Breast, Bottle, and the Beauty of Infant Feeding

“I bottle fed, and I breastfed, and before I knew it, they were all eating stale french fries off the floor of the minivan and I was like, whatever, thanks for cleaning.”

-Joslyn Gray

Not only is this quote hilarious but it’s so relatable. Seriously, mamas. Haven’t we all thought this before? Feeding our tiny humans is so hard sometimes… but why is that? Why does it have to be so hard from day 1?

I’ve recently starting thinking about my breastfeeding experiences with both of my children. I’ve concluded that society’s role in our family’s feeding is one major factor in making our entire experience more stressful than it needs to be. There can be pressure when feeding in public, breast or bottle. There may also be an overall lack of support from friends and family and/or lack of breastfeeding education provided. In today’s post, I’m going to recap my experience with breastfeeding. I’m also going to share a cool new platform by Happy Family. This platform is devoted to making sure that all families feel supported during their infant feeding journey!

Baby 1

Prior to E’s arrival, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. As a postpartum nurse, I felt completely educated in the matter. After her birth, she instantly latched on. At that moment, I felt confidence that this whole breastfeeding thing was pretty darn easy. Little did I know, this wasn’t anything compared to what was to come. After sleepless nights and CONSTANT SUCKLING, I was exhausted, sore, and starting to become unsure of whether or not my baby was actually being nurtured. By night one or two, my gut was telling me that something wasn’t right. While in the hospital, I used the assistance of lactation consultants 3 times and called my nurse to my room more than I can count! Each time, they assured me that the baby was fine and I was doing fine. Her constant crying, lack of sleep, and dry lips told me otherwise. I asked for a bottle of formula and a syringe, as not to create nipple confusion with my daughter and the look on the nurse’s face instantly put me into a state of mom guilt. That night, while I slept, my husband fed Baby E 15 ml of infant formula via syringe. I had (unnecessary) mom guilt but at the end of the day, my baby’s belly was finally full. She was happy and so were we!

After that day, Baby E never had another ounce of formula. I started recovering from delivery, eating more lactogenic foods, and nursing on demand. She went on to receive breast milk for 13 months.

Baby 2

Although we are only 5 weeks in, my experiences with Baby 2 are surprisingly similar. Fortunately my experience with Baby E motivated me to become more educated on infant feeding and I’ve started working towards obtaining my lactation certification. This time around, I know a lot more and feel way more prepared. We actually did the exact same thing by supplementing on day 1. By day 2 or 3, my milk came in full force and we’ve been exclusively nursing since then.

So, I’m sharing my experiences so that mothers everywhere know that breastfeeding is not always easy, even when you’re a professional. I had to supplement on the first day. I had to call on help several times. This is nothing to be ashamed of! Between my mom friends, seeking out local lactation consultants, and heavily researching everything breastfeeding related, I finally started to feel more calm and confident in my endeavors. I think that my trial and error in breastfeeding is ultimately what has steered me to become a lactation consultant. I am so passionate about helping mothers learn the ins and outs of breastfeeding.

With that being said, I’m happy to announce that I’m working with Happy Family to promote their incredible new program aimed at providing support for all families in all different feeding scenarios. First off, they have an awesome option of live chatting with lactation specialists and nutritionist (all of which are also moms). You can live chat with them from 8am to 8pm (EST) Monday through Friday. Not only does the site provide information for breastfeeding families but also formula feeding! I think it’s great that they are offering such diversity and a judgment free zone for parents to get help when it comes to feeding their little one.

I can’t recommend this site enough! Seriously, I’m in the swing of things again now that I have a newborn and it’s nice to know that I have this support if and when I need it! To learn more or visit the Happy Family website, just click here! Let me know how it helps you!