Breastfeeding is a bit of a lonely journey and it can feel like the whole weight of its success lies solely on your shoulders. I’ve certainly had moments of feeling this way especially whilst Hugo and I were establishing breastfeeding this time around. Previously I had breastfed my first son Henry and the road was bumpy to start with but eventually, we found our stride. With Hugo, I have definitely felt more confident with breastfeeding and as though I knew what I was getting into. I remembered that initially, it can feel a bit grim when as new-borns they are constantly feeding trying to build up the milk supply but instead of worrying something was wrong I embraced the extra cuddles and special chances to bond.
Hugo and I are now two months into our breastfeeding journey and our latch, position and my milk supply are strong. I can’t say that I don’t find it hard at times though. As we are exclusively breastfeeding I am Hugo’s sole source of food so when he is hungry it is me he turns to. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the middle of something I have to drop everything to feed him and that is quite a pressure. At times, I felt like I didn’t get a break or I sat there feeding him worrying about work I should have been doing, washing that I hadn’t put on and I shower I never seemed to get chance to have. If I’m honest it was completely ruining breastfeeding for me and I found myself watching the clock rather than bonding with my baby. That wasn’t at all the breastfeeding journey I had envisioned and I knew something had to be done for my own sanity.
I’ve heard so many success stories of women that have chosen to combination feed their babies. The idea of incorporating a formula feed into our feeding routine was appealing and so we started with one small formula feed in the evening. All seemed to go well at first, however, this small success was soon to be shattered as Hugo was struggling to digest the feed. We had a few trips to the doctor who advised that we cut out the formula feed and see if that helped. As if by magic within a few days of stopping the formula Hugo was back to being his bright happy self and his digestive issues disappeared. Of course, I was relieved that my baby was well and no longer struggling but I also felt a bit disheartened at dropping that formula feed. It may have only been one feed a day but it had given me a chance to indulge in some self-care and feel less pressure around feeding. The sole responsibility of feeding now landed exclusively on me again and that just seemed like a lot.
Breastfeeding & Expressing
It was my husband that first suggested I try expressing some breastmilk. At first, I wasn’t keen. It already felt as though my whole day revolved around feeding and the idea of then using the only short bursts of free time I had to express seemed like the worst idea. Realistically though If I did manage to express it would mean that we could incorporate that one bottle feed into our routine again without having to worry about any digestion issues. This would give me chance to get some work done, enjoy a hot bath, read a book or just completely relax. It would ease the pressure and hopefully put the joy back into breastfeeding.
I started to express either after a feed or between feeds using my *Lansinoh Compact Single Electric Breast Pump. I was worried it would take forever to express a decent amount of milk and it would require lots of washing and sterilising that would just add to the already long list of things I needed to get done during the day.
I was surprised at how simple the breast pump was to put together and use. This meant fewer parts to clean and sterilise which was music to my ears. The unit itself is small enough to carry with me when I am on the go which means I can easily and simply express without having to worry about rushing home. It’s also lightweight making it ideal for pumping on one side whilst Hugo feeds on the other. I have found using the breast pump simple and the adjustable suction means that it’s easy to find the right level for maximum comfort. Expressing using the Lansinoh Compact Single Electric Breast Pump was a lot faster than I expected and it takes minimal time to express a good amount of milk. This is largely due to the clever way that the pump mimics
the way a baby naturally feeds which means I can spend less time pumping but still produce a good amount of milk.
I express enough for one feed into a sterilised bottle and then express anything else straight into a Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bag which is the perfect way to store excess breastmilk in the fridge or freezer.
Pumping & Me – How is it Working?
Using the Lansinoh Compact Single Electric Breast Pump has made expressing fast, painless and simple. Having the freedom to express like this means that my husband is able to give Hugo a feed which is an ample opportunity for them to bond. By pumping and feeding breastmilk it means that my milk supply isn’t being affected and I don’t have to worry about it reducing the success of breastfeeding.
Most importantly It also gives me a huge break. I love Hugo and I love breastfeeding and spending time with him but everyone benefits from some self-care every once in a while, and I feel much less pressure and far more supported this way. I hope that my breastfeeding journey continues strong with Hugo. I would really love to breastfeed for the first twelve months at least and because I feel more supported I don’t see why that wouldn’t be a possibility.
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