Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Looking Back on the Breastfeeding Experience

Now that we're past the breastfeeding/formula stage, I can look back on it all through a different lens. It was a true struggle for me both times to admit defeat. Because that's what it felt like. The first time, with my son, I didn't know a lot about breastfeeding and figured it would just work. Shocker to anyone who has gone through it - it's not that easy! And I was trying. The latch wasn't great. The production sucked. And I was so exhausted. Exhausted from lack of sleep but truly bone tired from trying. It made me cry. A lot.

The second time, with my daughter, I did the pre work. I visited with a lactation consultant (LC) in advance. I set up a follow up appointment for after her birth. I used a nipple shield. I met with the LCs in the hospital. I took advice. I used different positions. I breastfed then pumped. And man, was I EXHAUSTED. That's serious work. And it was again just too much for me emotionally.

A year later, I can look back on it all and be proud of myself for trying and proud of myself for quitting. Because quitting was what I needed for me. And that's okay. Thankfully we live in a society where formula is available. My kiddos were fed. And a healthy mother - physically AND mentally - is best for baby. I worried I'd miss out on that physical connection with my children. But I was still feeding them and comforting them. When they are hurt, I'm the one they want. When it's bedtime I'm holding them, reading to them, and helping them to transition to sleep. I'm so glad I was able to recognize that quitting was what I needed. And that I was surrounded by people - my mom, my husband, my doctors - who told me that when I needed to hear it. I sincerely hope all women who need to hear that get that. Because your health is important. Taking care of yourself allows you to care for your kiddos.

This post is in collaboration with The Honest Company. Learn more about their formula here

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