Breast is best, you say?
I heard this so many times while I was pregnant. Mostly while browsing pregnancy and parenting websites. Although I never fully subscribed to the “breast is best” movement, I fully intended to breastfeed my daughter. After all, it is free and always available.
So there I was in the hospital jamming my still numb nipple into my baby’s mouth. Committed to breastfeeding, I endured a few blisters and splits and eventually settled into a pumping routine. I was also provided a nipple shield which did help.
You see, when they say “breast is best” they fail to mention that sometimes nipples don’t cooperate. Oh man, did my nipples NOT cooperate.
When I got home I was only able to breastfeed with the shield. My ridiculous nipples were hiders. The doctors said they were inverted but it certainly seemed more like they hid at the sight of my little lady’s lips. She seemed happy enough with the shield and I was as well. She was tiny and, for the most part, fairly cooperative about it.
Then we got to three months old. She was growing beautifully. Starting to look like an actual infant and losing that awkward anorexic newborn look. She has her daddy’s small features and her mommy’s stubbornness. I continued to breastfeed but by this point I was also pumping and supplementing some feedings with formula. I had stopped looking forward to feeding her and dreaded that hungry little look. She was distracted easily. With only two hands I had to support her, keep the shield on, stop her thrusty little legs from pushing her body away, all while trying to keep myself together. At 3am that is not so easy.
I found myself in tears some nights trying to get her to eat, worried she wasn't getting enough, and frustrated at this damn shield.
By four months old I was OVER IT! She didn't seem happy. I was not happy at all. So I stopped. She is now on her fourth day of exclusive formula and, as I write this, taking the longest midday nap she has ever had. I ate lunch! LUNCH! With two hands!!!
I love being able to watch my family feed her and have that connection. I love not whipping my boob out every 40 minutes. I love wearing a high cut sweater. I love that she’s finished eating in 15 minutes versus the marathon 90 minute boob feeds.
I love all of it. I love formula feeding my girl!