Feeding Babies Is Hard – My Breastfeeding Journey with Formula
This last week I’ve had quite a few conversations around breastfeeding. Between how to quit breastfeeding your toddler to unexpectedly quitting cold turkey with a 9 month old. Even pumping for work, struggling to breastfeed a newborn and supplementing. These conversations happened with just a small group of friends and it really shows each journey of feeding our babies is so different. What works for one person doesn’t work for another, and that’s okay.
From one mama to another, we need to put our views of how we think things should be done in our back pocket. We need to be a support to our friends or just a listening ear. Truly, at the end of the day these babies depend on us for food. If breastfeeding is not the right fit, that’s okay, feeding babies is hard. Thankfully live in a time where we have other resources, like formula. And we need to celebrate that, aside from putting ourselves down as failures.🖤
I am speaking from experience with two polar opposite babies. P was losing weight when he was born, due to him being smaller at birth and having a tongue and lip tie. Thinking back, I remember being in such a fog about having the procedures done that we suffered a lot longer than we needed to. Feeling helpless, I remember being at home when I decided to pull my samples of formula out of the pantry. The ones I was told not to get because it would make it too easy to give up.
As I fed my 5Ibs 4oz baby (he was born 10 days early at 5Ibs 13oz) I cried because I felt like a failure and because he was clearly so hungry. After the bottle he threw all of it up. Feeling alone, I started to sob. Being postpartum and suffering two miscarriages previously, I was convinced that P was going to starve and die. I wasn’t supposed to be a mom, this wasn’t meant to be.
Obviously looking back that wouldn’t happen but being less than a month postpartum your brain makes you believe a lot of crazy things. I felt so ashamed having to give my child formula. Someone even told me before I had P that I wasn’t going to breastfeed because the shape of my breasts. Like, GURL, how do you know what my breasts can and can’t do?! The crap people say is insane. Some how I did actually manage to supplement and nurse P till about 9 months.
Now on the polar opposite spectrum, I was asking my close friend this week how to break up with my 1.5 year old, who refused to take a bottle till 10 months. At this rate I feel like we will be nursing forever. And that’s okay too, if we end up nursing until he’s 4, then thats the journey we are on.
So mamas, I am just sharing all this because my journey is probably different than yours but out there somewhere, someone might be in a similar spot. I want to encourage you that you are doing the best you can, ask for help and reach out to a friend or even a doctor if it’s just too hard. We shouldn’t be suffering in silence, feeding and raising babies is hard af but it takes a village. And if I’m in your village and you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to me. There really is something to say about walking through the trenches together. Sometimes what goes on behind the happy faces can be something so much more relatable. 🖤🖤🖤
Blankets & Kimonos – Little & Luxe
Photography – Lorissa Lee Photography
Black Romper – 4FOLD Threads
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