3 kids in 4 years. And only 1 have I successfully been able to breastfeed. This is my story. So many women struggle with breastfeeding, myself included, but many are afraid to talk about it. Why? Why is it so hard to share our struggles with others? Let them help carry your burden.
First, let me tell you that if you couldn’t breastfeed, struggled, or chose not you are NOT a failure. That is how I felt with Joy. Joy was in the NICU for almost 3 weeks and they said she was allergic to my milk. Seriously?! How is it that possible? I thought a mother’s milk was Liquid Gold. Well I went through some serious mom guilt and a bit of post partum depression that my new beautiful baby girl was drinking formula.
If you hear nothing else, hear this. If you are feeding your child, whether formula, bottled breast milk, or breastfeeding, you are doing what you need to do; FEEDING YOUR BABY. If your baby is eating and growing that is most important. As mom’s we should be building each other up not shaming because they chose a different route than you. Maybe their child was adopted, maybe they were unable to nurse, maybe they simply didn’t want to. And that’s ok. Your path is not their path.
Joy was on a special formula called Alimentum for 8 weeks, then was able to take the pumped milk I had produced. We did that for awhile. Until we ran out. Then it was back to formula.
Deano nursed for 3.5 months. Painfully. We found he had a tongue tie. After a bout of influenza and not eating anything for 3-4 days my milk supplied dried up. So it was on to formula.
Teddy has been a different story all together. He was also in the NICU, but thankfully for only 3 days. He took to breastfeeding well. Though I did use a nursing shield for the first few months. While the shield was very useful it did have its downsides. Much more of pain when feeding in public. But I was just thankful I could feed the way I wanted to with Teddy. I have to say, breast feeding has its downsides too. Since you are the only who can feed them, particularly in the middle of the night. Some people say not to use shields. But I found that they really helped and we were able to stop after about 5 months. We are 7 months in now and going strong.
So moral of my story. Each child you have can be completely different. Also. Be kind to other moms. They might be struggling more than you know.