Chronicles of a Breastfeeding Mama

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Breast is best?  I despise this slogan. Breast may be best but fed is even better! Breastfeeding is one of the top touchy subjects with motherhood. Why? Because the world is constantly in judgment of others rather than consistent encouragement so more mothers feel ashamed for formula feeding than they feel supported for breastfeeding.


Now, you are probably thinking from my first statement that I am pro formula feeding, not true. I fully support breastfeeding and think it is what is best for every baby. However, what I do not agree with is people condemning other mothers for formula feeding. I fully understand that back in the days before formula every mother nursed and no babies apparently ever had a problem latching on, mothers just dealt with the pain and frustration and made it work. Times have changed people! Breast was most certainly best back then, the food wasn’t processed to near plastic and the vegetables were rich in vitamins because they weren’t frozen so babies were getting complete nourishment. Now days, women are a bit lazier because they know if baby doesn’t latch or it gets frustrating they can skip over to formula and call it a day. Some may get offended by that statement—don’t, it is SO true and we all know it! Let’s be real mama’s—if we had no formula option like back in the day then we would take the time to figure out the issues with why our child couldn’t get the hang of nursing, we wouldn’t let them starve would we?! Nursing is a natural instinct for a baby. It may take them a little time to catch on but it is what they “know” to do, they will eventually get it if you keep trying. My sister n law Leigh is a testament to this! It took Ella 6 weeks to finally get the hang of latching. Leigh never gave up, her and Craig would wake up every 2 hours to feed Ella together. Craig would hold a drip tube on his finger and let Ella suck on his finger to get the milk from the tube while Leigh pumped. Now that is dedication!

Part of being a mother is being in charge of making decisions for another human life from the moment you find out you are pregnant. Everything ingested into the mother’s body is going straight to baby. How stressful is that?! UGH! Every bite of ice cream and fried food I ate I felt more and more guilty. Then once Hutton was born I thought “oh I will finally get to drink wine again”, um, no. Everything I ingest he gets, and yes you can pump and dump but seriously who has time to pump all that cherished gold and then dump it down the sink?! Not this girl!! Some of you may have boiling blood after reading this post thinking that I am bashing formula feeders. Totally not the case. I was a formula feeder myself. I breast fed my son Hutton from birth to 7 months and then had to call it quits. The amount of stress I felt breastfeeding was unlike anything I had ever felt before. I have never been wound more tight. Constantly worrying he wasn’t getting enough, I was eating good enough, my flow was going to slow down, etc. The number 1 stressor for me was not being able to produce enough milk flow while pumping. Also the fact that I refused to nurse anywhere but my house so I wouldn't be gone longer than 2 hours at a time. We got reaaaal cozy in our home those first 6 months. Nurses in the hospital told me not to pump for the first month because it would mess up my flow, NOT TRUE. I shouldn’t of listened because Leigh pumped from day 1 and had great flow, nursed Ella 13 months. I however chose to listen to the nurses and it would take me 40 minutes to pump 4 ounces. Hutton was sleeping through the night by 10 weeks and I would still set my alarm and get up 3 times a night to pump so my husband and I could go to dinner once a week. Talk about miserable, that is miserable! When Hutton started eating 8 ounces 5 times a day I just couldn’t keep up, I was only producing 4-6 ounces at a time and that just wasn’t cutting it for him. I was absolutely devastated because I had committed to myself I would nurse him 1 year. I felt like I had failed my son. Other moms and doctors can make you feel so guilty for switching to formula when I couldn’t help it. I tried every remedy, lactation smoothies, mothers milk tea, sitting on the pump longer, nursing longer etc. Nothing worked. I felt so guilty to quit because I felt I was giving up and as soon as I did I just knew Hutton would get sick or be diagnosed with some rare disease because I hadn’t made it 1 year like the doctors suggest. I made myself crazy over it!! What peace I had when I quit though. It wasn’t my frustration that made me quit it was seeing Hutton frustrated because he was hungry. Why make him suffer? I could easily fill his belly with formula that is perfectly fine for him. I know what you are thinking, “but it is full of preservatives” yup! It sure is, but you know what so is everything you ingest on a daily basis that your baby is getting. PLENTY of babies have been formula fed and have turned out completely healthy. I know that for fact because I have a perfectly happy, healthy baby boy who had formula for 6 months. 

It is HARD work breastfeeding, it is dedication breastfeeding, it is commitment breastfeeding. Do not let anyone down play the intensity of breastfeeding. Being a mom is hard all around but being your child’s lifeline, literally, is the most stressful thing. Yes, the bond you create with your child is indescribable making it all worth it in the end but don’t discredit yourself, it is a full time job!! Breastfeeding is obviously best but do not degrade women who cannot do it. Maybe they didn’t stick with it long enough and really try or maybe the pressure of feeding/pumping was too much with their schedules, whatever the case may be it isn’t your choice.  As mothers we are lucky enough to be blessed with these children that we get to care for, we make choices for them every single day and are doing what we think is best for our child.  Times have changed, we are so fortunate to have formula as an option! Quit criticizing formula and encourage breastfeeding! After encouraging breast feeding fails then suggest formula don’t bash it! Happy baby, happy mama! Happy mama, happy baby! Fed is best people.


Good luck to all you mama’s out there. Whether nursing through the night or cleaning bottles through the day you are doing what is best for your little one! Encourage one another, we as women are the only ones who understand the sacrifices and rewards of motherhood. Keep it up mama’s!




Chatt Later,


Mallory

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