Friday, 14 August 2009

Expression and lactations

I am still breastfeeding at seven and a half months. Great! I think so! I think so?
From the beginning I said I would see for how long I could carry on. Arnia (the 16-year old) did not want anything to do with a bottle while she was breastfeeding, and at 4 months I had to put her on bottle only. That was extremely traumatic (for me mostly) at the time.
When I went back to work in May this year (2009), I took my breast pump with me, and closed my studio twice during the day to express milk. I am still doing it, and sending two bottles with Mieka to the daycare.
(One of my biggest fears still is that I will walk out of my studio with my boobs still hanging out.)
The rest of the time she is still breastfeeding – at night, during the night (red eye syndrome for me), and in the mornings before I drop her off at daycare.
At seven months I am still trying to get used to the breastfeeding thing. In the beginning it felt like she was hanging on my breasts 24/7. I could not do anything else. And it was extremely sore. They tell you it is not supposed to be sore, because you are doing something wrong. Like latching… When I was hospital, I tried to ask for somebody to help me with the latching, but nobody ever pitched up. Is it worth it to complain now? And when I complained to the doctor that she latches very strongly, and I can’t get her off, he just shrugged and said that I must time her… Yeah, right!
Luckily we are past the extremely trying first few weeks. Dries, my husband, said he was not used to seeing boobs all the time. And he did not say it as if it was a good thing, or a treat to him.
And my boobs are still not my boobs. I miss my B-boobies which could fit into any top. I hope I hope I get them back.
I still don’t know when I am going to stop. When Mieka is one years, or two years? It is stated on the Purity baby food jars that it is good to continue breastfeeding until they are two years of age. (A very long time…)
The other thing that is sometimes very trying is when you are expressing at work, and the milk does not “come in”, or you don’t get the letdown reflex. I give myself 15 minutes in the morning, and again in the afternoon. Maybe it is stress, but sometimes I can sit with the electric pump running, and nothing is happening. I have also noticed that when I do not stick to a precise time-frame with regards to the expression of the milk, I do not get the desired amount. Mostly I do not get more than 100ml of milk at a time. I know it is supposed to be more, but I have decided that it is still better to give that, than nothing at all.
But all in all, it is a wonderful feeling to have the little one drinking from you. They are so completely dependent, and there is nothing that makes her go to sleep as putting her on the breast. Maybe that is why I am still doing the nightly rounds?
I have asked Dries to stand in for me. We are going to arm him with bottles tonight, and I am going to SLEEP! He always says that he is also not sleeping, but I bet you that it is much better to stay just where you are, than to get up every hour, or on a two-hourly basis. I can’t wait to hit the cushion tonight!

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