Really nothing more to say on this one… feed your child, keep your mouth shut, move on. I really don’t know when it became everyone else’s business how you choose to feed your child, but as a mother of two I’m appalled at the reactions of moms. MOMS. You guys, get it together. Momming is hard. Really, really hard. It’s a darned if you do, darned if you don’t job being a mom and everyone (I mean the cashier ringing you up at Target kind of everyone) has an opinion on how you should do your job. You know whose opinion matters? Yours. Period.
Nursing moms-props to you! It’s hard-been there, done that, got the… nothing. I didn’t get anything for it-it’s a thankless job, but hey… my child benefited from it… maybe? You see, here’s the problem with the “Breast is Best” campaign. It is best, until it isn’t. It is best when your child is receiving the proper nutrition, the correct amount, and mom and baby are harmoniously intertwined in the ever perfect, natural nursing bubble. How often does that happen? My guess is almost never. What is awesome is when you produce enough nutritious milk for your baby and you know what? That is AWESOME! You go, nursing diva! On the flip side, some of us aren’t as lucky. I nursed my first for 7 months. 7 months of what I refer to as “the period of which I have no recollection”. Why do I refer to it as this? Because I have literally blocked that 7 months out of my mind because of the torment that was breastfeeding. I hated every second of it. I didn’t produce enough which meant I had to supplement anyway, he didn’t gain all that much weight in those 7 months, and overall it was a nightmare. He ate every hour on the hour until he was 6 months old. Now, throw in a full-time job on top of that and hopefully you’ll understand why I blocked it all out-I was too exhausted and sleep-deprived to have the mental capacity to even remember anything. I existed. Survived. Barely. I had mastitis that landed me in bed for a full week when he was 3 weeks old and I never was able to maintain a perfect balance. I either had way too much, or way too little. I constantly worried if he was getting enough, if I was producing too much, and never was able to maintain a balance. He would eat for about 30 seconds and fall asleep. Every. Darn. Time. Once he was fully formula fed that little nugget gained weight like crazy, was happier, healthier, and so was I. I could actually enjoy my child. I held him because, well, he’s adorable and I love my child. Before? Nope… the only time I had time to hold him was to feed him, then put him back down because at any given time of the day he was attached to me and I couldn’t even function as a human being.
Flash forward to my second child. I figured I’d give it another shot. This time latch seemed to be a bit of a problem. I’ll spare you the details on this one-he seemed to be getting plenty, but it was painful to say the least. About a week after he was born I landed in the ER with mastitis and clogged ducts so bad that I had a 106 fever (yep… that’s not a typo) that would not decrease with any medication I took. I was borderline hallucinating and could barely walk myself into the ER. Now, throw in the fact that I now had a 3-year-old to care for in addition to a newborn. Easy decision on this one-formula for this little guy. Best decision I’ve ever made for everyone involved. I was actually able to hold my child, feed him, care for him, not worry about the nutrition he was getting, or if I would end up in the ER again. He sleeps through the night, is a happy and VERY healthy, chunky little 6 month old, and I’m able to cook dinner, function normally at work, and just generally be functioning adult (well… as adult-ish as I can be normally).
I have friends and family that nurse like champions-I am SO happy for them. They have amazingly healthy, happy babies and are nursing pros, which is indescribably awesome because their babies are getting nourishment with all of the added benefits of mom’s milk.
Now, for all of you nursing-selfie-takers out there, no one is hating on you that doesn’t want to see your child sucking on your boob. Nurse away-grocery stores, parks, wherever. Feed your child. Move on. No one cares. Not in a negative way, but we really don’t care. Does it offend me that you’re having what seems to be the time of your life nursing your child while I struggled? Nope-not one bit. You’re taking care of your child and from one mom to another, you’re doing great! What is concerning to me is that some feel the need to make this their identity, their battle if you will, to draw attention to themselves (yep… I went there) for their “cause”. It isn’t a cause, moms. Do your thing. Feed your child, share in your success even-we’re rooting for you. It’s a hard job! Momming is hard period. Focus on your kids, their well-being, and supporting moms in their mom journey.