Categories
Breastfeeding

5 Nipple Care Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

As a new mother, you tend to focus completely on your baby’s needs and often forget to care for yourself. Breastfeeding is bound to cause some amount of discomfort but it shouldn’t be a source of constant pain. Ignoring nipple care, especially during the first few weeks of nursing can lead to sore, tender and even cracked nipples. Nipple care is important because it ensures that nursing is a time of bonding between you and your baby.

5 things you need to know about nipple care when breastfeeding

Your breasts will undergo several changes once you start breastfeeding. For the first few days after your baby is born, you will produce less milk (called colostrum) that is yellowish in color but within 5 days, your body will start to produce mature milk. This can will make your breasts feel fell and firm and even tender to the touch. It is during the first few weeks that you are likely to develop some amount of nipple soreness. You are also likely to experience soreness after about 6 months, when your baby starts teething. The good news is that there are several steps that you can take to prevent as well as treat sore nipples while breastfeeding.

Get a good latch

A poor latch results in poor milk transfer which will cause your baby to suckle harder which will lead to sore and cracked nipples. Make sure that your baby latches on correctly as this will minimize nipple discomfort while breastfeeding. To ensure that your little one gets a good latch, aim your nipple towards the roof of your baby’s mouth when his mouth is wide open so that he latches on to your nipple as well as the area around it (areola). Lasting pain or a pinching sensation is an indication of a poor latch so when this happens place a clean finger into your baby’s mouth to help him latch on correctly.

Avoid soap and shower gel

The small bumps on your areolas (called Montgomery tubercles) are sebaceous glands that help to moisturize and protect your nipples. Soaps and gels can strip your skin of these natural oils and can cause further irritation to cracked nipples so avoid using them on your nipples. The skin on your nipples is thin and delicate so be very gentle when cleaning them. Rubbing your nipples to “toughen” them up is an old wives tale and should be avoided at all costs. Wash your nipples with warm running water and then dab them gently with a towel or let them air dry.

Use homemade nipple creams

As any nursing mum will tell you, nipple cream is an absolute must-have! Constant breastfeeding can leave your nipples sore, dry and even cracking. A nipple cream helps to soothe your chaffed nipples and keeps your skin soft and moisturized. However, some of the most popular nipple creams available in the market today contain ingredients that can cause respiratory distress, vomiting and diarrhea in infants. You can make your own nipple balm by crushing calendula flowers in a little olive oil. Apply this mixture to your nipples after nursing and about an hour before your shower. Olive oil prevents drying and cracking while calendula will help to soothe inflamed skin. Use this homemade nipple cream on a daily basis to reduce nipple irritation.

Apply breast milk to your nipples

Breast milk contains 3-5% fat so applying it to your nipples after each feed will help to keep your skin soft and prevent cracking. Researchers found that women who applied their own breast milk to their nipples experienced less irritation and quicker healing compared to women who used lanolin – the most common ingredient in nipple care products. Apply a little breast milk to your nipples after nursing and then rinse your nipples and let them air dry just before your baby’s next feed.

Express a little milk before nursing

Babies can suckle quite vigorously at the start of a feed in an attempt to increase the flow of milk. This increases nipple soreness and can even be downright painful. A simple way to prevent this problem is to express a little milk right before you breastfeed your baby. This will help to increase milk flow which means that your baby will not suckle as vigorously. You can also apply a warm compress  to your breasts before nursing as this helps the milk to flow. Apply a cold compress right after a feed to reduce soreness and swelling.

Breastfeeding offers several health benefits from a lowered risk of asthma and allergies to fewer bouts of ear infection, diarrhea and respiratory infections. Researchers also found that breastfeeding can decrease the severity of pneumonia in children under 1 year. Some studies indicate that breastfeeding may also be linked to higher IQ levels later on in life. Breastfeeding is an important part of your child’s growth and development so take steps to ensure that nursing is a pain-free experience for both you and your baby.

Categories
Breastfeeding

They Lied: Tandem Nursing is Not Cute

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

When I said I would tandem nurse, I’ll admit right now that it wasn’t in my original plans. After experiencing it once or twice, I’m not the biggest fan. Sure, it might grow on me. It could get easier. The siblings could bond over some boob milk and cookies. Or I could lose the last shreds of my sanity.

When they said tandem nursing was a cute bonding experience, they lied. They must have. You can’t tell me that it was all sunshine and rainbows from day one. Breastfeeding a single child is not a joy ride from the get-go. It’s a tough adjustment, with sore nipples, engorged breasts, and unexpected leaks. So, let’s just toss two children in the mix and try to convince everyone that it’s a great time.

Do you know why they say that? Misery loves company.

They want others to suffer two children gnawing on both nipples at one time. When you’re tandem nursing, there are no breaks. It’s like an open buffet and your boobs are on the menu. The toddler latch that should be perfected turns to vicious teeth, and the newborn who is learning to latch is head-butting my boob repeatedly. If I could reach either child, I could fix it, but I can’t reach either mouth because they won’t get off me and my boobs aren’t big enough to be swinging children around.

I might be slightly dramatic. It’s fine.

My toddler is mostly weaned, because I knew better to some extent. I knew that she would want it all day long, and I knew that I would not be able to cope. A newborn is plenty to deal with, thanks. Nursing the both at the same time is like a freaking marathon, so I’m glad those moments are rare.

And bedtime? Don’t even get me started. It’s a shit show. They are like a tag-team, both screeching to nurse at the same time. Even if I make them take turns, there’s still punishment involved. I breastfeed the newborn to sleep and his hyper sister wakes him up. I breastfeed the toddler and the newborn’s cries are too distracting to actually get anything accomplished. Bedtime is only successful when I separate the two gremlins and pass one off to my husband, so I can breastfeed the other.

All this being said, I’m glad I can tandem nurse and continue to nourish both children. I may hate it, but I’ll be glad I did it. I’ll also be glad when it’s over.

 

Categories
Breastfeeding Toddlers

Weaning Has Been A Bittersweet Process

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

I had truly reached my limits with breastfeeding. There are no words to describe my love for the bond that Hallie and I have shared, and I have truly enjoyed most of our breastfeeding relationship. But I was done! I was tired of hearing requests for titties all day long, and then once she was day-weaned, I definitely wasn’t thrilled hearing a whimper for titties at 3am. And 4am. And 4:30am. I would have nights where I didn’t want anyone, including my husband, to touch me at the end of the day. We have been weaning for oh, about a year now. But we have finally won the war.

So why am I so sad now that, aside from one or two sessions a day, my two-year old is weaned? Shouldn’t I be jumping for joy that there’s no longer a toddler swinging from my nipples? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the extra sleep I’ve been getting. But oh my goodness. The emotions are so mixed.

I feel like a horrible mother when I have to gently ease Hallie away from my chest at night when she cries to be nursed. I want to cave so badly, but really, she cries for maybe a minute total before she’s sound asleep again. Hallie is also sleeping so much better, which tells me that Hallie was waking out of habit and convenience more than anything. I am sleeping better, which in my pregnant state, is absolutely fantastic.

It’s also one more reminder that my little baby girl is not such a baby anymore. She is a walking, talking toddler with a whole lot of attitude and opinions. Hallie is growing right before my eyes and I still feel like I’m missing it. Letting go of breastfeeding is like letting go of my first baby just in time for the next, and the mom guilt sets in.

But this is the right time for us. Previous attempts at weaning have been a nightmare, but Hallie hasn’t noticed much this time around. Hallie is too busy with other adventures and getting sleep to fuel those adventures. I’m too busy growing another human, and I don’t want to be bouncing between toddler and infant for night-time nursing sessions.

As sad as I am, I am so proud of my growing little girl. I am proud of myself for nurturing her in this way for so long and looking forward to how our relationship will grow from here. I am also well-aware that I might see a bit of regression when Hallie sees a new baby having her titties. I never wanted to tandem-nurse, but I never expected to breastfeed a two-year-old either. We will see how things pan out for us, but if this weaning journey as taught me anything, it’s that this is a two-way street with a lot of complicated emotions.

So here’s to the next breastfeeding journey, and more milestones for both of my growing babies. Please excuse me while I go cry now.

Categories
Breastfeeding Everything Baby

I Am Pro-FEEDING Your Child

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?

Categories
Breastfeeding On Motherhood

Pumping at Work: It Can Get Weird

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Right now, I am blessed to be a work-at-home-mom. However, I did time in the workplace as a pregnant and breast-feeding mom. I was at work at 41 weeks on the morning of my induction, and I returned to work 6 weeks later (and yes, I cried every morning). While my employer was breastfeeding and pumping friendly (mostly), that didn’t make the workplace any less awkward.

My workplace was great in offering a private space to pump, but it was a conference room. This meant that I had to reserve this conference room at the same times every day, and if my own work schedule forced a deviation from this, it could mean an hour delay to wait for someone else’s meeting to be over. I learned very quickly the schedule of the conference room and would negotiate different times early to avoid full boobs (because ouch).

I also learned that my pumping schedule had to be a public notice on my own work calendar. Almost weekly my supervisor would ask for a quick conversation, or ask why I had declined a meeting with a colleague, or why I couldn’t help with something pressing. “I have to pump”. While the response was “oh, of course”, it was still awkward to have to offer regular reminders of “my boobs will literally explode if I delay this”. After a few months, you would think someone would catch on.

Despite this public notice, there was always something that would throw a kink in my schedule. I made the terrible mistake, only once, of wearing a dress that I could not zip myself. Stuck at work, I enlisted the help of a female colleague who told me to just text her when I needed zipped. No problem, right? Crisis averted, or so I thought.

Five minutes into my pumping session the fire alarm went off. I debated ignoring this interference, because it was probably a drill (which it was), but the nagging potential that it was a real fire had me pack up my supplies and pull up my dress. With all the dignity I could muster, I walked outside, unzipped. I had been delayed a few minutes, so the entire building witnessed my bare back and lacy red bra. With my head held high and a shrug, I walked to the previously mentioned female colleague, who was laughing hysterically as she zipped me up. My male supervisor blushed when he realized, and apologized profusely for not warning me about the drill. Luckily, I could laugh it off, but it was an office joke for quite some time. I went home at lunch and changed, lesson learned.

I could tell endless awkward stories, not limited to explaining how my boobs hurt and that yes, I was going to excuse myself from an unnecessarily long meeting due to said painful boobs. Why I should have to explain that is beyond me, but it was a position I was forced into quite often. I was also asked “how long do you think you’ll need the conference room?” and other judgmental questions. “For as long as I decide to” was my answer.

I do appreciate my employer offering the time and space, because I know other women are not so lucky despite the laws in place. However, I do wish there was more understanding of pumping. If a male employee happened to catch me on my way to rinse out my breast pump supplies, they would quickly avert their eyes as if I was actually holding my bare breasts in my hands. It’s only milk, I promise, and it is nothing for anyone to be ashamed of. I wish I didn’t have to explain, but I’ll explain a million times over to help spread awareness. If my sass can help another woman pumping at work, I’m more than happy to speak my mind.

Not every person has the confidence that I do, and these instances could have discouraged another woman from pumping for her baby. Pumping goes in the same category as breastfeeding, which is none of anyone else’s business. Employers need to be more respectful of pumping moms, and pumping moms, you need to know your rights. Pumping at work can get weird, but it doesn’t have to be awkward. Pumping is your reality, and you’re allowed to own it.

 

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABreast_Pump_Parts_1.JPG

Categories
Breastfeeding On Motherhood Pregnancy and Your Newborn Toddlers

Weaning a Breastfed Baby is Hard

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

In case you missed it, breastfeeding a toddler was on my unfulfilled list of “nevers”. Yet here we are. My daughter, Hallie, is 16 months old and the little gremlin (bundle of joy) has no intentions of being weaned anytime soon. Anytime I ask for advice, it ranges from anywhere to “let her take the lead” and “cut her off” to “every child is different” and “you’re still breastfeeding?”. Great, that’s literally the most helpful thing ever. I know exactly what I’m doing now.

Breastfeeding is a controversial topic, not that I know why. There are boobs everywhere in our culture, but one that produces milk is somehow horrifying to the general public. Regardless, I’m an advocate of “fed is best”. I could not care less how you feed your child if they are healthy and happy, and if YOU are healthy and happy. Can’t forget about mom here, since we’re the walking milk factory.

How do we breastfeed the “right” way?

How long are we supposed to breastfeed for? If you missed all the statistics flying around this year’s celebration of World Breastfeeding Week (typically the first week of August), the global average of weaning is about 4 years old. Crazy, right? Especially when in our culture, anything beyond 1 year is considered weird, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending breastfeeding beyond age 1 for “as long as you and your baby wish to continue”. Did I just read a reference to a personal decision? I was under the impression that society would throw rocks if I did any such thing.

How do we wean the “right” way?

I did make attempts to wean Hallie when she turned one, because I wanted some space between being a milk factory and a baby factory. I researched a lot, suggesting dropping only one feeding a week, and if Hallie resisted I backed off. After about 2 months Hallie was weaned completely during the day with only a few night-time sessions. Then, I can only assume that Hallie thought harder about her decision to be cooperative. In classic toddler fashion, Hallie decided she was not going to be weaned. She went from drinking several ounces of whole milk each day, to none, combined with a horrible cry to breastfeed ALL THE TIME. For a few days I struggled, thinking it was a phase. How silly of me.

It took a few weeks, but Hallie gladly drinks whole milk throughout the day. However, this is not to be confused with weaning. She demands both “titties” (that would be my foul yet hilarious language emerging early in her speech) and milk, and it’s a battle every day as I refuse at least a few day time sessions. She breastfeeds at wake-up, before nap, and throughout the night. And that’s as good as it is going to get for the time-being.

Breastfeeding is a relationship.

Could I push the issue with her and decide that I’m done? Of course! A breastfeeding relationship must go both ways. Hallie is lucky that I still enjoy breastfeeding and the demands she continues to make of my body. It would be a rough few days, but she would be no worse for the wear if I decided to wean cold-turkey. But I’m soft, and I’m also too lazy to fight her on this when it really doesn’t matter that much to me. I’ve just come to terms with the fact that she’s in charge, which is clearly a lesson I need to learn early.

The decision to breastfeed, or not, and when to wean, or not, is up to you and your baby. For us, weaning is hard and breastfeeding is not. For others, breastfeeding is hard and weaning is easy. Guess what? Your body, your baby, your decision. Unless your child is like Hallie, and you just convince yourself that you have a choice. You do you, mama.

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Breastfeeding Let's Talk Pregnancy and Your Newborn Toddlers

As a Soon-To-Be Mom, I Was Full of It

I am thrilled to introduce our newest MomsGetReal contributor, my very own daughter, Kira Hazledine. As you read the blogs on MomsGetReal, you’ll learn a lot about the child, teen, and college student Kira. Now she’s married and a mom – and she has great perspective on parenting to share. She’s also responsible for making me a Nana, so yay for me!

– Shadra


Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

When I first became pregnant, there immediately started a list of all the things I would NEVER do. Yes, I did that obnoxiously annoying thing that all new moms tend to do before they know the joys (horrors) of parenting. I was having a good laugh with myself, and started thinking about that list again about 15 months later. Let’s all laugh together.

I Will Never Co-Sleep

This one is probably my favorite, one that even my husband laughs at now. The first few months, we did pretty well at keeping our little angel in her bassinet. She slept peacefully next to us, while we had our own glorious space. If I remember correctly, I am certain that Hallie took advantage of my exhaustion as a working mom and played me hard. I was breastfeeding, and it was so much easier to take her into bed with me to nurse rather than sit in the rocking chair fighting to stay awake. Fascinating thing about breastfeeding: There is a hormone secreted in the nighttime that promotes sleep for the both of you. I can tell you, it works well, because I would wake up hours later and the baby would still be next to me.

Co-sleeping certainly has its benefits, as well as dangers, but it’s what worked for us and we practiced it safely. And for us, I mean me. My husband complained about the situation until I told him that until he could take the night shift with his worthless man-boobs, I was going to dictate how the nights went. And here we are more than a year later, with a toddler dominating our bed. Oh well.

I Will Never Breastfeed After 1 Year

hallie tongue

Hallie more or less laughs in my face when I talk about weaning. I anticipated weaning at a year for completely selfish reasons, because I wanted my boobs back. I wanted to be able to drink, or go somewhere without a child reaching in my shirt. The reality is, even one beer knocks me down, and I’m honestly too tired to even care about a night out. I would rather cuddle up with a book and my husband at night, which means that there is also still a child attached to my boob. It’s just something she isn’t willing to let go of yet, and I don’t have the heart – or the energy to force it.

Word to the wise: call your boobs something appropriate for the outside world, like “milkies.” I never anticipated my child talking and nursing, and now she casually refers to breastfeeding as what she knows it as, which is “titties.” Yes, it’s hilarious, and I have no regrets.

I Will Never Bribe My Child with Food

I’ll end with this one, even though I’m sure there are many more. When Hallie was innocently growing inside me, I would make claims that I would use reason, empathy, and understanding when she wasn’t behaving well. Let’s be clear, I fight the big battles and I win. I will go the rounds with the dear little gremlin if it’s important. However, if I’m tired, and she is whining at me for reasons I know not of, I will hand her a few Cheetos. She loves Cheetos. She’s happy, I’m happy, and as a work-from-home-mom, that is very important.

Even as I type this, I have Hallie screeching “titties” at me and sticking her tongue out as far as it will go with a wide-open mouth. The reality is, my list of rules went out the window when Hallie was born, because I knew that I would do anything to keep her happy, safe, and nourished. I also recognized that in this thing we call parenting, my sanity is incredibly important as well.

Parenting is hard. There are too many societal expectations as it is, so I felt fine getting rid of a few of my own.

Everyone’s list of NEVERs is different. What was on your list that promptly got revoked?

Categories
Breastfeeding Let's Talk

The End of Mommy’s Milk

Getting Real With Veronica Ibarra

I am nearing the end of the weaning process with my son who is now 2 and ¾ years old. I breastfed his older sister till she was about the same age, give or take a month. It is a bittersweet time for me as I think about the bonding magic that breastfeeding granted me with both of my children. Considering how the process started with each of them, I am glad I was able to nurse at all.

With my daughter I got off to a rough start due to having flat nipples, and suspected feeding apnea that resulted in a three day hospitalization for her. During those three days, in between bouts of crying and visiting her as much as possible, I followed the advice of the lactation consultant pumping every three to four hours I wasn’t with my daughter. I set the alarm throughout the night. I would bring my pathetic half ounce with me to the hospital to supplement the formula they gave her, and attempted to breastfeed her every chance I got. There was nothing natural about those first days.

However, nature did take its course. My daughter was pronounced healthy, my milk finally came in, and my nipples did what they were designed by nature to do, popping out, allowing the magic that is bonding through breastfeeding to fill my heart. I became adamant from then on about nursing my daughter. At work I pumped while others took smoking breaks, and every lunch break I drove the 15 minutes to her daycare to breastfeed her. Any bottle she had was full of mommy’s milk.

I heard all kinds of comments during that time, everything from praising my dedication to questioning my sanity. Sometimes I was stung by the callous comments, and definitely sensitive to the jokes made that had any hint of negativity. But when I was with my daughter none of that mattered. Weaning happened gradually and naturally, coinciding with her transitioning from baby food to toddler food.

With my son things got off to another rough start, this time because of a close call with hemorrhaging for me and his developing jaundice, which required phototherapy in the box of light. We were hospitalized together in the same room, for which I cannot be grateful enough, and so I was able to breastfeed along with the formula I was required to give him. After another three days we were both pronounced well enough to go home. Again, nature took its course.

As my husband and I are set on having just our two children, I am weaning for the last time. It isn’t going as smoothly as it did with my daughter. My son just can’t seem to go down easily in the evenings without that bedtime breastfeeding, which has resulted in some late nights of me waiting him out. I have also given in a few times in a desperate vie for some sleep and peace. The end of mommy’s milk is inevitably near.

Yes, I am a little sad about that, but I knew this time would come. I know that there are some people who think it’s about time. People can be very opinionated on this issue. But when asked about breastfeeding, I say only this: It isn’t for everyone, but for those who make the choice, and are able, it is worth any of the difficulties that may arise.

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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is Not for Everyone

My sister was born to breastfeed. From her very first baby, she just had a knack with it. Of course, she’d always loved babies and had always been around them. She had (has) a natural calmness about her that I think must have helped.

I grew up thinking I never wanted kids and did not spend a lot of time with babies. Ironic, then, that I married a man with three of them. But my first baby, Parker, didn’t come along until I was 31. And when he came, after 26 hours of labor and an emergency c-section, weighing in at 8 pounds 14 ounces, he was apparently starving to death. At least, that’s how it felt when it seemed he was tearing my nipples completely off.

Breastfeeding my baby was important to me. I’d read all the stuff about the benefits of breast milk and how nursing should continue at least through the first year. But as I sat in the hospital with my bleeding nipple and my hungry, starving child, I really wondered if we’d make it.

Tiana could nurse anywhere. She was discreet and could throw a blanket over her shoulder and efficiently feed both her babies in the time it took me to figure out how to unhook my nursing bra and position Parker. Even when I did successfully manage to nurse my son, it seemed like I wasn’t producing enough breast milk to keep him satisfied. Tiana could nurse the twins and still pump two bottles…I could pump about ½ an ounce if I was lucky.

When Parker was two months old and we were both stressed out at every feeding, I realized that breastfeeding was not working. Instead of having the intimate bonding moments I had envisioned, many of our sessions ended with me feeling like a failure and him crying in frustration over not being able to get enough to eat.

The switch to formula was the best move I ever made. Our feeding times became the special, quiet, close moments I’d always wanted. Parker was finally getting as much as he wanted to eat and I wasn’t ending each feeding feeling inadequate. I could leave the house again without worrying that he’d get hungry.

Yes, breastfeeding is important, and you should do it if you can. But if you can’t, I think it’s ok to do what you need to do to meet your baby’s needs – and not beat yourself up about it!