It was day-3 at the hospital, post an emergency c-section, baby was here and I still hadn't had my milk come in. The first few nights were really rough, trying to recover and barely being mobile - while being a first time mum and not really having a clue what to do when baby cries. I kid you not - every time he cried, I buzzed the midwives. Someone help!
I thought that when the baby was born I would just have milk and breastfeed, I mean everyone made it sound really easy so surely it wasn't unrealistic to expect this right? We were now at day 5 and home with baby - and after profusely pumping day and night I FINALLY saw some milk come in, slowly but surely - yay, liquid gold was here!
It wasn't long though before it all started to hit me - breastfeeding wasn't going as well as I hoped, not to mention, trying to look after baby, work and feel productive around the house was feeling super overwhelming. I kept seeing posts on social media from people glamorising postpartum and at this point - my mental health was a wreck. Why wasn't I good enough? Why wasn't breastfeeding going as well as I thought it would? Why was pumping feeling so hard and making me feel so guilty? I breastfed baby (well, tried too) and then sat there every hour or two holding my pump in my hands for half an hour at a time, not moving from the couch, often so frustrated and sometimes crying because I would be so exhausted and over not having a single ounce of freedom.
Things felt really hard at this point. I even questioned if any of this was meant for me.
There it was - I thought, why isn't there a pump I can buy that could at least save me from feeling like this! I literally felt claustrophobic when I pumped, on top of the other struggles crippling me mentally. How didn't us mums in Australia have access to a breast pump that could give us so much back - and I'm not just talking about milk!
That was where it started - and The Night Owl is where it is now. I pumped handsfree, I got time back in my day, stopped feeling stuck, the guilt went away and I learnt to love the journey for what it was - pumping had alleviated so much of what I was feeling because it helped me manage the things that were overwhelming me. Now, I work everyday towards giving an opportunity to all Australian mums to have access to a lifechanging and revolutionary solution to pumping so that they don't have to feel the way I did. Pumping helped save my mental health, which meant I was seeing more clearly, I stopped comparing myself to the 'influencers' glorifying the struggles, I stopped feeling guilty, I started being present, productive, and focused on my recovery and my beautiful baby.
Our mental health and recovery is the most important thing postpartum, so whatever you need to do to help you with that, is what you need to do! Don't ever feel guilty about that. Whether that's breast, bottle, formula, pumping, or anything else that we have to do as mummas - all journeys are different, everyone is going through different things, and we're all just trying to do what's best for ourselves and our baby at the end of the day. You do you Mumma xx