New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Breast is best?

on August 20, 2012

Although I do work hard to stay in shape by watching what I eat and making sure I am leading a healthy lifestyle, I do want to give some credit to being a nursing mum. I used to always hear that breastfeeding can help with losing the baby weight so of course this known fact had some pull for me on choosing to breastfeed, amongst all the other amazing pro’s of nursing your child. But there are challenges that come with it too, so I decided I would write about my experience of being a exclusively nursing mum to hopefully help other soon to be mum’s and new mum’s make the decision whether or not to BF.

First off I will say that choosing to BF is a personal choice. There is so much information about pro BF’ing. I can’t tell you how many times over the course of my pregnancy I heard “Breast is Best,” and although I do agree with this, it’s not for all women and that’s OK! I feel that there really needs to be more information out there for mum’s about formula fed babies aside from what you read on the label. I remember taking a prenatal class, and the Registered Nurse that was running it said as an Ontario RN she was not allowed to advocate for formula feeding. Come on, of all the new things we need to know and learn, being educated about if you choose to formula feed should be at the top of the list with BF`ing. If you choose not to BF there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. Some women just can’t do it. It takes a lot of patience, time and energy. For some women it’s not even about the choice, it’s that they just can’t. Their milk doesn’t come in or they don’t produce enough that their baby has be put on formula to be able to get the nourishment and food they need. Don`t give into the pressure, just make the choice that is right for you and your baby.

If you do chose to BF, you are in for an interesting journey. The couple days I was at the hospital when we had baby girl I called the nurse to help me about a million times. I just couldn`t get her to latch on my own. I was so worried about going home and not being able to feed baby girl, that I would of stayed at the hospital for a week if they let me. So the day finally came when we went home and the first feeding was not a good experience. I tried for almost an hour to get her to latch. She cried, I cried, Jon I`m pretty sure was on the verge of tears as well, (although he will never admit it- men…). Then she finally did it! I felt this feeling of accomplishment. It took a lot of patience and a lot of time and about 2-3 weeks in was when we had mastered nursing. Some days it took 45 minutes to latch other days it took 1 minute, but when you finally do get it, the trouble it took to get there is a distant memory. Don`t give up!

Another challenge I faced was the bottle. We didn`t try to introduce a bottle until around 10 weeks because I had fears of nipple confusion, but of course by 10 weeks baby girl had been so used to the boob that when we tried to give her a bottle of pumped milk she just would not have it. We tried all different bottles and different ways of trying to get her to take it and she was just not interested. There was maybe once or twice that she did take it but because we just weren`t consistent or persistent with it 9 out of 10 times she refused. To be honest, I was ok with it. Jon and I made the choice that we would give up on the bottle and she would be exclusively BF. Some days were harder than others, and not everyone understood my decision. Up until a month or so ago I had to miss doing things socially because I was nursing and I couldn`t leave Aud`s side for more than an hour or two; at times I felt so guilty that I couldn`t be there for my friends, that I couldn’t be the social butterfly everyone loved. I finally on day had a breakdown and one of my close friends put it all into perspective for me. Don`t ever feel you need to explain yourself about the decisions you make as a mum, not everyone will understand the time and dedication it takes to BF your baby. Not everyone will understand you are their lifeline, their food supply for an entire year or more depending on how long you BF for. When you decide to be a parent giving up some of your social life (ok, most…ok all of it…) is just part of the deal, and BF’ing is only the beginning.

These were just a few of the experiences I had as a nursing mum that have stuck out for me. I`m sure I could write pages and pages of what it`s been like over the last year. There were definitely day’s and sleepless nights, (oh those infamous growth spurts!) that I thought forget it, this is so hard, it’s not fair that I have wake up every hour while Jon gets to sleep soundly. But I never, ever have regretted my choice. I have been happily nursing Aud for the last 10 months with no plans of weaning her anytime soon. I chose not to write about any facts, or stats about nursing because I don’t want to be a pusher for it. There are pro’s and con’s for both formula and BF’ing so talk to your doctor, talk to your mum friends, and try to decide what is best for you and your family.

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2 responses to “Breast is best?

  1. Alia says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I am planning BF’ing, but truly have so many questions. I know that they’ll get answered once the time comes. In the meantime, it’s so helpful to hear what other women have experienced. 🙂

  2. Jaleisha says:

    thank you for this post i’m a first time mother and this really helped me with my ideals on BF’ing..hopefully my experience will be worth while just as yours was 🙂

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