Now that my youngest is 13 months old and I won’t have any more children, I can talk freely about my breastfeeding struggles I had with all 4 of my children.
My struggles were all so very different with each child.
Before I do I have to get something off my chest.
I really am disappointed with society and the pressure it has put on moms to breastfeed.
I honestly do feel that a lot of postpartum depression has a lot to deal with moms trying to breastfeed.
When I was pregnant with my first (Maianna), I did everything a new mom would do. I went to lamaze class and prenatal classes. I practiced everything that I was taught and purchased all the products they recommended. I read the “baby prep” books. I was feeling pretty prepared.
On March 28, 2008 Maianna was born. I was so eager to try this hyped up thing called breastfeeding!
With the help of my husband, we tried getting her to latch. We tried every 30 minutes as recommended by the doctor and the nurses.
Why couldn’t she latch?! I was doing everything right! I had her positioned in all the right places. I even tried all the different positions.
After the first few hours of her not being able to latch, I pumped. Yes I know my milk didn’t come in yet. But I was told to pump to encourage my body to produce the milk quicker. So I did.
The lactation consultant paid me a visit and tried helping me as well. No success.
The next day magic happened! I pumped colostrum! Yay! But how would I feed it to her if she won’t latch. And I was told “no bottles!” It could cause nipple confusion. So what then?!
The nurse came in and brought a syringe and a medicine cup. What in the world was she planning to do?
She sat Maianna up and fed her the colostrum with the syringe. Boy was she happy!
She also fed her with the medicine cup. Could a baby really be drinking like that??
She sure could!
I was slightly relieved to know that she had something in her belly.
During the rest of my hospital stay I continued to try to get her to latch, then I pumped, then we fed her whatever milk there was with a medicine cup.
Before I left the nurses told me that I’ll be fine. Once my milk came in she would have an easier time to latch.
The first few days at home was brutal. It was the same routine over and over. Trying to breastfeed, pumping then feeding with a cup.
I even recall having one night where she wouldn’t stop crying. I could hear voices in my head saying no bottles and no pacifiers because it will cause nipple confusion.
That was one of the roughest nights.
About a week later we went to see a lactation consultant at the hospital. She helped me to get her latched on one breast. The other breast (more inverted) she gave me a shield to help with latching.
Yay! She latched to one side. So we left there pretty confident.
Later that day we tried the nipple shield. When Maianna latched there was a piercing pain. But she latched so I left her on.
When she let go I pulled her away and to my horror there was blood on her face and in the nipple shield.
OMG what did I do! OMG she was drinking my blood! Oh no!
I was totally freaking out! I was on the verge of crying (actually I think I was).
How could I do this to my precious baby?!
After a quick google search, my husband informed me that it was ok.
After that I was scared to even try breastfeed.
So the next feeding I pumped.
Ewwww! How gross! The milk was bloody.
My nipples were so cracked that it was bleeding as I pumped. Yikes!
For the next month and a half I continued to try to breastfeed, pump and feed with a medicine cup.
It wasn’t fun!
I was exhausted!
I was tired!
I felt like I was starving her!
It was difficult going places!
I was in pain!
I felt defeated!
After changing my mind multiple times, I finally decided to feed Maianna formula with a bottle.
Again I felt like I had failed.
I felt like I wasn’t meant to be a mom!
It took me some time to get over it.
I constantly questioned myself if it was the right decision. I constantly checked with my husband if it was the right decision.
I constantly talked about reasons as to why it was an ok decision (I’m going back to work in 1-1/2 months anyway).
I have to be honest. Once I made the decision to not stress and to give her formula with a bottle I could finally enjoy being a new mom.
Not only could I enjoy being a new mom, I could finally get the rest that I really needed to recover from labor. I could finally take care of myself.
Have you struggled with breastfeeding? Are you struggling currently?
I hope that you know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving your baby formula.
Feeding your baby formula through a bottle does not make you a terrible mom!
You know yourself the best. Don’t forfeit your happiness and health to satisfy society’s pressure that breastfeeding is the only healthy way. All that matters is that you are feeding your baby and keeping him/her healthy.
Stay tuned for my breastfeeding struggles with my 2nd child Kason♥
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments! Submit a comment♥