Welcome to Fearless Formula Feeder Fridays, a weekly guest post feature that strives to build a supportive community of parents united through our common experiences, open minds, and frustration with the breast-vs-bottle bullying and bullcrap.
Please note, these stories are for the most part unedited, and do not necessarily represent the FFF’s opinions. They are also not political statements – this is an arena for people to share their thoughts, and I hope we can all give them the space to do so.
I’ve never heard about fibrous tissue creating lactation problems, but of course every woman is different, and this was apparently one hurdle that today’s FFF Friday contributor, Elizabeth, faced. Just one more issue that probably could have been avoided if handled correctly by medical and lactation professionals… doesn’t it seem like an inability to admit that things can go wrong with breastfeeding is the biggest booby trap of all? Regardless, I’m glad that Elizabeth feels confident with her decision, and is getting so much (deserved) enjoyment from feeding times!
As a new mom, breastfeeding was not working from me from the get-go. I was so determined to be all about the breast and bonding and nutrition; my husband was ready to help out in any way possible, from the lactation specialists to using pumped milk during the night feedings.
After my daughter’s birth she wouldn’t latch – nothing, nada, zippo. Enter consults and random nurses grabbing my nipples and squeezing so hard I cried. Then came the classes, the one-on-one, and finally the addition of nipple shields and pumping so hard I was in excruciating pain and still nothing was coming out. Meanwhile my baby is screaming for food and sucking as hard as she could on the nipple shield and still nothing to satisfy her.
I finally just decided to formula feed her, and she ate and ate and ate. I was so relieved that she ate, but then filled with such utter and total guilt about not being able to feed her myself. Friends and family were of no help because of course breast was best and I was a terrible mother for giving up so soon. Once home from the hospital I did try again, but she was so content with the bottle that she had no interest in my breast.
It was only after the first trip to the pediatrician that he informed me that she was super tongue tied and not able to latch because of it. On top of that I had my nipples pieced 10 years ago and when I took them out the holes not only closed, but created scar tissue and fibroids that the milk had to travel through before she could extract it, thus causing me all the pain. You’d think the lactation consultants have seen this before, but apparently not.
Formula feeding actually has made her bond more now with both my husband and I, and my parents. My mom eventually got over the fact that I couldn’t physically breastfeed and actually looks forward to feeding her whenever she comes to visit. Now at 3 months she’s sleeping through the night 6.5 -7 hours straight. She has also never spit up nor vomited after an eating which is amazing because she can stay in one outfit and entire day! I can’t wait for her 4 month check up to see just how great she’s growing. I feel that she’s healthy too, and she has an amazing personality.
While I still have the guilt about not breast feeding and wonder if I’ve missed out on some amazing bond that comes with it, I can’t help but feel satisfied with the formula feeding and the happiness I get as she’s sucking away and then dozing off into a thousand sleepy smiles dreamland.
Short on stories again, people, so start typing! Once you’ve got ’em, send ’em… email@example.com.