With Aiden, my plan was always to breastfeed. I read books and articles, attended the class and never swayed from my plan. Aiden arrived and after an initial hospital consult with the lactation consultant, we were a go. He latched on well and I never looked back. I honestly loved almost everything about breastfeeding. Don't be mad Mamas out there, but I never had mastitis, never a blocked milk duct, never intense pain from being too full...if breastfeeding can ever be easy, I'd say I had it easy.
But that's not to say I didn't face any challenges. I went back to work after 3 and a half weeks because I had recently started a new job and I decided to continue breastfeeding. Aiden got pumped breastmilk while I was at work and then I fed him whenever I was home. Thankfully my work schedule and hours were flexible, but pumping is never fun or easy and as a Type A gal prone to worrying, I constantly worried about my milk supply. I tried the cookies and the teas, but I always felt like I was making just enough to get by. It became an all encompassing thought...Do I go out with my friends? If I do, Aiden will have to get a bottle, leaving only enough milk for two feedings instead of three the next day. Should we go on a date and leave after I feed him or before? Do I try pumping more at work? Do I wake up in the middle of the night to pump? These thoughts began taking over and that was hard, but I chose to continue breastfeeding and give myself grace. I came to terms with the possibility of having to give Aiden formula if need be. When Aiden was 10 months old, I researched and bought formula, which before coming a Mom, was not part of my plan.
16 months of breastfeeding later and that formula still sat in my cabinet unopened. While I never ended up having to use it, it made me more compassionate and less judgmental about how women choose to care for their newborns. Having that container of formula in my cabinet was a relief, not a thing causing me guilt. We always want the best for our kids, but our plans do not always remain in our control.
Of course with my second baby, my plan is the same, to breastfeed. While I would love to give him only breast milk and that is my goal, I'm also going to remember that it is OKAY if he needs formula or if breastfeeding doesn't go as planned this time. I'm bracing myself and telling myself that things this time around WILL be different. He will be a different baby than my first. He might not sleep through the night as quickly as Aiden did. He might have reflux or problems latching. I might be too stressed to pump with a toddler running around screaming for my attention. So here's what I do know...I will give my second child all the love I can and will do what I know is best for him and for our family. I know it will not look the same this time around and I'm choosing to be okay with that.
So Mamas of two or more...did your feeding story change when you went from one baby to two?
Helpful Resources/Links About Feeding a Newborn:
Honest Company Feeding Page
The Nursing Mother's Companion
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
Lactation Cookies to Boost Supply
When You Struggle to Breastfeed (Some encouragement)
*Read other Honest Feeding Stories Here