I am a big believer in bottlefeeding.
You’re probably thinking: You’re a nurse and you don’t believe women should breastfeed?
Let me start out by saying I nursed all of my babies, and when I was a maternity nurse I encouraged new Moms to nurse their infants.
Having said that I truly believe that not everyone should be nursing.
Sometimes it can be a really difficult experience, from cases I’ve seen first hand.
How do you know when you should stop nursing?
When you have literally seen 3 different lactation consultants and and your baby still won’t latch on properly, you should stop.
When you are crying from pain and you feel like you just cannot go on like this anymore, you should stop.
When your baby spits up and it’s pink tinged because you are cracked and bleeding and your baby is ingesting blood with their milk, you should stop.
When your baby won’t stop crying, and you finally give him a bottle and he gulps down the whole thing like he’s starving, you should stop.
It doesn’t even have to be so dramatic.
Sometimes nursing is just not a good fit for you or your baby.
We live in an age where we have formula that is almost as miraculous as breast milk.
Babies thrive on formula and no first grade teacher can tell apart the 6 year old who was exclusively breastfed from the the 6 year old who was exclusively formula fed.
We all want what’s best for our babies.
Your baby’s MOST IMPORTANT NEED is a mother who is emotionally present for them; A mother who can comfort and soothe them when they are upset.
If you are falling apart because you can’t stop obssessing over your milk supply, maybe you should consider supplementing.
But you’re probably wondering: Isn’t Breast Best?
Breast may be best, but only if your baby is actually getting it.
If your milk supply is low, which likely happens when baby is not latching on well and is seen when breastfeeding is exceptionally painful and when nipples are cracked and bleeding, then it is not best.
I’ve seen so many new Moms struggling with breastfeeding and they are emotionally falling apart from the strain of trying to feed their babies.
It is painful to watch them try and live up to society’s expectation of doing what’s “best for baby”.
These brave Moms are trying valiantly to succeed at something which “should come naturally”, but it doesn’t always come as naturally as we would like.
Sometimes the decision to stop nursing is a guilt-ridden one, as if you’ve failed your baby somehow.
Please support Moms who want to do what’s best for their babies but breastfeeding is just not working out for them.
And if you are that Mom, please tell yourself: “It’s ok to stop, you did your best”.
If this post speaks to you, please support breastfeeding Moms who are struggling, and consider sharing your story in the comments below ⬇