Saturday, 23 August 2014

Diary of an expressing mum: #3


On Thursday I went to a local NCT sling library event... I plan to write a bit about the sling library once I've been to one of their day or evening cafe hang outs... but, essentially, you can borrow lots of different types of baby carrier in a 'try before you buy' sort of set up for £5 for four weeks - you just have to put a cheque deposit down for the full amount of the sling or carrier. I borrowed a 'Connecta' (which I'd never heard of) in a bit of a gross Paisley print, but I just want to see if I like the way it feels. I plan to write a review once I've given it a good go.

Back to the topic...

I joined my local sling library's Facebook group and posted a picture of me wearing Joseph and asked for tips on how to get him within kissing distance (which is one of the 'rules' of babywearing); and one the peer supporters that helped me during my breastfeeding fiasco replied, recognised me, and we had a conversation via private messaging. She said that she'd thought about me a lot after the day I came to the breastfeeding group (in tears) because she didn't agree with something that one of the breastfeeding advisors had said to me. I told her that I'd not been back because I felt ashamed that I 'gave up' the next day and that the 'you can't help everyone' comment from the breastfeeding advisor made me feel like there wasn't much point in trying any longer. She said that was the exact comment that she disagreed with and that she'd had a word with the advisor once I'd left as she felt that it undermined and unnecessarily worried me, however the advisor stuck by her words and said that she felt that it's healthy for women to know that the NCT can't help everyone.

It meant a lot to have heard that Cat, the peer supporter, had said that to the advisor because it was something that really stuck in my mind. I still wonder whether I gave up too soon, but I also know that my relationship with Joseph has been so much better since I stopped. Less tears all round. I mentioned to her that I'd thought about trying Joseph on the breast again to give it another go and she said that I could come and discuss the pros and cons but that I'd need more specialist support than she could give. I concluded that I think I know in my heart of hearts that I'm too scared to try Joseph on the boob again... scared of the pain, scared of the sleepless nights and essentially 'starting again', not knowing how much he'd had and anticipating feeding times again. We're in such a good routine now that works for our family; I think I just need to let my breastfeeding aspirations rest. It definitely is a hang-up I have, to add to the others.

Joseph being fed by my brother... Although he's close to feeding himself!
I don't feel ashamed that I don't breastfeed Joseph directly from source any more. I happily got my bottle out at the NCT event and didn't care who saw - and I know that NCT people are very pro-breastfeeding so maybe some people did tut, but I don't care. Quite a few women I've spoken to have said they've felt incredibly judged around breastfeeding mothers and have even received hurtful comments when they've got their bottles out - which angers me so much as it's none of their business, it's not their child and they don't know the reasons why the mum doesn't breast feed.... There doesn't even need to be a reason. Cat said to me that she'd never judge anyone for how they chose to feed their baby- and that it doesn't even matter to the baby - what matters is that they're fed with love. I think that's a great viewpoint to have. I don't think it matters to Joseph what he's having as long as he's being fed. He really isn't fussy.

Joseph still has a mixed breast-milk and formula diet. I'd say around two thirds of it is breast milk and I still pump three times a day. I am coming closer to accepting that I'll stop at six months but it's the letting myself dry up process that I know I'll struggle with. As I say, it's definitely a hang up I have. I honestly can't explain it and I honestly don't judge anyone for how they choose to feed their baby. Please don't think of me as some judgemental pro-breastfeeding formula-hating person because that's not the case. But, equally, please don't judge me because I pump for Joseph. It's just something I've chosen to do, although sometimes I do wonder myself why I do it. It's inexplicable. 

Anywho, sorry if that was really boring! Enjoy the rest of the weekend x

P.S. You can read my full breastfeeding story here.
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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x

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