Sophie has just found out she’s pregnant. She’s excited but anxious. You see, she’s still breastfeeding her 14 month old, Mia, and she isn’t ready to wean. However, she’s concerned about how breastfeeding will affect her pregnancy and her unborn baby.
Holidaying with kids is…how can I put this? It’s…well, let’s just say it’s different to previous holidays you may have taken with friends or as a couple without kids. And by different, I mean, you may feel like you need a holiday to recover from the ‘holiday’ you just had. Add a breastfed baby into the mix and it’s a whole new ball game where your expectations may be quite different to what really happens!
Here, three mums share their journeys of bringing in milk to breastfeed their babies: one who brought back her milk after medical weaning; one who brought in her milk to breastfeed a foster baby and a mum who induced a milk supply without a pregnancy so she could share breastfeeding when her partner birthed their baby.
It is possible to introduce or reintroduce your baby to the breast when breastfeeding was not established from birth, or if you and your baby have had a break from breastfeeding. In fact, our bodies are so amazing that even if a woman did not give birth to her baby, it is possible for her to breastfeed an adopted child or a child born to a surrogate mother.
I see many women ( both new and experienced mothers) who set themselves extreme standards of nurturing and housework yet completely neglect their own well-being. It seems to be a reflection of the expectation (either external or self-imposed) that now you have a child, you don’t matter. Of course a helpless baby needs to have his needs met but a hungry mum, affected by low blood sugar and exhaustion isn’t up to making good decisions or meeting her baby’s needs
For a new mum, the holiday season can be overwhelming and exhausting. It can also impact your milk supply and may mean that your baby, sensing your own stress, becomes increasingly unsettled. Then, as relatives ask, ‘are you sure you have enough milk?’ your self-doubt increases and you reach for the bottle. This is often described as ‘holiday weaning’.
But please take heart, we have top tips for you to beat holiday ‘boobie traps’ so you keep your boobs full and your baby at the breast.
Unrealistic expectations, pressure to be the perfect mum and too many ‘rules’ are making mums overthink – and blame themselves when they don’t have a ‘good’ baby. The first question every new mum is asked will be ‘is he a good baby?’ This will be followed by, ‘how does he sleep?’ Is it any wonder mums are asking, ‘am I screwing things up?’
While there are certainly conditions that may create challenges to breast-milk supply, such as PCOS, diabetes, retained placenta, low thyroid or iron levels and a condition called Insufficient Glandular Tissue (Breast Hypoplasia: red flags include a lack of breast development during puberty and pregnancy and/or tubular shaped breasts that are widely spaced), there are also a lot of booby traps around low supply that have mothers reaching for the bottle.
Even if you have a medical condition that means you are having a hard time, you don’t need to ditch your nursing bra just yet.
You have most likely heard very good reasons to breastfeed: boosting baby’s immune system; providing breast milk that changes to meet your baby’s needs; a lovely way to bond and allowing instant comfort for an unsettled baby.
Another important reason to consider breastfeeding is evidence that it can reduce your own and – if you have a baby daughter – her risk of breast cancer too.