In my first pregnancy
In my first pregnancy, I used a notepad and wrote down how long I fed the baby. I didn’t write from which breast or a number of soiled diapers. I was sleep deprived with a million and one things going on. I believe preparation is key when expecting a new addition. Although I have been through the ropes and I know what to expect and I have experience, I still find it important to prepare. I guess because I already have one child so I have added work on my plate and I want to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Breastfeeding can be hard as many of you may know. First, there is getting your little one to latch, then it may be painful. You may have to go back to work and have to pump, you may have a hard time with production. However, I believe if there is a will, there is away. I had a rough time the first time around and who knows how this time will go.
Breast Feeding the first time around
It wasn’t the worst possible experience in the history of breastfeeding. I was a first-time mom at the young age of 21. I was extremely stressed out, Isabella was a surprise. My family and friends weren’t thrilled to find out that my longtime boyfriend and I were pregnant. I had some amazing grades and a clear focus on my future. I was determined to finish my degree so I signed up for night school, not thinking about how much becoming a mother was going to change me and the toll it was going to take as well.
So there I was about 3 weeks post-partum and away from my baby.
I had to be away from Isabella for a few hours in the evening. All the external stress was getting to me. Plus I was even more stressed when it came to production. First of all, Isabella was born jaundice and the nurses didn’t listen to me when I stated she was to be exclusively breastfed. So when they took her at night they didn’t return her for breast milk they gave her formula. They also kept pushing formula on me because of jaundice saying she wasn’t getting enough milk.
About 3 weeks later
I was still stressed about production. She was gaining weight, everything seemed fine. But I was a first-time mom, terrified of breastfeeding in public. Therefore I pumped for every trip outdoors, I also needed to pump for the hours I was going to be away. I also had to breastfeed on demand. I and my boobs were exhausted and I was so stressed beyond belief.
Supplementation and beyond
I supplemented occasionally. I felt like a failure every time and she didn’t seem to keep formula down. I managed to breastfeed her for a year and then I was done. It was an experience, not necessarily a bad one, just kind of difficult. I am determined to have a better time with this baby.
Pregnancy versus Pregnancy
This pregnancy has been very very different from my first pregnancy. Most ways it has been better and very few it has been harder. In my first pregnancy I was producing milk early on and like nobodies business, this time around the baby is almost here and there is little to no lactation but that is okay lactation starts during labor, and the days following.
Preparation, preparation, preparation! I have been preparing my daughter for the moment we told her she is going to be a big sister. Explaining to her how things are going to be different and how to be around newborns. I didn’t stop there, although I have the experience I still went through all my old material and researched new material throughout my pregnancy about pregnancy, labor and delivery and breastfeeding. I know I want to breastfeed this time around like I did the first time and I am hoping that this time it will be easier but there are no guarantees.
I created a form to keep track of My Baby’s Daily Record which breaks down to keeping track of when I am feeding/ how long – time, which breast I am feeding on and if I use a bottle (whether formula or pumped milk) the amount that was given and how many diapers are wet or dirty each day. I think having this form will help keep track of everything I need and hopefully keep things running smoothly. It is important when breastfeeding to keep track of the wet and dirty diapers it helps you know that your baby is getting enough versus being confused and not sure if your baby is getting enough. Remember with production the more you nurse and pump the more milk you make, it is easy to freak out and feel like you are not making enough but the best thing to do in this situation is to relax and nurse as much as possible and pump if your baby doesn’t want to nurse. Usually, the nursing produces flow on the other breast and it makes sense to pump at the same time, just reverse the next time.
There are so many resources out there that can help if you are having issues, although when you are in the middle of issues with a newborn and sleep deprived and stressed over the issues it is hard to find time to look them up or even focus. That is why I am trying to prepare as much as possible.
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