Breastfeeding Anxiety


breastfeeding

Photo by Jomphong. Taken from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Breastfeeding is best for babies.  Everyone knows that.

Breastmilk gives babies the antibodies the mother has to protect them from diseases.  Breastmilk is the best formulation for the digestion of the babies.  Breastfed babies grow up to have less allergies than formula fed babies.  Breastmilk is said to boost the intelligence of the child.  And for the benefit of mom, breastfeeding triggers happy feelings in the mom and helps moms lose the baby weight.

It’s all pros and no cons.

Ever since my first child over 10 years ago, I geared myself up to breastfeed.  I was prepared to try to go the distance but sadly, with both children, I failed.  I wasn’t ever able to breastfeed in full.  I was never able to produce enough milk for both kids and mixed feed, much to my dismay.

I didn’t know until recently that I failed because I wasn’t doing it right.  My babies didn’t latch properly which caused me a lot of injury.  I didn’t room-in the baby, the first time by choice the second time because I developed high fever from the hospital’s negligence after I gave birth.  So, with both babies, by the time I went to feed the baby, the nurses slipped the baby a little formula already.  Both times I got so tense and anxious and went through a lot of pain.

Needless to say, for a perfectionist mom, both breastfeeding fails caused me much dismay and sadness.  I was in tears trying to pump enough milk for my hungry little babies as my injury kept me from breastfeeding direct.

It was heart-wrenching for me.  I am used to accomplishing things I put my mind to.

Breastfeeding in full just kept eluding me and it drove me to the brink of depression.. both times.  So after 7 or so months, I ended up stopping and wallowed in my failure.  I watched other moms breastfeed easily, producing more than enough milk for 2 babies and I am saddened that I can’t even produce enough for one.

Now that my due date is nearing, I am once again building myself up to breastfeed.  I really want to succeed this time.  The support group for breastfeeding now is much better than it was 10, or even 7 years ago.  I’ve attended seminars, read so many websites and watched videos on latching in the hopes of becoming better equipped this time around.  I’ve spoken to friends who are breastfeeding advocates and they have given me contact people in my hometown that will be willing to coach me should I encounter problems.

I’ll admit I’m much better prepared this time for to “climb” my personal Everest.   However, I can’t help but feel scared and anxious that I still won’t succeed again this time.  I haven’t started trying and I’m already making myself tense.  It’s not a good place to be.  All the seminars say that I should relax and “trust” in my own body.

My two failures makes it hard for me to “trust” though.

I’m hoping talking about my anxieties through this blog will help me release some of it and let go of what I fear and just focus on the possibilities to come.

I can do this.

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6 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Anxiety

  1. Of course, you can! But don’t beat yourself up, if you can’t… just remember that! Breastfeeding does not define your motherhood. Btw, sent you a breastfriend pillow hehe! Please just wash the cover before anything else! 😉

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  2. Breastfeeding also needs a supportive community. I’ve been lucky that the hubby was with me all the way. It also helped that Rowie lent me her pump. It’s been 15 months, and I’m doing well with a few ups and downs.

    Don’t pressure yourself on it too much either because stress contributes a lot to milk supply. I’ve never been very productive, with each milk expression just ranging from 2 to 4 ounces. I see my officemates produce six or eight in one go. Each mommy produces milk differently, I had to tell myself. And about stress reducing milk flow… after my week in Zambo and getting back to work here with loads and loads of stuff to do. I forgot to drink water and kept doing lots of work stuff, I barely produced anything that session. I decided to eat first, drink lots of water and destress… after a couple of hours, I had the milk going. Still not as much as usual, but better than nothing.

    I think there are enough breastfeeding mommies in your circle who would be more than happy to join you in our bfeeding journey. Best of luck, Mommy J. 🙂

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