Parenting

No, I’m not breastfeeding

And that’s okay.

I wanted to. That was the plan. The funny thing about kids though… they don’t care about plans. We had all the gears – pump (electric and manual), bags to store milk in the freezer in, nipple cream, maternity bras, you name it. 

At the end of the day though, I decided my mental health was more important. The birth really took it out of me. I’d been managing just fine all throughout the day during my latent labour but I was progressing slowly and then, all of a sudden, it was time. Baby didn’t care that I technically wasn’t in established labour (even when I got to the hospital I was only having two contractions in ten minutes), he wanted out and he wanted out now. Just two hours prior to my contractions soaring to 100 on the intensity scale I had only been 3cm dilated. I don’t even know how dilated I was in the end, there wasn’t time for that. All I know is the contractions really stepped it up and I was fighting the urge to push the entire ride over to the hospital. 

We got to the hospital at about 11pm and he arrived at 12.55am. I sustained a second degree tear, fainted in the shower and we were on our way to the birth centre at 4am. 

Over the next week we tried to breastfeed him. We had issues with the latch – he wouldn’t open his mouth wide enough to get on the breast properly – and even when he was on he would suck for about 30 seconds then stop (which is apparently an issue mum also had with me and she ended up having to bottle feed me, too). I would express and give him what little colostrum I could and we supplemented with formula. He was much happier drinking the formula and I was much happier giving it to him knowing he was getting enough and it was satisfying him. 

All the trouble breastfeeding, paired with the exhaustion, the pain while recovering from my tear, the hormones/baby blues and my feelings regarding the birth felt like too much. I was overwhelmed, I was crying all the time and my baby blues lasted longer than a few days. My mum was concerned about me and so was my midwife. So we decided to stop breastfeeding. My husband was happy with whatever decision I made as all he cared about was Jackson getting fed. 

Sure, I could have tried for longer. I could have tried for six weeks like my mum did with me, or a few months like others I know, but I know my limits and I could feel myself heading into a direction I did not want to go emotionally. I was struggling to bond with Jackson and I was spending most of my time crying or just feeling… blah. I wanted to enjoy these early days with my baby. So I stopped.

It’s been a week and a half since making the decision and we’re both better off for it. I’m much happier and coping much better than I was. I’m bonding my son. He’s fed, healthy and doing really well. And that’s all that matter isn’t it? That he’s healthy and well fed/cared for? That’s what I think anyway.

So no, I’m not breastfeeding. And that’s okay. 

P.S. If you’re breastfeeding, that’s fantastic! I mean no disrespect to anyone with this post. In all honesty it’s main purpose is that it feels good to write it all down. 

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5 thoughts on “No, I’m not breastfeeding”

  1. Dude, My heart goes out to you. I watched my wife struggle for a month to no avail. It really messed with her mentally. I don’t want to divulge T.M.I., but the way she is shaped is not conducive to breastfeeding. I would try to tell her that She shouldn’t listen to the pressure society put on her to breastfeed, but it did not go away easily. I felt so bad for her, but in the end she was happy to feed our boy – His name is Jackson too! I’m glad you are getting things like this out there. It needs to be said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, at the end of the day feeding him was more important to me than how it happened and he’s certainly not suffering, he’s perfectly healthy and was up above birth weight by the time he was a week old. My husband is loving being able to help with feeding as well, he’s very hands on.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You darn tootin its okay! I tried for five weeks with my oldest and I simply didn’t have enough milk supply. WE had to supplement with formula after the first few days and as soon as they began talking about putting me on medications to produce more milk, I was done! I didn’t even consider breastfeeding the other two. It was just better off for all of us if I didn’t. And that was okay with me šŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Yep, just a pity people put so much emphasis on breastfeeding. I know that it’s great and definitely should be encouraged, but if someone is formula feeding for whatever reason they shouldn’t be made to feel like shit, as if they were lazy or didn’t try hard enough. I’ve already been asked if I’m breastfeeding and the immediate follow up question was ‘did you not want to?’ Of course I wanted to! But I feel it’s far more important for Jackson to have a happy mum as opposed to the weepy mess I was.

      Liked by 1 person

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