16 July 2014

Breastfeeding, it worked for me...but it wasn't easy!

This is Julia...one day old...we were still at the hospital

It Worked For Me

Listen, I am not one of those moms who thinks breast feeding is the only way.  I'm not judgmental.  I think formula is totally fine.  As a matter of fact with this baby I actually plan on doing both.  The more kids you have the harder and harder it is to devote the demands of breast feeding.  But, I do love bf and it really has worked out for me.

I am not a crunchy granola mom like I call my doula Roe.  I'm not a mom who uses cloth diapers, baby wears, and makes her own food.  All those things are awesome, but I am happy using wipes and diapers from the store.  I buy jar food and I love holding and cuddling my baby but baby wearing was never comfortable for me.

I hate it when moms make other moms feel bad about their choices.  And breast feeding is a choice.  Some say breast is best, but I think it has to work for mom and baby, and sometimes it doesn't.  Some moms try very hard to nurse and their milk never comes in, or there baby doesn't latch, or mom has some type of major surgery that interrupts the whole process.  I think as moms we should do what we feel is best for us and for our baby and not let other moms make us feel guilty.  It is so silly really.  I mean you cannot tell me a mother who feeds her baby formula loves her baby any less than a mom who breastfeeds, and I'm pretty sure there are no awards in heaven because you did or didn't do it.  I always wanted to try it and it just so happened to work out, but I have so much sympathy and grace for moms who really try and can't and feel guilty.  I hope if that's how you feel you let the guilt go and know that you did your best.

As far as breastfeeding goes, here are the reasons why I do it:

1. It is a jump start to your baby weight loss plan!  I chose the most selfish reason first, I know.  But it's true.  I never wanted to keep on the extra weight and so after 6 weeks I am working out at the gym or doing P90x with my husband.  Breast feeding is known to help you burn a million calories a day (ok a slight exaggeration) because you are feeding another person with your body!!! How cool is that?  With Julia I was wearing my regular jeans and back to my original weight by week 3 (that's having a baby in your 20's)  With Mark I think it took me 2-3 months.  With Micah...oh good gracious...it took me at least 4-5 months of hard core working with a trainer, eating healthy, juicing and watching my carbs.  But I did it.  And once I was back to my normal size...I was pregnant again!  

2. The bonding with your baby is priceless.  I loved being able to cuddle with my babies and feed them and see them get nourished and feel comfortable and safe with me.  I loved being able to play with their toes, hold their hand, and talk or read to them as I nursed. 

3. The convenience of breastfeeding.  It's so easy to pack a diaper bag minus the bottles!  I loved just being able to whip out my nursing cover and feed the baby wherever I was.  Even though I am super super super shy.  I will not be the one posting pics of me nursing my baby.  I have gotten better about it with each baby.  I always cover myself, and I always try to go someplace private if possible.  I hate it when people will stare at you while you are nursing.  I wish I could say, "I'm sorry to bother you but my baby has to eat."

4. The cost effectiveness of not paying for formula.  I tease John all the time and say: "Look how much money I have saved YOU!  We never had to pay for epidurals, c-sections, or formula!"  Formula is SO expensive.  As a stay at home mom I just feel really good about saving all that money and just being able to feed my baby.

The things that make breast feeding difficult for me...

1. I hate pumping milk.  I literally feel like a cow.  After Julia I stopped pumping milk and started to just breast feed on demand because the milk pumping became a full time job.

2. After awhile I just want to be able to wear normal clothes. This is probably another selfish reason but at some point with every baby I just got to the point where I just wanted to stop.  I felt like I just wanted my body back.  I hated the nursing bras, the nursing covers, the nursing lotion.  I just wanted to stop.  I have bf all my babies up til age 1....and then I weaned them off.  Julia nursed til 10 months and weaned herself.  Mark nursed til 13 months.  Micah nursed til his first birthday and the next day we stopped.  He was already only nursing once or twice a day anyway.

3. I constantly felt like (since I didn't pump) I couldn't go anywhere without my baby.  This is partly my own fault I guess since I nursed on demand instead of pumping but it was annoying at times when I knew I had to go out and be back at a certain time for a feeding.  

4. Did I mention how shy I am?  It was really hard for me to get used to bf because with Julia if we had visitors I would pump milk so that while my guests were over they wouldn't see me nursing her.  Obviously I outgrew this but that's how incredibly shy I was.  I hated how people would stare in public even when I was totally covered.  I always felt very uncomfortable.

5. Let's be honest...bf does hurt in the beginning.  People actually told me, "You must be doing it wrong if it hurts."  No!  I wasn't doing it wrong.  BF does hurt in the beginning, in fact there were times I saw STARS because of the pain.  I would cringe every time it was time to feed.  After a few weeks it gets better but there were times I was sure I was going to quit because of the pain.  I would say, "I'm only going to do this for 1 month...ok 2 months...ok 3 months I will stop."  But by then it was fine.  And I would love it again.  Out of all my kids Mark was the easiest to nurse.  He was an absolute gem.  He latched perfectly right away and it was smooth sailing.  Julia and Micah were the most difficult.  Julia I think because I was so new at it all.  And Micah because he was a lazy latcher and I had to have a professional come to our home after two weeks of cracked/bleeding issues and major pain bc we couldn't get our act together.  But as you can see we got the hang of it and Micah turned into a champ!

So ladies, whether you nurse or use formula, just know that feeding your baby and watching them grow is the most beautiful and coolest thing.  Breast feeding may or may not work for you and that's ok.  I think with Amelia I am going to breast feed exclusively in the beginning and after a few months start to pump and supplement.  I am still trying to wrap my brain around having 4 kids!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave an encouraging comment...I'd love to hear from you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails