Breast-shaming

Ahoy! I am alive and yes everyone is alive. We are 2 1/2 weeks in and man its been tough to find time to do much of anything, let alone blog. So, I am stealing a couple of minutes to share with you all.


As I said in her birth story, Evie had jaundice and had to be fed donor milk, from a bottle. Now, all the nurses said it would be ok, and she would still take to nursing. Yeah, right. I tried. I promise I tried to feed that sweet girl from the breast. I tried every hour of every day. She did not latch well without a breast shield, so breast shield I tried. It helped, some. Evie still just did not nurse well. She would drink and then fall asleep. I had to literally strip her down and put cold cloths on her to keep her awake to get just a little bit of milk. And then after an hour or so I would finally be in tears and have to give her the supplement so she would be full. And then I would pump. Pump to relieve the pressure and give my baby nourishment.

I tried this routine for a week. I was exhausted, stressed, frustrated and so was Evie. We met with a lactation consultant and low and behold, she did everything perfect. I came home so refreshed and thinking we had finally hit our stride, and then she was hungry. And it started all over again. She would just use my breast as a bona fide pacifier rather than feeding. I was faced with a decision to keep trying to nurse or just go to pumping. I decided to pump. She took a bottle with ease and I was producing plenty of milk, so pumped I did.

I had supportive friends who cheered me on and said it would be fine and they had done the same thing. So the routine began. Feed, diaper, soothe, get her to sleep, pump. Get in perhaps an hour of sleep and it would begin again. Except when she would not sleep and I went too many hours between pumpings or when I was mid pump and she would begin to scream. I was constantly exhausted, frustrated and often found crying over my baby at 2am by my husband.

I felt inadequate and useless and most of all like a failure. I wanted to give my baby the best, but it was just too much. I did not want to be that mom to who resented her child. With the routine I wasn't holding her and cuddling her, i was just a milk machine who found herself hysterical and yelling at her infant.

I then realized nursing doesn;t work for everyone. And guess what, its ok. Yes I got some slack from people. I even was breastshamed when I reached out to the local facebook mom's group to ask about formula. I got advice of, take this to increase your supply and keep pumping, or I'm a lactation consultant contact me, breast is best.... Yes, people I get it, but I know this is the best decision for me. Moms are supposed to support one another, not judge or force beliefs. I just wanted some advice on formulas.

I cried a little. I was mad, upset and frustrated. I just want to provide the best atmosphere and life for my baby. I was raised on formula, my husband was raised on formula, I have friends who never even tried to breastfeed. So, why did I face such opposition, such pushback, why was I being breastshamed?

When did it become a crime to feed your baby formula? Yes I know breast is best, but sometimes, its not best when it causes you to become someone you don;t want to be with your sweet innocent child.

Don't shame other mothers, not for how they feed, diaper, console, or raise their children. Support one another. What works for one person doesn't always work for another one. Yes, I am going to feed my baby formula and its ok.

So, let's nourish our babies with shame. Yes, breastfeeding  may be best, but bottle feeding is feeding too, and as long as that baby is loved and healthy, who cares how they get that nourishment.




LMWEvelyn