I was set on breastfeeding from the second I found out I was having a little one. Without even knowing if my body would be able to or not, I got the pump through insurance because I knew I’d eventually be going back to work, bought ALL of the necessary (and not so necessary) supplies for baby and myself, and mentally prepared for all of the breastfeeding-while-teething horror stories that all of my well-meaning friends and family members had shared with me.
Rule number one in life and motherhood: Things will not go as you have them perfectly planned out to go.
Hours after Ella was born (w/epidural because I couldn’t handle “natural”), my body was ready to produce, but she couldn’t latch onto my flat nipples. Thanks, bod. I was super bummed but was grateful that I was still able to give my baby breast milk. I became a slave to the pump. I remember, at one point, hearing the pump “say” to me, “Just keep going, just keep going” in rhythm with the pump during a 2 AM sesh. It was exhausting, and I love my daughter more than my next breath. It is just exhausting.
I got thrush twice and a clogged duct every other week the last month of pumping. I was hallucinating and sleeping on my daughter’s bedroom floor because I was terrified of the worst case scenarios playing out again, and again. I made my first therapy appointment.
Mama wasn’t doing well.
I saw my doctor once and it took her no time at all to decide that self-care needed to be my homework, and being the best mom I could be meant my baby was not getting breast milk anymore. It took me about two weeks to totally get on board with stopping, but once I did, it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. I was actually spending time with my daughter instead of with the breast pump. I was getting to eat dinner with my family, but not having to eat SO MUCH throughout the day to maintain my supply. I was able to start exercising without worrying about supply drop.
I decided it didn’t make me a bad mom if I couldn’t breastfeed, and my baby would still thrive on formula.
I went back to work after eight weeks and started supplementing formula. I did a lot of research. I read a lot of user reviews. I am not a fan of “name brand” stuff. I do not like overpaying for products that are going to be linked to our failing health ten years from now. I chose Nature’s One Baby’s Only LactoRelief for Ella’s first formula, and it was a slam dunk. I cut out dairy from my diet while pumping after my baby spent two days with her knees tucked up after I had yogurt for breakfast and sour cream with dinner. She was happier than ever after about a week. So, that is why I chose the LactoRelief variety. I am not a fan of Soy products as I found, through reading, they back a lot of babies up and that is exactly what happened when we ran out before the next case of Baby’s Only arrived and got a Soy substitute…not a good outcome for my babe. The lactose/ase(?) enzyme is what the allergy is to, so being milk based (not soy), but having that enzyme removed is what you’re probably looking for if your baby has a dairy/milk allergy.
If I don’t learn anything else from motherhood, I’ve learned that “natural” is what’s your best for you and your baby. It can’t be measured against anyone else and their natural. Do your best as a parent and human, be healthy and happy…ultimately, that’s what your baby needs.
Daily prompt – Natural