It’s out there, every day. Pages and pages on Facebook created Just for breastfeeding moms, pages just for formula mommies.
What about those of us in the middle ground?
When I have my first child six years ago, I never imagined I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. My mom had never mentioned problems, my sister could have fed an army with her milk supply, no one I knew had talked about the difficulty of breastfeeding!
I assumed I would beastfeed a year, then figure the rest out. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It all started badly, really. My son wouldn’t latch so the lactation consultant gave me a nipple guard. It seemed to help, but let me tell you what a pain in the ass! I had to use it every time he fed and then I had to wash and disinfectant after every feeding and God-forbid I lose it, because then my son couldn’t eat. What a nightmare!
In the hospital they never gave me a choice to use a bottle and I truly wish they had. When my son was two months old I realized he was super thin and constantly crying and all I felt I ever did was sit and try to feed him. My pediatrician also never told me I could use a bottle. Finally, after a discussion with my husband and mom who very flippantly said “oh yeah, I supplemented with you guys” did I realize my son needed more than just my breast. I just wasn’t producing enough to feed him.
That realization in and of itself was awful. What kind of mother doesn’t make enough to feed her own child? Turns out, lots of them! I began supplementing my son with breast and bottle. He rapidly began to gain weight and became a much healthier, happier child. I was so happy, too! I was also angry. Why didn’t people talk about this more? It’s not uncommon at all, yet no one wants to bring it up. It’s like a dirty little secret.
Well, moms I’m here to tell you that you might need to supplement and it’s totally normal and OK.
With my second I was very unsure how things would go. We started off with breast and bottle, just to be safe. I was so happy when he latched well and I seemed to make almost enough to satisfy him! Seriously, one of the best days ever!! We used breast and bottle and I feel like he got the best of both worlds.
I absolutely cherished my moments of breast feeding and could happily hand him off to his dad if I needed a break.
So, next time you’re thinking of how you want to feed your child. Don’t forget it’s totally OK and awesome to do breast and bottle.
And if you’re a new mom never feel bad about having to supplement. You’re feeding your child, that’s all that matters.
P.S. Exclusive breastfeeding and formula rocks, too! However those are talked about more than enough.
P.P.S. There’s nothing wrong with a mom showing boob while nursing, covering up while nursing or doing whatever the hell she wants and needs to do to feed her child.
End of debate.