Bottle or Boob? – https://www.mindful-engineering.com

Bottle or Boob?

Breastfeeding? Formula? As long as your baby is fed, it doesn’t matter.

Becoming a mom is a weird and funny thing. We, as women, go from judging each other as individuals to judging how we parent, even though at the end of the day we all have the same intentions. And our intentions come from a good place: our hearts. We, as moms, want to raise our children to become happy, healthy, and loving adults. That’s our mission. It’s in our “mom” job description.
I don’t talk about breastfeeding often because well… none of my close friends have kids. Over the past 14 months I’ve become closer with other people who have children because we can relate to each other. Let’s be honest, no parent has any clue what the hell they’re doing. We’re all just winging it. Praying to God that our children turn out alright.
Kidding… kind of.
Anyways, I chose to breastfeed for many reasons:
  1. It’s free. I’m a single mom running on a budget. So boobie milk it is.

  2. It’s a bonding thing. I am the ONLY person who can provide for my child. My body is pretty cool.

  3. My mom encouraged me. She breastfed my brothers and I. I thought that was awesome and I wanted to do that for my child.

  4. Because why not? If I can, I should.

Now don’t get me wrong - my breastfeeding journey hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. It’s been two rounds of mastitis, a teething baby, pumping at work and cluster feeding.
 
 
 
Those first few weeks were the hardest. Day two after birth and all he wanted to do was nurse. We had so many hospital visitors those two days, but he was cluster feeding so most visitors couldn’t hold him for more than a few minutes.

I didn’t have any issues with a latch, which I was thankful for, but it can take time for your body to adjust to nursing. Of course, alongside nursing comes cracked, bleeding nipples. Those are a lot of fun. (Sike.) Some days I would flinch attaching him so he could nurse because my body was sore, but it was worth fighting through those first few weeks to have an unbreakable bond with my child.

 

My first round of mastitis came around three weeks after NJ was born. I woke up in the middle of the night crying because I was in so much pain. I had a clogged duct. I was red, running a fever, and engorged. It was one of the first nights I asked for help from my family because I knew I just needed sleep. Thankfully, my mom helped me get through the night and I had an appointment first thing in the morning. Antibiotics quickly cleared it up and I was back on track.
The most frustrating part of nursing a newborn is being the only person who can feed them. I was scared to leave him for more than 30 minutes in fear he’d get hungry. Once I went back to work, about six weeks after he was born, I began the long, boring process of pumping. I HATED it, but I did it anyway. I was a server at the time. Anyone who knows how this industry works knows that if you don’t have tables, you’re not making money. I would have to stop mid-shift and give up tables just to go in the back and pump. Eventually, I decided to stop pumping at my serving job and turn to formula instead. But I still pumped when I could at home to provide some breast milk for those who watched him while I worked.
Shortly after I made this decision, I found a day job. I ended up pumping twice a day at this job, but it still wasn’t enough for a growing boy. I tried everything to produce more. I would add brewers yeast to anything I could, oats almost everyday, flax seed, and even teas. It was a frustrating process.
Regardless of the frustration, making sure my child had proper nutrition was what mattered to me most. He received half-formula, half-breast milk bottles while at daycare and I nursed him while we were together. I tried my best.
Now, I’m in the process of weaning him and it’s almost as hard as starting the process. In a way, it’s hard for both of us. He enjoys the comfort of nursing and I love the bond it has brought us. I’m hopeful for more children in the future (marriage first this time lol), but who knows what God has in store for me.
I’ve officially shared my body with my son for two years, and even though it has been a rollercoaster, I’m thankful my body has created such a miracle.
Always,
PS: Keep us in your prayers as we wean from nursing. It’s REALLY difficult. I don’t necessarily enjoy listening to a whining toddler, but we're three days strong so far!
 
This blog post was brought to you by The Shirleys.  More than a toy designer, be mindful is a community of parents who are going through the process of building the best denizens of next generation.  As such we encourage and delight in our community participating in our blog and social media efforts.  Your voice will be heard across our community and who knows which kid or which parent your wisdom will enlighten!  Feel free to email us at howdy@mindful-engineering.com or submit an inquiry on our site if you have a blog post idea you want to share!

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