Breastfeeding: A tale of a new baby and a new mom.
A few weeks ago it was World Breastfeeding Week. I mentioned a bit of our experience on social media, but thought I would expand on it here. The thought of breastfeeding an infant makes me anxious. Just remembering the experience I had with Bubs makes me consider going to the grocery store and buying all of the formula. Because, you know, it’s always good to be prepared.
I was determined to breastfeed. I read article after article telling me how to be successful at breastfeeding. There were midwives and doulas helping me. Family members too. It didn’t help. I was bleeding, Bubs was spitting up blood, the pain was almost unbearable. And no one told me Bubs had a tongue tie until we were a week or so in. Not to mention all of those hormones going crazy. I felt like a failure. I resented my baby for needing to eat 24/7. Pumping sounded like a lovely option, except it took me all day to get one bottle. Even when I gave Bubs a bottle of breast milk I felt like I was failing.
On top of hating breastfeeding, Bubs wasn’t gaining past his birth weight, so the midwives were coming over every other day to weigh him. Talk about stressful.
My saving grace? Mr Diaper Shop. Despite all of the different pieces of advice I was getting from everywhere about how to succeed at breastfeeding, he saw me flailing, trying desperately to survive mentally, physically and emotionally. And he encouraged me to use the free sample of formula we had received that was in the cupboard. It was such an emotional decision, but he was my logical side. Seeing that I was barely staying above water, he reasoned with me that giving Bubs a bottle of formula was going to take the pressure off of me, and help him to fill up. While I cried, Mr. Diaper Shop fed the baby.
And what a relief I felt.
It wasn’t my ideal. I still wanted to nurse my baby. But for a few weeks we chose to use formula when Bubs didn’t seem to get enough from me. Once I started pumping regularly, and getting enough to freeze, we stopped using formula altogether.
Despite being warned not to supplement, I am convinced that it was the best and right choice for all three of us. I am not saying it is what everyone should do. My story isn’t your story. But I hope that sharing a bit of my experience will help you if you’re struggling. Since going through this, I’ve become the biggest believer in feeding your baby. However that works for you. You got this mama. I’m rooting for you!