I just welcomed my second son into the world in July.
Not exactly new to the game, but regardless, the advice came flowing in right on schedule. Most of the advice I have received, usually regarding how to install a car seat appropriately or the best bottle on the market, have been great!
I have always been open and quite welcome to all the tips, but I must admit that one has hit a nerve within me.
From breastfeeding awareness month to women trying to normalize it, we have all seen the rise in breastfeeding going public.
As I approach writing this blog with caution, I do want to state that I am in no way against breastfeeding. In fact, I breastfed my first son and currently breastfeed my second.
Well, to be honest, I pump. Both being premature, we never had the opportunity to latch on immediately and start supply.
Because of this, I had to get into the motion of pumping every three hours until my supply came in, and even then I had to feed it to them via bottle.
This was to allow the doctors and nurses see how much they were actually consuming. With my first, I just never had the support from lactation consultants to keep trying to latch and breastfeed.
Eventually my supply died off and we went to formula before he was even six months of age.
Now with my second, we have had the support and been successful (most days) with latching. Unfortunately this stubborn guy preferred the nipple from a bottle and turned his head to actual breastfeeding.
So again, I found myself pumping every three hours so that my supply didn't fall off the face of the earth.
But we are here, again. Supply running so low that I am unable to make enough for his feedings, and am having to turn to formula.
Now the part that hits the nerves... When I discuss this with friends, family, or even medical staff and am returned with disappointment. First they try to approach me with tips on how to “up” my supply or better ways to latch.
Having tried a nipple shield, Fenugreek, brewers yeast and lactation cookies, I was no newbie to these tips.
They all worked temporarily, but a pump will not fully empty a breast like a baby will.
Then they approached me like I did not want to try and give my son the best thing out there for him.
Before, breastfeeding was not something you saw in public or even heard mother's talking about. Now that society is trying to normalize it, sometimes it has become to the point that people are shoving it down one another's throat.
I was shamed and looked down on, because I was turning to formula instead of trying harder to produce breastmilk for my child.
As a mother I had already known how important breastmilk was for my boys, so needless to say I was already bringing down the hammer upon myself for feeling like a failure.
Having other people do it also was just the last inch needed to strike that nerve.
Although I have ranted much of this blog, I hope that one can read this and understand that although breastfeeding is amazing in all its benefits, sometimes it just isn't for every mother.
Before questioning a mother who may be using formula instead of breastmilk, understand that she may have given her very all into trying for her baby and just came up a little short.