Breastfeeding – Doing Your Best Is Best
Breastfeeding – Doing Your Best Is Best
Every single mother’s feeding journey is completely different. There is no one-way to feed a baby, as every baby is different. Every birth is different. The entire debate of #BreastIsBest versus #FedIsBest is only doing one thing and that is pitting women against one another. I’ve said it before and I will say it again #DoingYourBestIsBest. Let’s be honest ladies, we have enough internal judgment going on without adding being externally judged by others.
Personal I believe the reason ‘breastfeeding’ as a topic is so controversial is because of all the hormones and emotions. It’s emotional if you can’t breastfeed just as it is emotional if you can! Add on top of that ‘keyboard warriors’ and sleep-deprived mothers… everyone will always have an opinion. I am not here to write about what you should or shouldn’t do. Or quote statistics or studies. I’m just here to share my breastfeeding experiences.
I never really gave breastfeeding much thought during my first pregnancy. None of my close my friends had any babies yet, so I didn’t really have anything to compare to. I didn’t really have a strong opinion about which way I was going to feed my baby. Perhaps because I didn’t have a whole lot of control over my pregnancy and was under the constant watch of many doctors… I guess I just thought I would do what everyone told me to do.
That first night after the c-sec was a bit of a blur, I was on patient-controlled meds, which meant every time I felt pain I just had to press a button and my pain medication got upped through a drip… Well within reason, it was timed so you couldn’t have it too close together. I was pain-free but very foggy. I do remember a midwife coming in asking if I had expressed any milk for the NICU and I do remember being like ‘I don’t even know what that means’. Seriously I was completely clueless.
All the midwives thought I would have heaps of milk (my boobs where GIANT and I had leaked everywhere just before being wheeled down to have my c-sec)… but after being shown how to hand express it was apparent that actually there wasn’t really anything coming out. Mls. Quarter mls. Less than quarter mls. It was a completely deflating experience. And painful. I actually ended up completely bruising my breasts from trying to squeeze to damn hard.
I saw many lactation consultants and eventually was able to hand express the liquid gold! But what I didn’t realise at the time was that little Oliver wasn’t getting enough milk… so thankfully he was given formula through a feeding tube in the early days to help with his weight while my milk continued to come in.
Eventually when I milk ‘came in’ I became a pumping machine. Sending litres upon litres down to the NICU. Every two hours I would pump. It was exhausting. But it became my mission. It became the one thing I could do to help Oliver. Pump. And pump. And pump.
I can still remember that first time Oliver latched on as if it was yesterday. And when he did start feeding it was one of the most magical feelings I have ever felt. I still had to pump in the early days as he only had enough energy to feed for a few minutes (before he fell back asleep). But I had constant support from the lactation consultants at the Mater Mother’s and it really did help to know there were people to help. I saw a lactation consultant every day for a week.
I breastfeed because once I could do it, it was the one thing that I had control over. The one thing I could do that was ‘natural’. But also personally for me, once I could do it, it was easier. I could just whip out my boob at any time, in any situation and feed my baby. It was an instant comfort, when he was tired, or hurt, or thirsty. I shall always cherish those feeds.
So instead of judging ourselves and others with #BreastIsBest vs #FedIsBest; let’s support one another with #DoingYourBestIsBest.
We would love to hear about your feeding journey. We’re all have different experiences and thank goodness because it would be oh-so-boring if we’re all the same!