Congratulations on your second pregnancy! I know that the thought of life with a newborn again feels exhilarating, but terrifying at the same time. I know that you usually avoid thinking about your previous breastfeeding experience, how hard it was, how much pain you went through and how upset you were when it ended…. but relieved at the same time.
I understand how that relief made you feel guilt that you’ve never experienced before. When you fell pregnant this time, you couldn’t forget it any longer. That it’s on your mind almost every day and as the time get’s closer your fears increase. It sits in the back of your mind and seems to be always there when you think towards the early weeks and months of your new baby’s life.
I know that you want that experience, the one that you see all around you. Of women feeding their babies from their own breasts as if it’s the easiest and most natural thing in the world. I know that you want that so badly, that you’ll do anything to make it happen, but that deep down you just don’t know if your body is able to do it. If you can do it……. You don’t know if you’re cut out for breastfeeding at all.
You want to do all you can, you’re determined to do things differently this time round, but at the same time want to protect yourself. “Why would you want to put yourself through that again?” Others have asked, and you’re wondering that too. But at the same time, despite the awful times you all went through, the urge to do it is strong, it’s something that you can’t quite let go of.
And as a Mum and a Lactation Consultant I want to tell you that last time you did all that you could. You kept going until you couldn’t any more. I want you to proud of what you did for your little one. For every drop of breastmilk that you provided, whether from breast, bottle or another way. In each and every drop, love and nurture, determination and nourishment. For you’re not a failure, you’re not bad at breastfeeding. You were dealt a tricky hand and were sent challenges that you’d never imagined in your previous life. You experienced a range of emotions that you had never before thought possible.
So I’m asking you to feel proud, remember the love and forgive yourself and those who were around you. As these are the first steps to healing what happened, and to help you look forward to the early weeks and months with your little one. I want you to know that you are strong and resilient and that your previous experience proves that to be true.
Click here to read – The Sad Truth About Breastfeeding in the UK.