Fast forward to after my daughter was born. I had no milk. Not even colostrum. So I had to start supplementing with formula. And she started refusing the breast, getting milk out of a bottle was so much easier, so I started pumping my empty boobs. The lactation consultants were very helpful, and helped me however they could. But it just wasn’t happening.
Still nothing after 3 days, when we finally got to bring her home. We were sent home with some formula, and went out to get more, even though we were hoping my boobs would get the memo that they needed to make some milk. We also rented a pump from the hospital.
I was a slave to my pump, and getting barely anything after my milk came in 6 days after having her. She was only getting about 1 bottle of breast milk a day at 2 and a half weeks. And I started slacking on pumping, because it made me depressed. Because I felt like I was always pumping.
I already had a nasty case of the baby blues, and not being able to provide nutrition for my baby was only exacerbating the problem. Because everything I had read up until that point implied that moms who formula fed were lazy and quitters. And my 90% formula fed baby did not have a lazy quitter mother.
Until one day when my daughter was 3 weeks old, I had enough of the pump and my daughter refusing to breastfeed and doing fine and growing great on formula. I was like “eff this pump wasting my time.” And put it away. I’m pretty sure my husband was secretly glad because seeing his wife crying with her boobs out and pumping probably wasn’t the best thing for him to come home to.
I’ve had some regrets since and thought about relactating in the early days. Mostly because of guilt, and all the pro-breastfeeding propaganda. I knew I was doing the best thing for my baby, you know feeding her enough food, but the guilt was still there.
Luckily everyone who mattered (like my doctor, and my daughter’s pediatrician) were fine with me stopping and didn’t try to guilt me into continuing making myself miserable. My doctor told me that even a little bit has a huge benefit, and the pediatrician told us to call her if we had any questions about switching formula.
My child is perfectly healthy and gorgeous. And she would have been healthy and gorgeous if I had been successful at breastfeeding as well.
Since having her and getting over the guilt I’ve come to realize that whether or not my child was breastfed isn’t going to be a topic of concern later in life. I can’t imagine being at the park in 5 years and have some one ask me if I breastfed or not. Because in the grand scheme of life, it doesn’t really matter how they were fed as infants.
Formula saves lives. Hating on formula makes new moms’ lives miserable.
Are you fearless? Trying to be? Why not write a post about it? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.