First off, I would like to begin this article about how, BOTTOM LINE, breastfeeding is a HARD thing to do, grabbing a bottle of formula is extremely easy, and if you feel discouraged you gotta try your best to push thru. Breastfeeding isn’t just hard, it is emotional, PHYSICALLY & MENTALLY. There are much too many women out there who write or talk about how breastfeeding is perfect and such an amazing experience, but it's almost impossible to find articles on how not everyone's the same, and there will be someone who is struggling with it and wanting to just give up, and need to read something or reach out to someone who is going thru that as well. Some women in the world can't even produce milk, can’t breastfeed for other reasons, & it is hard on us. Try not to beat yourself up about it if you can’t, or if you are struggling with it, you are not alone & don’t give up on yourself.
Today marks the 38th day I have been breastfeeding for, & let me tell you, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions
If you had a chance to browse my other posts, I quickly mentioned that in the beginning (still in the 1st 24 hours of being a new momma) I had a handful of different nurses all telling me different things about latching and it was confusing and one minute I thought I was going a good job and then the next minute I thought I wasn’t doing a good job. Let me tell you, it was frustrating and extremely confusing.
Once being home, I was breastfeeding my Heidi fairly fine, although it was starting to hurt me… after everything I have researched and read different mommy blogs, I quickly found out that breastfeeding was supposed to be a beautiful, PAINLESS, lovely experience you share with your newborn, and it was not that at all! After the 1st 2 weeks of breastfeeding, everything seemed okay, I got some nipple cream to soothe the sore areas and feeding more frequently seemed to work for me, I mean, after one week she had gained an entire pound!!!! So I had to be doing something right!
Going into the 3rd & 4th week of having a newborn, we noticed she has some stomach issues and has a hard time passing gas, I felt down sometimes about how we couldn’t calm her down, especially in the evenings around 7pm-11pm. After talking to multiple other moms, older and younger, I started to think that maybe my breastmilk just wasn’t enough for my baby, its hard because I started pumping, I can see how much I pump, but I can’t see how much I’m giving her when she’s latched onto my boob, which is hard because she didn’t seem satisfied after a feeding from my boob, only from the milk I pumped for the bottle. Some mothers told me there could be a possibility that she is allergic to my milk and that concerned me, because breastfeeding for me and my partner was something important to us.
Someone told me to supplement with some formula and see if that works, I had the brand “Parents Choice” pre-mixed bottles that i started supplementing with, but I did not notice any difference in her mood after a feeding, still thinking she wasn’t getting enough still. Unfortunately, my father had passed away during this time, and the stress became thru the roof for me, with the struggle of feeding my baby, and the support im trying to offer to my mother and rest of my family as well as myself.
A few days later, she had a day where she was “uncontrollable” (day after my father's funeral) it’s a possibility she was upset with what I had eaten the day prior (3-4 cups of coffee and a LOT of fancy sandwiches) but nothing I did for her made her happy, she cried ALL DAY with no naps. Once you go thru all the things she may be crying for and she still isn’t happy … it gets exhausting! When my partner came home I went out and bought some real formula, SImilac step 1, the pink container for tummy troubles, and i also bought Ovol. The following morning I gave her 60 MLS of formula and the recommended dosage of the Ovol, and she napped right after and seemed completely satisfied with the feed, i pumped some more milk and then gave her about 60 MLS of breastmilk for her next feeding, with the dosage of Ovol and she seemed content AGAIN! At this point I started feeling really good thinking I had finally started to figure out what she needed. New next feeding I gave her 120 MLS of formula, along with the Ovol and again, satisfied. We then went to her 1 month check up with the doctor the same day! The doctor said what I was doing was good, but if I wanted to mainly breastfeed / use my milk to feed her, then we need to something more, she gave me a prescription for a pill to take for increase my milk supply and gave me a couple tips to try for feeding a little differently.
** what to do differently. (feed for 10 minutes on one breast, burp her, try for another 5 minutes on same breast and then move her over to the other breast and continue the same process)
Once I do my 3 month baby update, I will let you guys know how this all went for me. But as of now, my plans for breastfeeding will be as follows:
Feeding from breasts 1st thing in the morning
Pump while she naps
2nd feed of the day (hopefully around noon ish) use 120 MLS of formula
Pump while she naps
3rd feed of the day (hopefully around 3 ish) use pumped breast milk with a bottle
Pump while she naps / if daddy has her at this time
4th feed of the day (hopefully around 6/7ish) feed of the breast
Pump while she naps / if daddy has her at this time
5th and final feed of the day (hopefully around 10/11 ish) 120 MLS of formula
Pump before we go to sleep
With this schedule, I hope to achieve a healthy happy baby and the start of a schedule for baby Heidi to like as much as mom likes this schedule. Incorporating the formula will help her stay satisfied but still have those moments with my child for breastfeeding.
Let me tell you, it’s only been one month with all this, it has had it’s ups and downs and happiness and sadness, but at the end of the day, for your own sanity, your partners AND the happiness of your child, you have to do what most suits you. You cannot get stressed out, because then you have the threat of stressing out your child, & this can cause more frustration between everyone in the household, if you can’t do something as perfect as your wished for, then figure out a way to compromise and still be able to do what you wanted to do. Some days my nipples hurt so much, & I may not be able to feed for the sake of myself, and only be able to pump, and that’s okay… I’m not going to stress myself out and continue being uncomfortable when there’s ways to compromise at the end of the day. I will continue to try my hardest to do what’s best for my family, and 100% what’s best for my daughter, cause at the end of the day, her health and growth is all that matters with this.
Feel free to comment below on suggestions, tips, tricks and advice if you have. Or even just to share your own experiences good and bad! Its nice to hear from other mommas who are either going thru this currently or have gone thru this in the past.