What I’ve Gathered and Struggled with Breastfeeding So Far | My First Month

The Struggle Was Real…

I always thought that breast was best, so when a WIC office in Cleveland told me that I wasn’t making enough milk for my son and that I should strictly formula feed him, I was distraught. I really thought that was true. I tried for days and days after I had my son and I wasn’t producing enough, no matter what I did. So I gave up and formula fed my son. Getting up making bottles, making sure it was warm enough for him, etc. I hated it. Mostly because he seemed as if he was never getting enough. 12-24 ounces a day. You’d think all that milk there’d be spit up, nope.

Now with my little mama the struggle isn’t so real. She’s fine…I think.

Ouch!

Since day one, my little mama wants to only take the tip of my nipple in her mouth. On rare occasions she will adjust herself and get a mouth full of my breast in her mouth. Most of the time I’m in pain. She fights my breast, sticks her hands in her mouth, lick my nipple, rinse and repeat. My nipples burn and ache; I get sharp pains from deep within my breast regularly, wearing bras even hurt. I saw a lactation consultant yesterday and she tells me that she may be tongue-tied. She told me to take a clean finger or put on a medical glove and run my finger along the roof of her mouth. I haven’t done it because I don’t have the slightest clue what I’m looking for. I think I’ll let my pediatrician check for that.

Night Feedings

At night she feeds a lot more and sleep a lot less. She fights at the breast more. She groan, grunt, squirm, sigh, root, kick, cry and get frustrated. I try to lie down and feed her that way but that’s when she has an episode. I have to sit up and feed her with her in my arms. She feeds for 2-3 hours at a time that way. Every 15 minutes throughout the night if I’m lying down with her.

Pumping

I have to pump her milk when we’re outside of the home or when her father needs to feed her – which is a rare occasion. I usually get around 2 ounces from each breast if I haven’t eaten anything or had anything to drink. On a good day I get 5 ounces or so. That’s usually because I’ve eaten good, or, I’m backed  up and need to pump because now I’m engorged; which hurts like hell.

My appetite

Most days, I’m eating once a day. My appetite has left with the pregnancy. Other days I’ll eat maybe twice and snack throughout and then end up neglecting on drinking any fluids.

What Works

When it comes to getting my breasts filled with boob juice oatmeal, Gatorade, and water is all I need. When I pump I get about 8 ounces of milk which is great when I’m going to be out of the house for that day

Support

There is little; just my fiancé who works 40 hours a week for 5 days. If I need to do something it has to wait. If I need to take a nap, it has to be when she’s sleeping. When my son is here with me that’s practically impossible.  I’ve never really had a support system so that’s not a big deal. I just wish I had someplace comfortable to sit besides the bed in my bedroom and the bed is like laying on metal spikes.

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My Birth Plan

I made a birth plan for my last pregnancy and it totally didn’t go as planned – not even in the slightest. I’m entertaining a birth plan again this time. Luckily, the hospital I’m hoping to have my child at – if I make it there – has a nifty birth plan form on their website. Here it is:

mybirthplan

There are some other things that I would like that they didn’t have an option for:

  • I’m breastfeeding so I want to be able to have to baby latch without pain and try different breastfeeding positions.
  • I want to be able to nurse often and know that Maya is nursing well.
  • Meet with a lactation consultant.
  • Keep my baby with me in my room.
  • I do not want my child to have a pacifier or bottle.

Most of all, I would like a healthy pregnancy. So far minus the contractions, I’ve had just that.

The Breast-feeding Nazis

For lack of a better word…

Yes, the “I’m so anti-formula because breastfeeding was so easy for me. Those that say is hard haven’t tried hard enough” Nazi’s. Let me just say, comments like that only reinforce the “breastfeeding Nazi” myth which actually does turn people off from breastfeeding. The truth is that there are many reasons that formula is necessary and formula savesbabies lives. It is not there for lazy moms. That’s right,formula feeding your child does not make you a lazy mother. Not feeding your child makes you a neglectful mom. So whether it’s breast of formula, you’re doing the right thing.

You know, this breastfeeding stick these anti-formula Nazi’s have up their behinds is pretty cruel and unnecessary. Okay, breastfeeding was easy for you, big whoop. You tried and tried and tried although it was hard at first, you kept to your guns. You didn’t have any complications with your milk coming through. Your baby just latched on and had a good time. You didn’t have to see not one lactation consultant on many occasions because you were born to breastfeed. Now you can walk around and say, “I breastfed all of my children, everyone should do it and stop making excuses to why you’re giving your baby that poison stuff that come in the cans”. Listen when you say stuff like that, it’s obvious you’re looking for a cookie for your achievement…here take it…now sit down and be quiet, you sound ridiculous. Formula isn’t poison but your rhetoric is. You are not doing any favors for the breastfeeding nor the formula movement. You’re making the mothers who have breast cancer, AIDS, and any other disease that keeps them from breastfeeding feel worse than they already do.

It’s not up to you or anyone else to stick your nose up at people who formula fed their babies. I’m formula feeding and I’m not ashamed of it either. My son came into this world a big and healthy baby, he’s even bigger and even healthier now. He didn’t turn into a demon, or started foaming at the mouth when I feed him formula. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried for the first two months of his life to breastfeed. Nothing and I mean absolutely nothing worked. Pumped, compressed, massaged, everything. My milk just wouldn’t come down. Which is why I’m so touchy about this topic.

To say formula is the easy way out is the most redundant thing to say to a new mom. Especially to those who tried their best to breastfeed their babies. I struggled so hard to breastfeed my son and so often there is a feeling that we can’t talk about breastfeeding struggles because we might scare the mothers away from doing it and I hate that sentiment. I am a stronger believer of ‘do what is best for your child regardless of what anyone else have to say’, and I do just that. My son is good, the pediatricians says he’s fine and that’s all that matters.

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