Motherhood

When The Breast Isn’t Best – A Breastfeeding Story in Honor of National Breastfeeding Week

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A picture says a thousand words…

It was the day of Audrey’s weight checkup at the pediatrician’s. When the nurse placed her on the scale, my heart sank. She regained some of the weight she had lost after birth (as most babies do) only to lose it all again. I will never forget that daunting number the scale displayed as my little baby lay there crying.

I went on to answer the nurse’s questions…

Is she breast fed? Yes, exclusively.

How many times does she nurse a day? At least 12…

It wasn’t a roller coaster of emotions that I felt. In that doctors office, there were no high points. It was a downward spiral. It took everything I had to keep it together. I was scared, and I felt like I failed her. There is not a feeling worse than that of failing your baby.

We were told that we would have to supplement.

Let me be clear; supplementing was NOT what hurt my heart that day. What crushed me was knowing that she needed more of something that she depended on me for. As a matter of fact, supplementing was what, almost immediately, brought me back from that dark place I was in.

We left the doctors office and headed straight to the store to purchase formula. When we got home, I fixed a bottle and suggested that Derek give it to her. It was her first bottle, and I thought it only right that her dad had the chance to feed her. I was nervous that she wouldn’t know what to do with it, but that wasn’t the case.

RELIEF. The amount of relief that we felt was indescribable. A huge weight was immediately lifted off of my shoulders when I saw her truly “milk drunk” for the first time.

I now pump. I now breast feed. I now fix bottles of formula. It is what’s BEST for us.

Yes, I still get a sinking feeling when I remember that number on the scale. However, I do not for one second feel the slightest bit guilty for feeding my baby formula. So when I look at the picture of Derek feeding Audrey for the first time, I feel joy. I feel comfort knowing that she is now satisfied and back on track.

Before having Audrey, I was oblivious to the fact that there was even such a thing as National Breastfeeding Week.

While I do find breastfeeding worthy of such recognition (it is HARD work), I want to remind you that there are circumstances that people, not just mothers, face where breastfeeding isn’t an option. I find the “breast is best” statement to be an opinion.

Single dads.

Grandparents.

Parents who adopt or foster.

Mothers who cant breastfeed due to medication.

Mothers who simply don’t produce enough despite every attempt to up their supply.

Mothers who have other children to take care of and no time.

Mothers who supplement.

And yes, mothers who simply do not want to breast feed for their own personal reasons.

The bottom line is that while breast milk is amazing… science has proven it and it has been preached to us constantly throughout the duration of this week… a baby’s full belly is what’s important. We need to remember that while breast milk is ideal, everyone’s circumstances are so very different.

So let’s just continue to do the best we can! It is ALL hard work, and I commend anyone who is giving it their best…breast or not. ❤

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-Rachel xo

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “When The Breast Isn’t Best – A Breastfeeding Story in Honor of National Breastfeeding Week

  1. Rachel, this is perfectly said!!! I remember sobbing when I gave Zach his first bottle of formula after a week of him screaming constantly and nursing for 3-4 hours at a time and him never being satisfied. I cried that I gave him formula because that was “never an option” in my mind. I felt like a failure. BUT as soon as he finished eating and I saw how content and satisfied he was… I sobbed again because I was SO HAPPY that his belly was full and he was milk drunk, like you said! Haha! Best feeling ever! You are a wonderful mother Rach!! 😘Xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Jess!!! I remember you telling me about that years ago when it was happening. I thought I understood then how it must feel.. its safe to say I had no idea!! It’s a whole other ballgame when you are a mom and it happens to you!
      YOU are a wonderful mother and one that I truly look up to! Xo

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  2. I love reading your blogs! I don’t know how I missed this one, I had very similar issues as well! Finally figuring out what works was the best thing for both my son and I! You’re doing a great job. Keep it up, Also…I look forward to meeting you at Kyle’s wedding in May! 🙂

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    1. Oh my gosh thanks so much! I am so happy that you like the blog! Yes, it is so important to do what is best for you and the baby. ❤ I can hardly wait until their wedding. I have a feeling its going to be a good one! 😉

      Like

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