I was quite anxious about breastfeeding the second time round. I was fully prepared pumping wise given my experience with my first baby. It really remained a mystery why breastfeeding never worked with my son. I never really figured it out and that was another reason why I couldn’t “give up” on the breastfeeding. It made everyone’s life more difficult though and the additional stress wasn’t good on my supply. It took me a lot of effort to get it back up. On top, I live in Europe and pumping is not really common here. You do it to accompany breastfeeding and improve your supply but not instead of breast feeding. I didn’t even know that it was possible to exclusively pump!
Well let me tell you breastfeeding is difficult no matter what. It does hurt at the beginning even if you are psychologically prepared, but you can still look past the pain. It was difficult to get started and I was even more anxious than the first time because I wanted it so badly to work. After a rocky start we did manage to get it to work but I was just never sure if my daughter was really getting enough milk. She was generally fussy at the breast and that made me more anxious but she was gaining weight rapidly which was a good sign.
What made me want to stop a few times with the whole breast feeding was my daughter’s fussiness and the times where I felt I had no milk left. Yes those were the growth spurts that seemed to last for far too many days. On top she refused to take the bottle for some time so I couldn’t even get to pump and feed her to see how much she was drinking. I was also worried about was that I don’t have enough milk for her. What I remembered though was that the more milk you extract, the more milk is produced, so every time she cried and I wasn’t sure if she was hungry or tired, I just put her on the breast. If she didn’t want any, she would just latch off and cry. Sometimes she would suck just until my milk came in and then come off and cry. I HATED that!!!! but I tried to see the good side. It was at least good for my supply. In the end once we reached the 12 week mark everything got easier and breast feeding became a breeze. The first three months are really difficult. Your baby is small, your milk supply and body are still adjusting, you are constantly tired and your hormones are shooting up and down. My advice: No matter if you are breast feeding or pumping, just try to get past this benchmark before you throw in the towel.