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