Why Breast Feeding Wasn't For Me
Let's face it. Doctors, new age moms, and just about everything in between advocate for breastfeeding. Everywhere you turn, you see "Breast is Best". Way to make those of us who can't breastfeed or don't want to breastfeed feel like horrible mothers. Don't get me wrong, I too thought breast was best. Throughout my pregnancy, I only thought of breastfeeding, only wanted to breastfeed, and only planned on breastfeeding. I read so many books and articles and took classes so when my baby arrived, I WAS READY! Too bad my little bundle of joy wasn't.
When she came, she slept and slept and slept. Labour and delivery was EXHAUSTING for me, so I slept and slept and slept with her. No one at the hospital decided to wake me up to feed her. To make matters worse, little boo bot thrashed her tongue around and loved to use her hands. She would scream bloody murder and would cry so hard she'd stop breathing. This was an already rough and unwanted start to my breast feeding experience, but it was even worse when we got home. I left the hospital with a pump but no one showed me how to use it nor told me how often to pump. GREAT! I ended up spening many days in tears on the verge of postpartum because I felt like a TERRIBLE MOTHER AND THAT MY DAUGHTER DESERVED BETTER. I couldn't even get real results from attending lactation consults.
After 2 months of trying without any real success, I had to give her formula and that devastated me. I felt like my child and I wouldn't bond because that's what I was fed in the classes and articles. Okay, it wasn't actually said but it is definitely implied. The truth is my daughter and I had the strongest bond ever because I carried her for 9months and I gave birth to her. I was the first to hold her and the voice she heard all the time. I was the one who could keep her warm with just my skin. I was the one she cried for and liked to snuggle with. I was the one who stayed home with her. And I was the one who was messing up our bond by holding on to something that was stressing us both out.
I did try to keep pumping after putting her on formula but it was still difficult. My nipples bled despite using creams and I was drying up. I tried pills to help boost my flow but it just didn't work. With my breastfeeding troubles in one hand and my domestic duties and responsibilities piling up in the other hand, my continuous failed attempts at pumping came to an end. But guess what? My baby was okay. She continued to be a happy healthy and loving little girl. She never got sick or had a fever, she saw the doctor regularly and was even advanced in her milestones. So here I was crying about having to formula feed her and she was doing just fine.
Now, I don't want to scare anyone from breastfeeding or deter you if it's something that you've always wanted to do. I'm also not saying that "Breast ISN'T Best." I'm just suggesting that you keep an open and forgiving mind for yourself. The most important thing to remember is all you want is a happy and healthy baby. However you decide to feed your child is your prerogative and you shouldn't let feel guilty or ashamed if you're making the best decision for your baby. I personally would still love to try breast feeding with my next child (whenever that may be) but I will be more open to using formula just incase baby number two doesn't think "Breast is Best" like their older sister.