It’s World Breastfeeding Week! When I first saw posts celebrating this week, my heart hurt a little bit. Which surprised me because I honestly didn’t think I had any sadness surrounding my breastfeeding journey. And I am still not sure I do, because I love where both of my girls ended up and I loved that Bryan could help with feedings – LOL!
I’ll give short explanations of each of my journey’s with the girls but first I want to point out that however you feed your baby is FANTASTIC. Seriously. I know you see “fed is best” and if you’re anything like me you still experienced some shame around not breastfeeding or supplementing, or pumping or WHATEVER. I have had friends who have had absolutely extraordinary breastfeeding journeys and I have had friends who weren’t able to breastfeed for whatever reason. Each mama and baby are doing what is best for them.
With Lainey’s early birth, I began exclusively pumping and was actually able to work my supply up to a pretty decent size. Lainey was taking teeny tiny syringes of donor’s milk and then my milk through her feeding tube. She was also on a milk fortifier to add calories to her milk – that didn’t end up sitting well in her gut. There was also a period of time when she was exclusively fed through IV nutrition so she has truly seen it all! Around 4 months old I was DONE exclusively pumping. Just DONE. Lainey had developed an intolerance to my milk and between NICU trauma and just the general suckiness of exclusively pumping, I was so frustrated and NOT about to add diet changes into the mix. The nurses and doctors were so supportive of my decision to stop and we ended up finding a formula that worked for Lainey’s tummy and she was fed by bottle and g-tube for the first year+ of her life.
Emmy needed formula from the very beginning. Her sugars were low so she spent a minute in the NICU and we supplemented with formula while trying to make the breastfeeding thing work. Emmy was a little lazy on the boob (ha!) so after trying and working with lactation specialists, and pumping, and googling, we stopped breastfeeding at 4 months and moved to formula. We moved to a more natural formula for Emmy and she became much happier!
With both girls, I had obviously been through some trauma and had postpartum PTSD/OCD flair-ups which made the desire to breastfeed non-existent. It was a HUGE help to me to be able to rely on Bryan to help with feedings. Wherever you are (or have been or will be), know that YOU are the best person to make the decision for you and your baby!