Why breastfeeding of course?! Strange topic for a blog post I know, and feel free to stop reading now if it doesn't interest you (as with any of my blogs) but I am feeling quite profound and deep today. Must be my new desk (blog post to come on the makeover extrordinaire!!)
The Breast versus bottle debate has been of hot topic lately, on Facebook and pages especially, but its a constant cause of arguements, and trust me, I am not about to start one, more sharing how I have felt about me journey/s with our cherubs.
I believe that Breastfeeding a baby would have to be THE BIGGEST emotional rollercoaster a mother has to endure. The pressure put on you by society, healthcare professionals and other Mothers is second to none with the pressure we place on ourselves. Constantly second guessing and doubting yourself , and your supply/technique/ timing is hard work, and before long, it all starts to take its toll.
Isn't it funny that your body requires sleep, proper nutrition and a constant and adequate intake of water, to produce milk and that of a high quality, yet it is the most sleep deprived, mal -nourished state that we will ever be in?! I don't know about anyone else, but the last thing I think of during the day, when I have a newborn, is eating myself. My needs go by the waste-side, and that of our baby/babies has always come first. This may have been my issue all along, who knows? All I do know is , that breastfeeding has never come easy to me, but my determination has got me through in the end.
The pressure I have felt by some people to feed my babies, has always haunted me, and then on the other hand, the pressure I have felt to place them on a bottle, has angered me. Its like you can never get it right, but ultimately, its our decision, my decision and I have always treasured that. People are always quick to judge and even quicker to give their opinion and comments. Do I really need to know that you had so much milk you had to get rid of some before feeding your baby? Do I need to know that you gave up within 2 weeks? Share, sure, but sometimes oversharing , especially when you are feeling vulnerable, can often make things worse.
I have always had our childrens best interests at heart, as have any mother, but I just wanted to give it a go. To say I tried, and thats the best anyone could do.
I am not the best feeder in the world (sorry if its Too much information, but I am real, this is real) and have always struggled to maintain a good supply and keep my babies satisfied for the length of time deemed to be appropriate, but who determines that? Who says that a baby should be fed only every 3-4 hours? Doctors? Nurses? A mother knows what is right by their own child, and thats how the schedule should be made. Sure, if a baby is demanding every 2 hours, its a pretty short length of time, but if you are prepared to get up and feed all that time, than power to you , I say!
I have taken supplements, herbs, baked cookies, eaten this, not eaten that, drank X amount of water , and tried (as much as a mother with newborn/s can) to sleep and rest , you name it, I have done it. All for milk supply. All to justify to myself and more so, to others that I "Have enough milk for my baby". All to avoid judgement and snide comments. But more for my baby, because in the end, thats why I am doing this.
If you are a good feeder, have an abundance of milk, and have never felt this way, then you are lucky. You are blessed and you should embrace it, however if you aren't , and you are much the same as me, I am sure you are relating to every word I say.
This emotional rollercoaster is hard.
I will never forget the day , that a paediatrician said to me that my beautiful baby boy (Max) had an allergy. He was allergic to milk protein. In my milk, in formula, in everything. He had to be placed on Prescription formula, or he was never going to be free from pain. And I wanted that. So desperately. I wanted my boy to sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time. Day and night. Seriously, twins and a baby waking every 20 minutes, how did we survive?
But we did, and I had to make the emotional decision to feed one baby and bottle feed the other. Twins. My two babies that I so desperately wanted to treat equally , and was more than conscious of doing so. But, he was happy, he started sleeping and the screaming stopped. Enough said. (He also had Reflux, BAD, and the meds worked a treat)
And you know what?! Max and Lacey are one in the same. Sure, Max is better at talking , (Lacey is more quiet and mischeiveous) but Lacey is better at climbling ladders, walking up slides and scaling furniture. Neither of them is better than the other, more advanced, or dampened by their form of nutrition and feeding. If you ever feel pressured or have been told that what you are doing/have done is wrong, they are prime examples.
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE feeding my babies, but I am not anti formula either. From 2 weeks old, Stella was supplemented at night and slept through from 10 weeks, got to love that. Formula is great, and if I didn't want to feed or it eventuated that I just couldn't through lack of supply, I would be more than happy to bottle feed, but I do love it, and we are going great. Especially this time.
Feeding Angus has been the easiest out of my 3 pregnancies/sets of newborns. And for the first time in 4 years, I am enjoying it, and feel confident.
And its nice.
Lets hope I can continue until he is 12 months, and that my goal when I was first pregnant with Stella, 4 years ago, can finally be realised!
PLEASE know, this is NOT an attack on anyone, or any form of feeding. But a statement about me and my experiences.
Care to share yours? Go for it!! You never know, there may be someone out that that can relate, or just needs to hear the words you have to say!