But is it Breast For Everyone?
Fact is Fact, breastmilk is your baby’s perfect formula. Let me be real for two seconds there’s no better feeling than going to your baby’s one month wellness visit and seeing that scale go up, success! I did that! Breastfeeding is a whole whirl of emotions. On top of taking care of that precious newborn, postpartum healing (that deserves it’s own post), you have your boobs. Declan was a great baby when it came to breast feeding, latching wasn’t an issue at all. I so badly wanted to breastfeed him for a multitude of reasons, all which every new mom knows. But I also knew NOTHING about it. The terms “let down”, “fore milk” and “hind milk”, weren’t in my lexicon. It is a true science and it’s different for every.single.person.
Declan was in the NICU for 3 nights, 2 days. Because of this the nurses and doctors had me pumping immediately to get my colostrum to him…in a different room…in a separate wing of the hospital. Convenient, right?
If I had known anything about breastfeeding 3 months ago, I would have protested to the nurses. You’re typically not supposed to pump until your milk supply is established which usually happens between 6-12 weeks. So I left the hospital without Declan, but was bringing him my pumped milk which was painful and I felt like I was doomed from the start to ever successfully breastfeed. I was over producing milk from the get go. I wasn’t able to relax the milk production because I was also trying to feed my newbie, who loved to eat.
Long story short, I struggled with supply and demand, to pump or not to pump, pump for comfort and this and that. I STRUGGLED. There came a point where I was so torn between continuing this battle between my new mom guilt “keep breastfeeding, Declan needs you” and “Holy cow, this baby needs to wake up to relieve my boobs” or my fear of leaving the house because I wasn’t comfortable with breastfeeding in public. Every day was an emotional conversation about my boobs and how engorged they were. Friends I confided in would say “it gets better” so I waited it out. While I waited out these 12 weeks I read Baby Wise and also The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. These are two very amazing resource books and I learned a lot! I would highly recommend reading these BEFORE your welcome your sweet bundle into the world. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is definitely more biased to breastfeeding, but is so informative in the best way possible. While Baby Wise was more unbiased and made me feel like it was okay to not breastfeed Declan.
I was making so. much. milk. For a small chested person this was in fact terrifying. I was consumed and felt like I was missing so much of the enjoyment of being a new mom because I was so uncomfortable all the time. So I contemplated for weeks and weeks on end to wean my happy baby off breastfeeding or to wean myself…I felt selfish.
I so badly wanted someone to tell me “Brittani it’s okay to formula feed your baby.” But guess what…it’s mom code to not tell another mom what to do. I felt so guilty and I hated the fact of taking his happiness away. I finally did it, do I miss it? Absolutely, but guess what? I got Declan to 13 lbs and 9 weeks of health and that’s better than nothing. He’s happy. I’m happy and that’s what’s important.
Be confident in your decisions for yourself and your child. Formula feeding your baby isn’t a crime and I know for a fact I have been a more functional Mama.