A few weeks ago I posted this on Facebook…
It got me thinking.
All 285 days of being pregnant I imagined a dream world where baby comes out, natural instincts cause her to latch just perfectly, and from there marks the beginning of our year long nursing bonding experience. As you know, things didn’t quite pan out as planned. At one point she was almost strictly a formula-fed baby. I was making mere milliliters of milk every few hours. Nine weeks and lots of tears later, we’re doing it. But I know it doesn’t work out for everyone. One of my dearest friends had to give up nursing after a few weeks for the sake of her baby’s health and her sanity.
If you haven’t yet seen the Sisterhood of Motherhood video, watch it. Forget the fact that it’s a Similac commercial. This is what being a momma is all about.
With all the studies out there, how do we know that parents that breastfeed their babies aren’t more likely to have a certain type of parenting style that actually is what makes the babies smarter, rather than the fact they were breastfed?
People have given me every sort of opinion out there. And every single one of them was meant in the absolute nicest way but still…
From the lady who said “just let them dry up, honey! You’re putting too much stress on yourself.”
To “You can do it! Even if you can’t nurse, you can still have the bonding experience using a tube and syringe.”
I’ve heard it all. At one point I told myself 24 hours. If I don’t see a change in my supply within a day, we’re done. I felt like we were trying so hard. I was beyond exhausted, couldn’t enjoy my little new bundle, and for what? Because some researchers tell me that’s what I have to do? Because I will feel like a failure for giving up too quickly? I don’t think so. Looking back I almost wish I hadn’t tried so hard. Our feeding routine took about an hour and fifteen minutes and then we had to do it all over again 45 minutes later. And that went on for weeks. It was stressful. Exhausting. Overwhelming. If my milk hadn’t increased, I would probably be doing the same routine nine weeks later because that’s how much I thought I had to breastfeed. Society told me you do everything you can to have a breastfed baby, but at what point is it enough?
So to all you momma’s out there struggling or who plan to have kids in the future and might have it rough, know you aren’t alone and if you need to talk it out with someone, I am always just an email away! Breastfeeding ended up working out for us but for the next one, it might not. And that’s okay. The greatest advice someone told me was this, “Do what you need to do. Survive. Live. And thrive. Your baby will love you no matter what.” If that means having a formula-fed baby, do it and don’t be ashamed! It is not the end of the world.
Need some other opinions? Here are some articles I found helpful.
>>> I Didn’t Breastfeed … 8 Reasons Why I Don’t Regret It by Casi Densmore-Koon
>>> The Breastfeeding Chronicles: Why I Formula Feed by Jordy Liz Blogs