Saturday, 15 March 2014

Our BF journey continued

Breastfeeding Through Pregnancy

I spoke before about our breastfeeding journey and I needed to share my latest goals.

I had intended to breastfeed Eva for AT LEAST 2 years, and I am really upset because pregnancy has gotten in the way of my goal. I never thought for a minute that pregnancy would affect my milk supply or make Eva reluctant to nurse. I am continuing on, despite lack of support from my midwife or any breastfeeding group.

hugging bunny while nursing

EVERYONE tells me 16 months is a really long time and I have done so great already in nursing my daughter. In my mind, this doesn't cut it. I have failed my daughter in my eyes, I intended to let her wean naturally because of all the benefits that go with it, and this is what is happening but at an accelerated rate because of pregnancy. She has become more clingy in other ways and her independent nature is all but gone. I used to hate how independent she was at groups or at softplay, but now she won't let me leave her at softplay, even if I have just sat down at the table to have a drink or something! I can imagine some people would find this behaviour normal, but I attribute this new stage to her waning interest in nursing. She knows there is change afoot.

Physically, my breasts have dropped 4 cup sizes and my milk is gone. From about 6 -12 weeks we were only dry nursing for a minute before bed each night. This was toe curling agony for me but I was desperate to continue for everything mentioned above. I cannot lose this bond with my baby, I have sat in tears because of it, probably because of hormones anyway but I am so angry about it! Still, we continued and I now have colostrum, Eva has started audibly swallowing again but after a couple of minutes she's done. We have had issues with improper latch since the dry nursing stage and I still don't think this is corrected.

On to my cries for help. I called my midwife up in tears, she had seemed really nice and approachable when I first met her. She told me, "Maybe Eva is telling you she doesn't want to breastfeed anymore and this is her weaning. You have done a great job going this far, why are you so upset about it?"

I asked her if we could attend the breastfeeding group which we have never gone to before because it falls right in the middle of Eva's usual nap time. The midwife told me, this was only for babies who are under 6 months not seasoned breastfeeders like me.

I cannot ever go to the La Leche League again because of a really bad previous experience there. Though I have posted on their Facebook page. Some of their members responded and said the journey of breastfeeding in pregnancy has its trails and tribulations but to be open to your child's needs and continue to offer feeds, they maybe will not nurse for a while but then often come back to it when the new baby is born. Others have recommended some books to read but my library didn't have it and to be honest I was embarrassed asking.

I hate that this is not a common problem and people have more advice to give and would help emotionally when absolutely nobody understands what I am dealing with here. I feel an utter failure and I resent my unborn child at times, that's what this boils down to. Then I feel such guilt for thinking like that and try to make time to connect with my baby bean and I feel guilty for not tending to Eva, and so it goes. I want a way out of this spiral of thinking, but my little one is waking up and I can't finish my thought process on this subject today. My intention is still to tandem feed my babies however strange that might seem to some, I am sad to say that some of the judgements and comments cut me deep so much so I prefer not to share this part of my life with my friends or family but if anyone asks me that will be my reply.

Anyway, and advice or support is most welcome. I am so scared to go back to my midwife about this, or my gp or anyone else. Its like the less anybody knows about my hurt then the better. But today, I thought someone outside my circle must be able to help.

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