This blog post is sharing my personal experience with feeding Corbin. I’m sharing personal and raw feelings that put me through extreme highs and lows. However, I find that no mom talks about this and that’s why I feel strongly to share my story with you. I want to be as real as I can because I know there’s other moms out there who struggle with this. It feels good to not feel alone!
To start, I always struggled to get Corbin to feed on the breast. I met with SEVERAL different lactation consultants. All were great and helpful, but quickly I learned that Corbin needed more than I could produce. It was a BEATING to sit there forever with a crying baby on my breast. I felt defeated, sad, unworthy, and wasn’t good enough. I had an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t providing for my baby. For the longest time, I thought the reason women have breasts is to feed them with your baby. WRONG! Everywhere you go you hear or see women breastfeeding and instantly assume that’s what you need to do to be a “good mom.” WRONG! My mind was lost and I deeply felt so defeated. I kept asking myself, “Why does he not like my breast? He’s suppose to love me right? Why can’t I do this? This is what moms are supposed to do!” All these thoughts consumed me.
After talking with LC and finding how much I make, I learned the reason he was so fussy was he was still hungry. Baby boy needed more food than I could provide. I knew I was make a low supply because I’d pump 1-2oz a session and he was needing much more than that! Once I learned this about myself, I had a friend and a LC tell me, fed is best.
“Fed is Best” is a popular movement and campaign that has been on the upward hill these days. It’s the idea that the most important thing is not whether you breastfeed or formula feed your baby, but that your baby is well and happy… and that you are too! It took me a while and many tears to seperate myself from having Corbin breastfeed on the boob. To be honest, it’s been an emotional roller coaster. Once I gave myself grace, I transitioned to exclusively pumping and formula feeding. Obviously, he is given more formula than breastmilk. Both my doctor and his doctor told me that formula now a days are great and as close to breastmilk as they can make it. Having those medical professionals say that gave me a peace of mind about formula. Plus, we had to give formula from the beginning because of his low weight.
Exclusively pumping is a full time job. You’re constantly connected to a machine. You feel like you lose time with your baby and you definitely don’t get out of the four walls of your home. It’s really depressing. My goal was to pump 8 times a day for 4 weeks. This was super taxing! I want to enjoy this newborn stage, it only happens once.
Now that I’m past 4 weeks, I’ve started to wean myself off of pumping and I’m starting the process of drying up. This still isn’t easy either. Same as separating from breastfeeding, you have to mentally process stopping pumping too. I had a mom friend tell me, no matter when you stop you will have guilt. She said if I stopped at 1 year, I’d still have guilt. Mom guilt never goes away, there’s always something!
At the end of the day, I know Corbin will be just fine. But as a moms, we are so hard on ourselves. We don’t give ourselves enough grace. Grace is so important and we need to not compare ourselves to other moms. I find that surrounding myself with positive moms who are supportive of me and “understand” make all the difference. I have to constantly tell myself to disregard the negative comments or judgment, those people don’t matter nor do they know me. Their opinions don’t matter. What matters is my baby is fed and happy! Happy fed baby = happy mommy!
I hope this helps another mom or soon to be mom. Know you are not alone. If you need support or encouragement please reach out, I’d love to be part of your support system too!
Love from Texas,