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February 19, 2018
When my Medela Freestyle Double Electric Hands-Free Breastpump arrived, my preschooler helped me open the package, as he does most packages that arrive at the door. I explained to him what it was for, and he seemed quite intrigued in the process of breastfeeding. I even demonstrated to him how the pump is used, putting together the equipment, placing the breast shield near my exposed breast, and turning on the machine. After that we decided to find my older pump, unpack it, and to sanitize both the old equipment and the new equipment.
While waiting for the pot of water to boil my son decided to explore the breast pump and its parts, discovering how each pump works and how the parts fit together. He was SO PROUD of himself when he successfully put the tubing, valves, shields, and bottles together, assembling the system – it was as if he had completed a puzzle! He wanted to see the process through and pretended to place the shields on my breasts through my shirt, and then turned the machine on.
We also had a few goofy moments after I explained why the machine would not work on him; moreover, he tried to extract milk from various body parts including his chin and his forehead! He was extremely disappointed when the water finally boiled and it was time to sanitize the parts - he could have probably explored the pump and its parts for hours! Although he didn’t have any specific questions about breastfeeding/pumping I’m sure they will arise after his brother is born.
I plan to include my first child in the breastfeeding process as much as he would like to be included. I don’t plan to cover up when nursing or pumping at home and would like to educate my preschooler about the process so that he feels involved in this huge aspect of his baby brother’s first year of life. He loves to help out, and I could see him preparing the breastpump for me, collecting and putting together the parts. I also think that my son will enjoy recognizing when his baby brother needs to be fed and will either assist me in the process of preparing for nursing (getting the Boppy Pillow, ect.) or by feeding his brother a bottle. It’s small things like this that will make my first born feel important and needed and will help him to emotionally connect to the baby.
Having a second child can be scary, not knowing how, as mothers, we could possibly balance continuing to care for our first born while taking care of the needs of a baby, not to mention our own needs! I think that it is so important to remember that no mother is perfect. We all make mistakes, we all have regrets, and we all live to see another day! Embrace the journey that is motherhood, and remember that those stretch marks and sleepless nights may be stressful in the moment but are all SO worth it when your baby first smiles and giggles at you. Relax mama, you’ve got this!