So I know there is a great debate of breast is best vs fed is best. Breastfeeding is better than bottle feeding, breast milk is better than formula. Well I believe firmly that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. As long as you are doing everything in your power to keep your baby fed, happy, and healthy you have to do what works for you and baby.
Now this is not meant to spark debate. Just wanting to tell my story and why I decided to do what I did as far as feeding Cameron as a newborn.
From the very beginning I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I just thought as a new mom that’s what I was meant to do. Unfortunately it did not happen as easily as I would have liked it, and I wish someone would have told me beforehand how hard breastfeeding is. A lot of media makes it seem like poof, baby is born and breastfeeds like a champ. If you have a baby like that they Hooray for you! I’m envious of that, because we did not have an easy go of it at all. From the get go I could not get Cameron to latch. She wanted nothing to do with my boobs. I don’t know if we didn’t have enough skin to skin at birth, if she could sense my stress, or any other multitude of reasons, but she just would not latch. I had lactation consultants dwell upon my hospital room multiple times during my stay and every one of them just told me to keep working at it. They would help me, get Cameron to latch, and I would think we had something going and come next feeding we had to try it all over again. Of course I was getting frustrated but I continued working on it. We were both new at this, we needed time to adjust. So we kept trying and trying, she kept refusing to latch, we went to support groups, met with more consultants, tried nipple guards, and shields, and this position and that position, over and over and over. I was becoming so stressed my supply was tanking and I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to feed her at all. So we decided to try and different approach. I would pump enough for the next feeding so that when we tried to latch, if it didn’t work, we could bottle feed her my milk and I would pump to keep the cycle going. That seemed to work for a while, and then one day she decided that she was going to start latching so we were able to continue going forward.
And then I had to have surgery to remove my gallbladder, my supply tanked almost completely, and due to the meds I was given I was told to hold off feeding her breast milk until they worked through my system. That’s when I made the decision to switch Cameron to formula. It had been 10 weeks of pure breast milk and although I felt defeated that I had to move to formula, I had to take into account how much it was stressing and discouraging both of us to keep going when I wasn’t producing as much milk and I was hoping to.
Feeding her that last bottle of breast milk broke my heart. I felt like I had failed her for not being able to provide her the milk she needed, but she did not seemed phased at all by the switch to formula. She was still my happy go lucky 3 month old, and in the grand scheme of things I felt better too. I didn’t feel as stressed or upset every time feeding came around. So whether you choose to stop breastfeeding, you just aren’t able to do so anymore, you chose to never do so, or you are still rocking at it, props to you momma! Because YOU know what is best for YOU and your baby!