Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Five Reasons I Almost Gave up on Breast Feeding



To coincide with World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I would share my experience with you all and some of the challenges I have faced!

Did you know that by three months of age, only 39% of babies are exclusively breastfed and by six months of age, that drops to just 15%!

Whilst I was shocked at how low these percentages were, having experienced breastfeeding first hand now, I understand just how HARD it is!

It's not as simple as you might think. I thought it would be a walk in the park. How hard could be be? It's a natural thing that happens...naturally...right?! Well...sort of...and for some women, yes but for others, it's a different story.

I was lucky enough to have Achilles latch on within minutes of giving birth and whilst we haven't had any issues with supply, there have been times where I just wanted to give up and here they are!


**Please note I am aware that some women aren't able to or chose not to breastfeed. I am not here to judge but simply share my own story with you all.

IT HURTS!

I have quite sensitive nipples and if Achilles isn't latching on perfectly, I am in a lot of pain! During the first two weeks, I was in tears during most of the feeds from the pain. Not to mention the back pain I have endured. It took me a while to find a comfortable position for me that didn't hurt my back (having larger breasts makes it so hard because the weight of your breasts and the baby puts terrible pressure on your neck and back). Even now, almost four months in and there are still periods where he is cluster feeding (every two hours) that my nipples are in so much pain I almost cry and it takes away the bonding experience completely.

IT CAN MAKE YOU REALLY SICK

Three times now I have been struck down with mastitis. Mastitis is the result of a blocked milk duct and it can literally strike you out of the blue. You will feel like you have the worst flu in the world, have a really high fever and your whole body will ache. This is something I would not wish on anyone and I really hope it never happens to me again. I would literally prefer to give birth without pain relief another ten times than go through that again.

ONLY YOU CAN FEED THEM

It's damn hard, it's all on you - you have to be the one to get up every 2-5 hours with them to feed - unfortunately, partners aren't equipped with the necessary glands to help out! If you want to go out with out baby for even one day, you have to work out a pumping schedule so you're pumping enough for the next day but at the same time making sure you're not pumping too much so your breasts produce more milk. AND THEN when you're out for that day, you have to pump because if you don't, your boobs will leak and fill up so much that you risk mastitis. Oh and you have to fork out $200+ for an electric pump because manual pumps are USELESS! And then your baby will go through periods where they will flat out REFUSE a bottle and then if you want to go out or to an event, you can only go between feeds and for only a few hours. Achilles has been very difficult to convince that bottles have food in them! I'm heading back to work in less than three weeks and still no luck which has been stressing me out a lot as you can imagine. Being your baby's soul source of food really takes its toll on your emotional and mental well being. Although breastfeeding is a really beautiful thing... it has its downfalls and it's not always a great experience.

YOU WORRY... A LOT

When you're exclusively breastfeeding, you have no idea how much milk your baby is getting. Are they getting enough? Are they getting too much? Are the things you're eating and drinking affecting your milk? And you have no idea, you just have to hope everything is ok until their next check up!

IT IS REALLY TIRING

Breastfeeding takes SO much out of you. Not just the night feeds but they literally suck the life out of you. You need more food and water than normal however, when you have a baby, you don't always have time to stock up on food and water so it is really easy to get run down and feel depleted which doesn't help you keep positive let alone healthy and active! 

So there they are... the main five reasons I have wanted to give up and there were so many times I wanted to give up and Ben was more than supportive if that was the decision I wanted to make but so far I just can't bring myself to stop. As hard as it is, I don't want to.

During labour, there wasn't one moment where I wanted to give up but with breastfeeding, there have been many.But just like labour, I wanted to do this... and breastfeeding was something I wanted to do more than anything. It's the best thing I could do for him and his development. I have to be strong. I just sat there crying during every feed wanting it to be over so quick.

I really regret not seeking help from a lactation consultant during this time. If you're ever having issues with breastfeeding, definitely give one a call... it could be such a simple fix! AND if  you ever feel like you're getting the flu, have high fever and sore breasts (or just one breast) see your doctor immediately and get treatment! Mastitis can make you REALLY sick if not treated quickly.

I can honestly see why some mothers give up. It's a stressful part of Motherhood but at the same time, it is the most beautiful. Most nights I love sitting on the couch while he feeds even if it's 1 or 2am knowing I am the one helping him grow, I am the one giving him what he needs, I AM GROWING THIS HUMAN! It's a truly magical experience (most of the time).

The Australian Breastfeeding Association Hotline Number is:  1800 686 268. The ABA can help you with any of your breastfeeding questions. There have been a few times I have tried to call and they have been busy so in lieu of the ABA, 13 HEALTH are always extremely helpful!

I'm glad to have a platform where I can share my experiences. If I can help just one other mum get through the tough initial time of breastfeeding, I'll be happy.



Keep smiling!

Tahana xo

8 comments :

  1. I have no kids and obviously have never breast fed, but I just wanted to say that these photos are so completely natural and beautiful, I really admire you for posting such intimate pictures of yourself and Achilles.
    Xx

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

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    1. Thank you Kez, that means a lot! <3

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  2. I don't know much about this obviously I haven't been through it myself but I think you're an amazing mom and you should be so proud of yourself. I think that whatever a mom decides to do for her child is the right decision and it's amazing you have stuck through it despite how hard it was :)

    Sarah | Bows & Pleats

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    1. Thank you Sarah! You're such an amazing friend xx

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  3. This was such a fun & unique post to read. I haven't had any children yet, so I have no experience with breast-feeding myself. It's nice to read honest & open posts about it! I had no idea about mastitis.

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. Thank you Carmen! I didn't know about Mastitis either! Until I got it! And boy is it horrible!

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  4. Tahana I just wanted to say you are just amazing! My two older sisters are breastfeeding and I see what they go through sometimes - hats off to you gorgeous! You are giving him the best start in life. xx

    Daniela | MissNewBeauty.net

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    1. Thanks Daniela! It is so super hard but in the end, more than worth it!! <3

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