Breast is best but if it’s not for you that’s okay

I know breast is best, I’ve read the literature – usually in the doctor’s waiting room, sticking out of an out of date copy of Sarie. I breast fed for over a year and I’m glad I did.

It was not easy though, like it really, I kid you not, SUCKED at first, actually, it didn’t SUCKED, or Aidan didn’t SUCKED properly.

My first venture into breastfeeding territory was when Logan was born, he was in NICU, I was in ICU and this woman who I vaguely remembered from a church function or something was trying to milk me like an unresponsive (what ever is the opposite of prized) cow, while I was groggy from, you know, almost dying an hour or so before.

Logan ended up using donated milk (Side bar: my amazing friend Robyn went on to donate milk, in Logan’s name when she weaned the twins) After he passed away, my milk came in because my body is a biatch, a strong, pulled it’s way from almost dying, biatch, but a biatch none the less, so I popped those milk stopping pills and moved on – as best I could.

When Aidan was born unable to breathe on his own and I was healing from another emergency C-section, I told myself,  I would feed him as soon as I could. Well, that ended up being not soon enough for me. See,  he was attached to machines and was having so many tests run on him  (including that needle in the spine thing) and had a drip in his head because his other veins were not interested (eish poor kid) so  I could not just grab him and feed him. So I pumped and he was fed with a little syringe.

I remember clearly the boob envy I experienced as I pumped in the NICU pumping room (I don’t know what it was called) and this lady called for a third bottle. THIRD!!!! I couldn’t get past 20ml. Aidan was eventually given to me to feed but even then (much like now) he was not interested in food. They told me he needed to feed for a minimum of 20-45 minutes but this big eyed kid would look at me as to say “check please” within 5 minutes.

Here are some standout sucky breastfeeding moments.

  • Breasts so sore my clothes hurt
  • Taking off my top and milk squirting everywhere in the bathroom, in the shower, this one time in the car because I loosened my bra
  • My child was not interest in food and I ended up with really engorged breasts
  • At a stage I just stopped breastfeeding and would just pump bottles for him, he just refused to drink enough for me to not be in constant pain so I thought pumping would help
  • I also stopped because the milk would squirt out so fast the poor kid could not keep up and it was like he was drowning in milk at every feeding – he quickly learned that biting down would stop the milk – I quickly learned to use Fudge It as a curse word
  • Waking up in pools of milk

The good was

  • Knowing he was getting all those antioxidants and antibodies and many more things breast milk provides
  • It was convenient, whip out a boob VS measuring water and formula and waiting for it to be the right temp
  • It was this amazing thing only I could do for him

So I persevered and by the time I weaned him. I was so glad that I tried, so glad that I went for it  BUT although I really believe that breastfeeding is best, I can honestly say I also believe that it is not for all moms.

It was not for my friend, who after a difficult birth, that almost cost her life, ended up so pumped full of meds it was not safe for her baby to drink from her. It was not best for my friend whose postpartum depression had her suicidal and medication was her only option.

It was not best for my little sister who honestly tried so hard but ended up with really bad mastitis and even though she pushed through, did the physio therapy, the cold compresses the warm compresses, the massages, the machines, the everything, she still just couldn’t.

The irony/coincidence (Alanis Morrisette totally messed up irony in my head) is that my mom had mastitis when feeding my sister and ended up having to have an operation which left a nasty scar – like what are the chances.

Anyway what I’m saying is, don’t be so hard on yourself, being a new mom is difficult enough without you putting all that “if breast is best and I can’t give breast so now my child is not getting what is best and will end up on the short bus to juvie” nonsense on yourself.

You are enough! That kid is yours because you are enough, milk or no milk, sugar or no sugar, you are enough.

2 thoughts on “Breast is best but if it’s not for you that’s okay

  1. Mandy says:

    Wow! Thank you! yesterday I was acknowledging to a fellow EBF mom that I possibly had an unhealthy attitude toward breastfeeding because I was incredibly hard on myself. In my mind it meant failure if I didn’t ebf

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