Before my baby was born, I tried to prepare myself by reading lots about BFing on the net, and Ieven bought problem solving books just in case, to prevent me from simply giving up when I came against challenges. But there are some things that non of this information ever did – it didn’t set my expectations as to how much of my day I would actually be feeding my baby, and how long this would go on for.
All I wanted to know was that it was normal for my baby to want to feed every 2/2.5hours and frequent BFing would go on till babe was moving onto solids at the recomended six months. I fully expected this for the first couple of months, but then I thought it would start to space out a bit – and it didn't.
By not knowing that this was normal, hubby and I worried about it (lots) and questioned if I was doing it right – more him than me to be honest. Health visitors on hand to support you through the process weren’t a great deal of help either – always asking, "is she starting to take longer between feeds and is she sleeping through the night yet" (don’t get me on the constant pressure for your child to sleep through the night, that’s a whole topic for another day). Also my closest baby friends weren’t BFing, so I couldn’t swap notes there either. The only saving grace was forums, but this did nothing to appease the worries of my hubby and the constant pressure of people around me to switch to formula feeding my baby. Its that kind of pressure in early motherhood, that questions the fundamentals of what we are doing – that we can do well without!
If I wasn’t so strong minded or stubborn (depends on whether you’re on the sharp end of this), then I would have given up at the four month mark.
Ther are definately somethings I will differently next time:
1) CHILL OUT – go with the flow – did you like my pun there 😉
2) Get a sling – so I can BF on the go, while cooking (not generally advised I guess) etc
3) Co-sleep from an early age to make nightime feeding much easier
4) Not concern myself with issues of sleeping through the night…big deal, so what!
5) Go to local monthly La Leche Legue meetings…this is were the hardcore BFers go and they have bags of advice to share
But that's me…the important thing is to do what works for you, try various things but don't do anything that feels like hardwork and just feels wrong. You know whats best, not the health visitors and the BFing advisor, not your mum, your hubby, your interfering mother in law – or what ever. Don't let them get to you…
Cut yourself some slack and trust your own instincts.