I wished I had purchased a battery breast pump, it is amazing how requiring a plug to be able to pump really restricts you. The amount of time I have ended up hand expressing in bathrooms as the office I am in doesn't have a meeting room that doesn't have glass windows - great for airiness, terrible for privacy!
Breastfeeding has definitely been a journey for me. A fairly easy journey for the most part but at the start I didn't expect to be saying that.
My first breastfeeding post was when Annabelle was a few weeks old. You can read it here. My introduction to breastfeeding wasn't the idealistic experience we had been told about in antenatal classes.
Two months into breastfeeding Annabelle and I had found our rhythm but it wasn't without challenges. I shared my experience in this post here - it includes some breastfeeding truths I never knew about!
Being back at work has probably been the biggest change in my breastfeeding journey though. For almost 3 months I have had to factor in pumping in order to keep our supply of milk stocked up for Annabelle to have when I am not around. I have had to make time when I am in the office, I have had to find time in my work day and I have to plan to not be travelling too much in one day that would mean I couldn't pump once my boobs have filled up. It can be a logistical nightmare.
|This is meant to be a good read and full of advice!|
When I am working from home (which I get to do fairly often) it is a benefit if I can do it on days that Annabelle is being looked after my Mum so she's in the house. That way I can time my lunch break so I can come and feed Annabelle pre-nap.
The one thing that has changed significantly over the year is the way Annabelle feeds. At the start feeds were short and it was easy to tell when she was done. Nowadays feeds can last anywhere between 20 mins and 45 mins. They are less frequent but it is also harder to tell if/when she has had enough. She can be easily distracted and will often have some milk, get down off me, wander around, come back for me. In addition it has created an interesting challenge in our relationship.
For Annabelle's entire life I have been a source of food and comfort and sometimes it is hard to separate myself from being that and just be Mum. I can walk through the door after a meeting or walk downstairs for a refreshment and Annabelle will be on me. I may get a hug but within 5 minutes if I am not feeding her she will meltdown. That is hard. It is not always related to her usual feeding times so it's not predictable, all I know is I get a few minutes of her being excited to see me followed by a really tough time. What's harder is she can be easily pacified by others - it's just me that gets the hard time.
I am at the stage now where I can honestly say I have no idea how much longer I will continue breastfeeding. I think we will try and naturally phase it out. Annabelle eats a lot and is happy drinking anything from a bottle (now) so we can start to introduce other milk if we need to. While I love the bonding and time we have together during feeding I won't miss the fidgeting, the hitting, the epic feeds that mean I can be sat alone (as Annabelle will be napping while she feeds) listening to everything happening outside. This isn't always an issue but at events it leaves me feeling isolated.
And then there are the leaps. When Annabelle is going through a leap then feeding becomes more of a priority, she uses it as comfort but also because she seems to need more food. Unfortunately in a leap Annabelle also seems to go off actual food or make it more difficult to feed her easily.
So there it is. A year of breastfeeding. We've been lucky to have had such a good run, I'll be forever grateful that I have been able to breastfeed, parenting would certainly have had different challenges had I not.
|Climbing the stairs at Warwick Castle|
I wonder if there will be an 18 months of breastfeeding post????