I know it is tough.
The sleepless nights, the frequently interrupted breaks, the fear of having blocked ducts or any other breastfeeding-related issue, the need to check if you should be eating a certain food item or avoid it for the interest of your baby, the pumping sessions that feel so mechanical sometimes…
Whether you are directly latching your baby, or exclusively pumping, or you’re somewhere in between – dear breastfeeding mama, can I give you a virtual hug and say, “Well done.“?
Come, lean in for a hug. 🙂
Whatever your reasons for persisting in breastfeeding, as a Mama who exclusively pumped for my sweetie-pie, I feel you.
I thought I knew…
Before I knew what breastfeeding was about, I thought I knew what breastfeeding was about. You know what I mean? It was all in the head. I had head-knowledge from all the books, but I had no idea what reality would be like with a persistently crying newborn desperate for milk and me fumbling around trying to position her the right way while also trying my hardest to relax…because that’s how the milk will come right? It was so, so hard.
I know, there are mums who have it really easy and they do make it look easy…possibly because it is really a piece of cake for them. But my journey was hardly an easy one. I wanted to call it quits so many times.
After only a few random successful latch-on sessions, I gave up and exclusively pumped instead. It had become too stressful. There were nights when I would cry to sleep, feeling like a complete failure as a mum. I tried all ways, but it was just not working out.
So I gave up direct latching, and there was so much less pressure. Thinking back, it was the best decision I made. But there were disadvantages to this route too. I’d to keep to very strict pumping schedules. If I did not, my ducts would easily get blocked and I was a frequent visitor to see the lactation consultants. Eating supplements to boost my production and scheduling massage sessions to prevent blocked ducts became a routine thing for me in the first year of motherhood.
Dear Breastfeeding Mama,
I did not escape the dreaded mastitis – I had it twice. 🙁 And to top it off, I had to go for breast abscess surgery just a few months into this journey. Needless to say, it was an extremely stressful and painful time. It was a season of balancing different priorities and making sure I got enough rest too.
I remember the day I went for surgery, my Mum was helping to take care of Ellie at home.
She sent me this picture, which strengthened my resolve to overcome the obstacles and continue on faithfully.
I remember waking up early every morning just so I could pump. After all, the milk supply in the morning was always the best. Making sure I had my bottles with me, and my pump well-sterilized was a daily affair, and there were even a few mornings when I had to pray for my milk to not spill out – it would be such a heartache to waste any of it! Can any of you breastfeeding mamas relate?
This was one of those mornings; no spillage, phew!
It was a mix of relief and reluctance when I decided to wean her off at the 1 year mark and stop pumping altogether. Pumping and storing milk had become such a large part of my days that it felt a little strange without it. But on the other hand, I knew I had given my best and it was a new season in which I can spend the time on other things instead. Looking back, I’m glad I did what was best for my sanity (exclusively pumping) and also persevering in providing breastmilk for my little one for as long as I could.
p/s: Sharing this journey of mine in no way implies that mamas who choose not to give breastmilk are inferior in any way. I believe that all of us have our own unique journey and mine just happened to be this. 🙂 My post is simply to honor and encourage those who breastfed/are still breastfeeding.
So dear breastfeeding mama, press on. This love-gift for your child is treasured. Do what is best for your sanity too.
Breastmilk Keepsake Giveaway!
I am so excited to share that Precious Lifetime Memories is generously giving away a $100 voucher to one breastfeeding mama to create her own unique breastmilk keepsake jewelry!
I was so pleased with my pendant necklace (especially after hearing lots of horror stories from mums who ordered from other vendors!) and I wear it often to remind myself of the sweet memories of breastfeeding.
- Comment to indicate your interest in this Giveaway’s Facebook post, and tag 3 friends in your comment.
- Share this Giveaway blogpost on your Facebook timeline.
This Giveaway Contest will be closed on 12 April 23:59. I will contact the winner on 13 April, and link you up with Precious Lifetime Memories! May this gift be an affirmation of your heart-work in breastfeeding your child!
Note: this Giveaway is open to Singapore readers only. Have fun!