Breastfeeding has become the topic of conversation for almost everyone that is either pregnant or has recently had a baby. Doctors, nurses and almost everyone will tell you that breastfeeding is so good for your baby, almost making you feel like you don’t have any other options. I totally get what we are trying to promote here but it almost seems like you don’t have a choice anymore. As if you are looked down upon if you choose to formula feed your baby vs breastfeed. (formula feed … something most of us were fed as babies and we came out fine right!?)
My personal story on breastfeeding:
Before getting pregnant, I swore on everything I loved that I would breastfeed. So naturally when I did become pregnant, I was so excited about the idea of breastfeeding, pumping and everything that comes along with it. I researched every single pump imaginable. I asked coworkers, friends, and family what their thoughts were on breastfeeding and what pumps they recommended. I was bummed when I found out my husbands health insurance didn’t cover a breast-pump. The thought of having to dish out almost $400 on a brand new pump was killing me. Thankfully my coworker had one laying around and offered to lend it to me. I bought the extra parts ($39 vs $400 … big win!) and stored the pump until my baby was born.
Fast forward to June 11th, 2014, the day Sophia was born. After 24 hours of labor and an emergency c section, I was exhausted. Even though I felt like I had had enough and just wanted to rest, The doctors and nurses wanted me to get up that same day and walk, walk, and walk. And on top of all this I had to care for a brand spanking new baby. At this point, I was still excited about breastfeeding, about the bond I’ve heard so many women mention. We tried several times to help baby latch on but had no success. I vowed to continue to try but in the mean time had to pump. If you have used a hospital grade pump, you know those things not only look scary but hurt like hell.
After almost a week of being in the hospital we were finally sent home. I packed my bags super fast and was dying to get home. I was tired, in pain and just wanted to see something familiar. Those 7 days at the hospital were hell. My husband had to leave by 10pm due to visiting hours and the overnight nursery nurses didn’t help at all. So I’m home and thinking I’m going to get more help than I did at the hospital but womp womp, I was wrong. My mom was sick and couldn’t come over, my husband didn’t get the 2 weeks paternity he had been telling me he had, my mother in law worked and I had to fend for myself. I had to care for my 7 year old son, take care of a newborn, pump every freaking 2-3 hours, all while recovering from the c section. (FYI: i don’t deal well with pain AT ALL) The first two weeks at home I was miserable. I cried and I cried and I cried! Things just felt so different, I thought I would never be normal again.
When Sophia turned a month, I kept thinking about formula feeding more and more. I spoke to my mom, I spoke to Carlos and I spoke to my mother in law. I felt so guilty, I thought I was a bad mother for even thinking of it but the honest truth is that I was miserable. I was not getting that bond with my daughter. She wasn’t latching, I was pumping, I was in pain, it just wasn’t for us. I felt more sad/angry than I did happy. I then thought to myself if I am constantly unhappy and crying, how could I ever be a good mom and right then and there I decided to stop pumping and formula feed. I went cold turkey. I bought a tight sports-bra, wore it all day long and tried to stop any form of stimulation. It may sound horrible to some of you but it was the BEST decision I have ever made. I almost immediately felt happier. I stopped crying and I was able to spend more time with my daughter.
Sophia is currently 4 months old and is doing just fine. She is hitting all her milestones and I’ve honestly never seen a happier baby. We have such a great bond that we’ve develop by spending more time together, playing, singing and cuddling.
I know most of us go by what is pushed on us especially by doctors, nurses, and other mommies, however I believe we have to do what feels right to us, to our babies and to our families. I knew breastfeeding wasn’t for me and acted on it and because of that I am one happy momma willing and able to care my kids.