Getting Real with Brittany Tiedemann

Before I had my daughter I was all excited to breastfeed her. There are so many benefits from it, and like all moms, I wanted what was best for my baby. I did all my research on how to properly breastfeed. I bought a pump just in case she wouldn’t latch for a while or latch properly. I planned on pumping to save up on extra milk for when I went back to work. I bought all the breastfeeding accessories that everyone told me I would need.

Never once did it occur to me that my child would have a hard time breastfeeding.

In the hospital, she had a hard time latching, but when she did, oh boy did that hurt. After hours of trying to figure out a way that was less painful, I needed a break from it all. At that point, a nurse suggested that I try just pumping. As much as it pained me to even have to consider this, I began pumping, and what a relief it was. No pain whatsoever.

I enjoyed pumping; it was more comfortable than putting my baby on my boob. The nurse would come in regularly to help me try over and over again, but it was just so painful. At the end of the first day, I decided that pumping is what I would do with her. She would still get my milk and the benefits from it. I saw no wrong in it. I would still try here and there to get her to latch without pain, too, with hope that one day it wouldn’t hurt. When one of the nurses got wind of this, she made it her goal to make me feel awful about the whole situation. I cried the entire last day I was at the hospital. My husband kept reminding me we needed to do what was best for us and not worry about the haters.

Pumping was not easy at all. I would have to pump before she would wake up hungry or right after she ate. Then I would have to bag it and store it properly in the fridge. This would often cut into my sleep – and every mom knows how rare and precious sleep is to new moms. Then there were the emotions that came flowing out like a waterfall about the whole situation. I felt like I was constantly connected to a machine all day, every day. I felt like I never got even a minute to myself to breathe.

Just when I could get myself to calm down and look at all the positives of pumping, everyone came in with there opinions on what I should be doing. “You’re not breastfeeding. Pumping is not breastfeeding!” “You must have been putting her on your boob wrong.” :She must have a tongue tie and you need to fix that ASAP!” “You need to visit a specialist!”

I just wanted people to shut up!

I was exhausted from all of it. I decided at that point that I needed to cut people out who were not supporting me at all, and that included some family as well. I needed support, not to be cut down during an already fragile situation. This worked well for a month and a half.

After she turned 6 weeks old, my baby was demanding more milk than I could provide for her. My goal was to pump for as long as I could to save money, and to keep pumping since that is what is considered best for her. Here was the thing, though: I was tired emotionally and physically from everything. At 6 weeks, we started supplementing with formula. It was amazing for us. Our once-colicky baby was now sleeping more and not being as fussy. I was able to have my husband help with the feedings so that I could get some much-needed sleep. At 7 weeks, we went all formula. It worked out perfectly for us. We were planning a 16-hour road trip and formula would be much easier than pumping in a truck. I was going back to work in 3 weeks and formula is easier to prepare. I could try to get my milk supply to dry up faster and wouldn’t have to pump at work.

Then the haters walked back into our lives telling us how we weren’t giving our baby the best. I was prepared this time to fire back. It felt so personal at this point to have the same people jumping down our throats. It is not uncommon at all for babies to be on formula this young.

My new saying has become, “I am pro-feeding my child.” It doesn’t matter where she gets her nutrition from at this point. She is eating, gaining weight properly, and happy.

What more could we ask for?