Saturday, February 11, 2012

Breastfeeding is my Prison...

Unfortunate Google Ads
When my first child was born I decided to breastfeed him for many reasons including the fact that breastfeeding is what is best for babies and breastfeeding is way cheaper than formula feeding.

My son and I, for lack of a better word, sucked at breastfeeding. We both had no idea what we were doing. I was in it alone because no one I knew had breastfed so my only saviors when I had questions were breastfeeding books and the internet. The one thing I really had going for me was that I am stubborn- I was going to breastfeed that baby whether he wanted me to or not and would do it even if it killed me. After a month and a half of not fun my son and I finally got it and after that we never looked back, even after I had to eliminate dairy from my diet due to my son's dairy allergy.

Baby number two was a piece of cake in regards to nursing with the only annoyance being that she also had a dairy allergy.

Baby number three also nursed like a champ right out of the womb but like the other kids also has the dreaded dairy allergy. The difference now though is that I feel like I am a prisoner- breastfeeding has shackled me to my baby. I love her but 24/7 it is me who is with her. Yes, I know I could pump and she could drink from a bottle to give me more freedom but I am very protective of my milk supply. Breastfeeding works on supply and demand so if she's not nursing then my body will think that it doesn't need to produce enough milk. This is why you really need to be careful about supplementing with formula- it becomes a slippery slope and then if you're not careful your body will stop making enough milk. I work for ten hours on Saturday and pump one time when I'm there, therefore to make up for that one messed up day the rest of the week the only milk she gets is when she is latched onto my boobs.

I would not change a thing though- even though I do feel stir crazy sometimes I really do enjoy breastfeeding. Being a mom is about making sacrifices and if giving up a little freedom means that I am giving my baby the best possible nutrition then how can it really be that bad? There really is something amazing about how my body is able to nourish a baby and make her grow. It's not all about helping the baby though- breastfeeding, along with the dairy free diet, has helped me drop all of my pregnancy weight already plus has blessed me with a wonderfully larger chest (though it will inevitably deflate once the baby is weaned).

I do want to say that even though I am pro-breastfeeding, I do not judge those who don't breastfeed whatever the reason is. In all honesty, this third round of breastfeeding has made me sometimes want to formula feed. I don't though because my daughter would have to be on very expensive formula due to her dairy allergy and because breastfeeding just seems easier to me because I've done it so much. Formula terrifies me because I would have no idea how much to feed the baby and formula would mean that I would have to get up in the middle of the night to prepare a bottles whereas now I can just feed the baby without getting out of bed and fall asleep while she's eating (what I am saying is that I am lazy and using formula would mean that I could not be lazy). I can see why someone wouldn't want to do it because sometimes I don't want to do it.

Breastfeeding is wonderful and is the best nutrition for babies but at the same time is not always best for the mom. Having kids is hard and a lot of the time in the first few years us moms are just trying to survive through the sleepless nights, tantrums, kids being sick, potty training and peer pressure from other moms that something has to give. We all have different things that we do to get through these years and anyone who tries to make you feel bad for how you raise your seriously needs to get a life.

1 comment:

  1. I love breastfeeding there’s nothing in the world like it! Yes it was painful and there were some other problems but it was worth it! My children are all healthy and happy. Breastfeeding diet