One of the hardest decisions I made when my babies were born was how I planned to feed them. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I just knew I was going to be a master at breastfeeding. I mean, why would I not be good at it? I had a big chest, I had read about it online and I didn’t buy any formula or bottles. That meant it was going to be easy, right? WRONG!
Pressure from Hospital Staff
One of the biggest things I wasn’t prepared for when deciding how to feed my children was the pressure I was going to get from the hospital staff. Everyone I encountered, nurses and doctors, aggressively encouraged me to breastfeed my baby. I was encouraged to avoid pacifiers and pumping with a machine, as it could cause nipple confusion. At one point, a lactation consultant came in and seemed to be throwing my daughter around like a football. I was a new mom and this nurse was very experienced in handling babies; but this behavior made me uncomfortable.
Another thing I wasn’t ready for was my baby having difficulties latching. At the hospital, I was offered a nipple shield, basically like a bottle nipple that suctioned to my boob and allowed my baby to suck better! Although, this seemed to help my baby latch, it didn’t help with my sore boobs or bonding with my baby.
Once we arrived home, I decided to give pumping a try on my own. Hidden in the bedroom for fear of judgement from my husband or family, I attached the machine to my chest according to the instructions and turned it on. I was mortified by the sound it made; similar to the sound of milking a cow. So not only did I feel like a cow, I now sounded like a cow too! After over 30 minutes, I had enough milk to feed a new born bird – or less than a half ounce, and I was defeated and overwhelmed. I think it is very important to get familiar with your brestpump ahead of time, should you choose to use one.
No Judgement Here
I admire you as a mother, no matter how you choose to feed your child. I look up to the women who push through the pain in the beginning to make breastfeeding their babies possible. I think so highly of the women who make the ultimate sacrifice for their children, as nursing is hard; but I also don’t think any less of the women that, for whatever reason, aren’t able to do it. When my first baby was about 3 weeks old, I made the decision to complete our nursing journey and move to formula and bottles. With my second baby I decided that I would TRY nursing but if it didn’t work, then I was completely fine with bottle feeding my baby.
One of the things I love most about being a parent is there is no rule book; there is no perfect way to be a parent. There are so many different ways to be a parent! Does this thought overwhelm you? It shouldn’t.The main thing is that your child is well taken care of, and fed. #FedIsBest
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