A fed baby is a happy baby. Hello Mamas and Mamas To Be! I would like to begin by saying that breastfeeding is great. Bottle feeding is great. Formula feeding is great. However, you feed your child is great! You are doing a wonderful job, Mama! As long as your wonderful, squishy babe is fed, that is all that matters!
Baby Number One
When I became pregnant I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my babes. But I did not know how hard it was going to be. No one can prepare you for how hard your journey will be. Every breastfeeding journey is different. My first son, Oliver, and I were one of many who had problems with latching. If the little one doesn’t latch, they don’t eat and they cry because they are hungry. Luckily, the hospital gave us a nipple shield, which helped immensely for those first few months. But then I realized, we were six months into our journey and we were still relying on the nipple shield.
I honestly was using the shield as a crutch because it was easier, but I told myself one day that we were done using it. It was an adjustment because he still wanted to latch like there was a shield but we eventually got it. Oliver was breastfed until he was about eleven months. My milk supply dried up when I became pregnant with my second son, Emmitt. We supplemented with formula for the last month until we were able to introduce whole milk.
I was a working mom with Oliver, I loathed having to pump while at work. Taking breaks throughout the day to sit in a room to pump milk so my child had bottles for the next day. I give props to any mama who exclusively pumps and then gives their baby a bottle. That takes a lot of dedication.
Baby Number Two
With Emmitt, I had told myself from the beginning we were not going to rely on a nipple shield. Without that shield though I remember just crying through the pain of cracked and bleeding nipples. Nipple Cream and hot showers helped with relieving that pain. Also, pumping between feedings helps. Or if its too painful, pumping and giving a bottle gives you time to heal.
I breastfed Emmitt until he was about fourteen months. It was a struggle when it came time to wean. I enjoyed my bonding time with my boys through feeding them, but I also was beginning to feel like a human cow! This little being relies solely on you to not feel hunger anymore. I fed my boys for as long as I mentally and physically could. With Emmitt, it was a little easier because I was home with my boys, so I pumped a lot less than with Oliver and was in the comfort of my own home.
Whatever you can do is best for your baby. As long as your little one is fed and happy, that is all that matters. Make sure to take care of yourself along the way. It is easy to put yourself on the back burner when you have a newborn, but you deserve some relaxation time also. Breastfeeding is a hard journey so if it does not work, it is ok, do what is best for both you and your baby. A fed baby is a happy baby!
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