How you feed your newborn child is a hard decision to make for some. For me, it was originally super easy. I had never wanted to breast feed. Ever. I had a plan my entire life… until I got pregnant. It was then that I changed my mind, I then was undecided. I knew the benefits of breastfeeding but the desire to breastfeed wasn’t there until I was about 6 months pregnant. And yet here we are 8 weeks post delivery and we bottle feed. In this post: My battle with breastfeeding and bottle feeding
At about 6 months pregnant, The desire to help my baby boy with breast milk started to grow. I was still undecided though. I had never liked the idea of breastfeeding and I still didn’t. During our Dr appointments and when we checked in for delivery they asked if we were breastfeeding and I only said “I’m undecided”.
Once baby was here and we headed into the recovery room, the nurse started to help me get Kip to latch. There wasn’t a question and I just went with it. I was still not sure. Kip did ok that first day but with no milk yet I wasn’t feeding him well. I started pumping that night to help my milk come in.
The next morning, Kip was taken to the NICU. That separation made it hard on me. I spent a lot of time down in the NICU. I had pumped and took what milk I got with me to feed him. It wasn’t much at that point.
One day I met with the lactation nurse who helped me with him latching and using the bottle line to assist with milk. It just felt awkward. I decided to keep pumping. To me that felt more “normal”, if that’s even a thing.
Kip’s Dr wanted to measure everything we gave him since he wasn’t eating well. We decided to keep pumping to ensure we knew what he ate. After we were discharged that’s what I kept doing.
Feeding at home
I pumped at home every time Kip ate. Unfortunately, I got discouraged fast though. I wasn’t getting very much milk, if anything. Right away I starting making lactation cookies, smoothies, drinking tons of water and pumping more and more. I was exhausted. I felt like giving up, and I did for a few days. Then the guilt set in. I had at least two emotional breakdowns, maybe more. It was personal. I didn’t want to breastfeed. I didn’t want to pump. But the thought of not feeding Kip with as much milk as I could get ate away at me. I cried. I cried hard.
My sisters both work at the hospital. One in the Mother Baby Store and one in Labor and Delivery. They knew the tricks and I turned to them for advice. After some discussion and recommendations from them I moved forward.
I decided to go rent a pump from the hospital. (Originally, I had borrowed one from my sister but the hospitals was more powerful). I then did power pumping multiple times a day. After pumping, I got 10 to 30 ml combined from both sides at times and other times I maybe got 5 ml. I was frustrated, exhausted, and depressed. Why couldn’t I get more? Did my time run up? Had I stopped pumping for too many days before I started again and lost my opportunity? So many questions and yet no answers. Depression was hitting me hard. Why was I unable to support Kip this way? To make matters worse, my milk still never fully came in. I never felt that surge people talk about.
One day I just decided to ask Andy if he was ok with me not breastfeeding (or pumping) any more. I was just done with the whole process but I felt like I needed to ok it through him before I completely gave up. He said, Stac I’m ok with whatever you want to do. That’s all the support and encouragement I needed.
We started bottle feeding 100% of the time. We’d already fed Kip all the milk I had pumped. I was relieved. Finally, I was happy and I was ok with it. Finally, after about 3 weeks of trying to breastfeed and pump it wasn’t worth the emotional roller coaster I was going through. I learned it was ok to bottle feed. Many people bottle feed. My mom did. And I’m going to too.
Like I said, I never wanted to breastfeed. Mostly for personal reasons. But I want others to know it’s ok to give up or never try. I wish I had made my mind up or went with my original decision before we hit delivery. The emotional and mental pain I took myself through with the breastfeeding battle was not worth it for me.
I know this is such a personal decision. And I completely give support and kuddos to any moms who choose to breastfeed. For no matter how long! I know ladies who have only made it a few months and others who made it years. I just want others to know that it is OKAY to bottle feed. Breastfeeding is NOT for everyone. It was and is not for me.
So there’s My Battle with Breastfeeding and bottle feeding and I think I’ve learned SO much about myself, my son and both bottle feeding and breast feeding. I learned that it’s ok to allow myself to cry. And it’s ok to say no to breastfeeding. We bottle feed in our family and it works for us.
My battle with breastfeeding and bottle feeding
My battle with breastfeeding and bottle feeding
Photos by Hilary at Kylee Ann Studios
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Breastfeeding vs Bottle Feeding – Why we bottle feed