Let’s chat about Breastfeeding. I know what you’re gonna say. Breast is best, the antibodies, the comfort and it’s natural. Yes, it’s all true but it’s not the only way. Hear me out for a second.
When I was pregnant with my first, I thought that I knew everything about parenting the right way. Or so I thought. “I will not give them a pacifier. I’m going all natural. Oh, and I’m definitely breastfeeding her.” Sound familiar? I know I can’t be the only one. I signed up for BabyCenter, talked to the doctors, and googled it all. I HAD to breastfeed.
Hailey was easy. She latched perfectly from day one. We breastfed until she was 17 months and she never had a pacifier. I thought I was unstoppable. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I was THAT mom. The one who thought she could do it all and my kid was perfect. Fast forward 2 years later, our handsome boy joined our family. Kenny and Hailey are two very different kids, and it took me a while to fully understand it and embrace it. I had such high expectations for Kenny. From the first moment Kenny tried latching, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. He cried and fussed at every feeding. But remember I was THAT mom, so I had to keep it all together and strive for perfection.
When it was time to feed, I wanted to run away. I knew it was going to involve sweat and tears. Literally. He did not like it, but I was forcing him because I knew what was best and it had to be done. That’s how we lived our lives for 6 months. I wouldn’t want to go out during his feedings because it was too much to handle outside of my home.
Kenny was six months when we stopped. We had been through ENOUGH.
We were on vacation in Texas earlier this year. Kenny was barely eating. Everyone was putting in their two cents and I was tired of hearing it. At this point, Kenny was crying at every feeding because he was not getting enough milk. I took control of the situation because I wasn’t going to quit. I drank the teas and pumped all the time but I would not let it go. I HAD to breastfeed. But then I realized the only person I was hurting was him.
I know, I was pretty much starving my child. It took me that long to realize what I was doing. All because of what I wanted to accomplish and what society was pushing for. So, I went to the doctor to get a final thought on the subject because I somehow still needed approval. I was right. Kenny was not eating enough and I had to start supplementing.
I cringed at buying formula. I would hide the container in my diaper bag where no one could see it. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed by what? Feeding my child. Yes, I know it sounds silly but it’s all true. Our sweet Kenny had never been happier and that’s when I let go. I let go of what others thought. I let go of what the doctors recommended and what the online articles had stated. My baby was happy and that was important. Kenny is now one and I’ll tell you what. He is strong, handsome, and most importantly healthy.
Now that we are expecting our third, I am okay with whatever my body and baby decide. I just want my child fed.
If there is anything that I learned from my experience, is that I have way more to worry about as a mother. Feeding my children should not be a topic I drive myself crazy over. It’s either breast or bottle. That’s it! So let’s stop tearing each other up for feeding our babies. So whatever it is that you choose, congratulations! Because your baby will grow up to be absolutely amazing. Oh! And guess what? When they are older, no one will care about how they were fed!