So, as you may have noticed, my page is called Mamas Milkie Way. Milkie because I am a breastfeeding Mama. See, as pro breastfeeding as I am now, I was not always team EBF (exclusively breast fed – for all you non breastfeeders out there).
When I got pregnant, after everyone’s shock and excitement – came the questions. “Do you want a boy or a girl?” – ‘As long as it is healthy and happy, I don’t care’. “Are you going to quit your job and stay home?” – ‘No way I could never do that‘ (we will touch on this question another day). “Are you going to breastfeed?” – ‘No. Absolutely not’. See that last answer? I did not believe breast was indeed best.
Saying I wasn’t going to breastfeed, wasn’t going to try to breastfeed, and wasn’t going to think about breastfeeding was my knee jerk answer whenever the topic came up. The idea of it honestly made me uncomfortable. I had a lot of people say they totally got why I wouldn’t want to. On the flip side, some of my biggest supporters in life really wished I would reconsider. They explained the benefits of breastfeeding. They explained the bond. They constantly asked if I had thought anymore about it. I didn’t get it. I did not get what the big deal was with breastfeeding. How was it that much different than formula?
Formula. There are like a zillion kinds of formula. There are so many kinds that it didn’t make sense to me how it wasn’t the best way to feed my child.
My husband and I went to BuyBuyBaby for our registry. While walking around scanning things, we got to the formula isle. I thought I would be smart and register for some formula – since ya know, the baby will need it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. There I stood, looking at cans on cans on cans. I had NO IDEA what to register for. What was I going to feed my baby?? I didn’t know anything about formula. In that moment I thought, ‘you know…..maybe I should register for a breast pump…just in case.’ So that was what I registered for that day – instead of formula. I decided I would research what was the best formula – then add it to our registry.
So I researched. I read. And I read. And I read. I had no warm fuzzies for any particular formula. One of my oldest friends, who was a new mom, told me about Aeroflow and their pump offerings, in case I decided to breast feed. I filled out the online application on their site to see if my insurance would cover a pump, it did – so I ordered one, ya know just in case. I could feel my self becoming more open minded to the idea of breastfeeding.
We took at birthing class at the hospital we delivered at. We learned there that they were a ‘Baby Friendly’ hospital. I had no idea what that meant until then. It meant that they encourage you to breastfeed your child. The believe in skin to skin contact immediately after birth (when there are no complications) & trying to breastfeed within the first hour out of the womb. They will support your decision not to breast feed, but they will ask you why, and they will still offer help if you change your mind. Being a ‘Baby Friendly’ hospital meant they will give you formula while you are admitted but you will not be getting sent home with samples of formula – like I had seen many of my friends get over the years. That is when I decided I would try breastfeeding when Mason was born. I didn’t know if I could do it but I knew I had all the support I could need to try.
Fast forward to Masons first hour of life. My nurse came in and asked if I had tried to breastfeed yet, I hadn’t – so here we went. My boy latched immediately. It wasn’t hard, it didn’t feel weird, and I knew I could handle this.
From that day on, I can say I have been lucky. Lucky to be able to produce enough milk for my little mans needs. Lucky enough that we did not have latch problems. Lucky enough my boy is gaining weight just with my milk rather than supplementing. Lucky to be able to have this experience with my baby.
I could go on and on and on about breastfeeding – because now I am on a different page with it, I am working full time which means I pump daily. I nurse Mason to sleep. I nurse in public. I nurse on demand. These will all come up as I keep writing – because they each deserve their own moment.
Milk on, Mamas.