as I found myself getting discouraged each and every time I sat with daughter or with the breast pump, and only a little bit of milk came out.
While breastfeeding did not work out for me, I know so many friends and family who have had a positive experience with breastfeeding and found this provided an extra degree of closeness between mommy and baby that they had hoped for. Some had success right from the start, while others needed help from lactation consultants to teach them proper breastfeeding techniques. And, some, who had planned to breastfeed for a long period of time, ended up switching to formula, either because they returned back to work and couldn't find the time to pump, or it became to stressful and difficult with the demands of life with a new baby or multiple children.
I am so happy I had the chance to try and breastfeed with both of my girls. And, while I wasn't able to stick with it, I enjoyed that close contact bonding I had with my girls in the first couple of weeks of their life and wouldn't change it for the world. Now that I have shared my breastfeeding story with you, I can't wait to hear about your breastfeeding experience...both positive and negative. :-) So, share away in the comments section, or send me an email if you feel comfortable this route.
And, before I go, I wanted to make sure my breastfeeding mamas, and those who are expecting or looking for the perfect baby shower gift for a friend or loved one, know about the Pump and Go from Tommee Tippee.
Here is more about their pump and go system, which I continue to see breastfeeding moms rave about online...
Learn more about the Pump and Go Complete Breast Milk Starter set from tommee tippee by visiting https://www.tommeetippee.us/product/breastfeeding/breast-milk-storage.
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