Breast is best. Comm’on…by a show of hands, how many have heard this phrase before? Everyone right? Obviously breastfeeding your child is the preferred method, but it doesn’t always work.
And I’m here to say it’s okay.
I breastfed William for 3 days and hated every minute. (Please don’t kill me… hear me out. Please??) I have a low pain threshold and that is the number one thing that I couldn’t handle. The pain. His latch was good and he didn’t have a tongue tie- it was just me being a big baby. I even had a prescription nipple cream. Nothing helped.
Aside from the pain, I really struggled with not being able to sleep. (Do I sound like a diva yet?) William wanted to eat every 1 and a half-2 hours. This meant I literally would just get into a deep sleep and it’d be time to feed him again. It got to the point where I’d just cry and cry while feeding him and Wesley would have to sit there and calm me down.
Hormones go crazy after birth and I’m sure a lot of my up and down emotions were due to this. But I truly felt in my heart of hearts that if I continued to breastfeed I would develop postpartum depression. I can remember taking William in to his first well check and the pediatrician asked how breastfeeding was going. I looked at Wesley and burst into tears. Forty minutes later, we walked out with 2 sample containers of formula and I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
From that moment on I felt like a brand new momma. I had my boobies back, wasn’t in pain anymore, and thanks to my hands-on-hubby, I was able to get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.
If you feel like breastfeeding isn’t working for you and your family, there are other options. Speak with your child’s pediatrician and discuss how you’re feeling and if formula would be a good option for you all. I’m not saying not to breastfeed (it really does have some wonderful benefits and is cost efficient), but I’ve been in a semi-dark place from it and know from first hand experience that it really isn’t for everyone…and that’s okay.
After we decided to stop breastfeeding & after the stress relieve settled, I felt extremely guilty. I felt less of a woman…like a bad mom. I knew I was giving up a bond that is so special between a mother and her child. These thoughts played in my head for a while. Whhhyyyy do I do this to myself?! Ugh. I had to take a step back and realize that I was making the best choice for me and my family. It may not be what’s advertised as the world’s best. But I knew I was making the right decision for us.
If you are in my boat, don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t put the guilt trip on yourself. Motherhood is hard on its own. We don’t need the added self-criticism to go along with it. You need to do what is best for you. No one else.
Breast may be best, but a fed baby and a happy momma are even better!!