Breast is best unless...
Written by: Ariel M.
Breast is Best Unless...
Breastfeeding is a super personal decision. My goal in sharing my experiences is to end the stigma that if you don’t breastfeed/pump then you are somehow not as good of a mother. (Which is completely false, by the way!)
I have a two year old and another baby due in 15 short weeks. My husband and I have already made the decision that I will not be breastfeeding/exclusively pumping for our newborn. Yes, we discussed this decision because even though it is MY body, it is a choice that will directly effect OUR baby.
When our first child was born, I planned on breastfeeding/pumping. However, my milk didn’t come in for a few days and my 9lb newborn was born hungry. (To be honest, he never grew out of always being hungry haha) I did not have a choice but to begin supplementing with formula, especially once he was diagnosed with jaundice. I was determined, however, to still pump. That is until I had complications with my c-section healing. After about three weeks in the hospital and three rounds of antibiotics, my doctor and lactation specialist explained that my body was trying to produce milk instead of heal. Basically, I was exhausting my body pumping every two hours leaving very little nutrients for my own body.
I’m not going to lie, I was heartbroken at first, but then relieved. I was so exhausted and in so much pain. Not to mention the fact that my baby (who was up to 1-2oz every three to four hours) needed me to be healthy in order to care for him.
Today, I have an amazing bond with my toddler. He is a healthy, thriving, growing boy. Even without breast milk. Which is why I feel confident in making the decision to not breastfeed or pump when our second boy is born in less than four months. Sure, there’s no comparison to the nutrients of breast milk. However, there’s also no comparison for a mother having a healthy body and mental state to properly care for her baby.
I refuse to live my motherhood worried about whether or not someone thinks me choosing to use formula is wrong. I’m happy and healthy. My baby is happy and healthy. That’s all I’m worried about these days. I want to encourage all of the parents to make the best decision for your ENTIRE family based on everyone’s needs, mother included.
If you can’t or don’t breastfeed, know this:
You are still a worthy mother.
You are enough.
You are not alone.
Ariel is a stay at home mom to a very curious two year old with another baby on the way! Her family just relocated to Louisville, KY. Some of her favorite things (besides her husband and son) are lemon water, exploring Louisville, and writing about real life!
Follow her on Instagram @intentionallyariel