7 things I learned when I failed to breastfeed



Hello there! Today I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind lately. I am 32 weeks pregnant and that means I'm gearing up to give birth and that also means I'm getting ready to feed another baby! If you read about my problems breastfeeding Avery here . You may see why this is making me so anxious. These are a few things I learned along the way that I am reminding myself of this time around.

1. People will judge you for breastfeeding and for bottle feeding. You can't win, so don't try. 
When Avery was a newborn I would often feed her a bottle when we were out and then breastfeed her just to alleviate some fullness. Guess what? I got dirty looks for bottle feeding her in public (omg doesn't that mom know breast is best. Poor baby.) and for breastfeeding her in public (she needs to put her boobs away this is a public place!) Strangers always have opinions it's best to just ignore them and live your life.

 2. Don't be so hard on yourself
I remember being so incredibly hard on myself when breastfeeding just wasn't working. We tried so many things and when it still failed I felt completely defeated. I would cry all the time just because I couldn't do one of the things my body was SUPPOSED to do. If I could go back I think I would do a lot less self loathing. It was toxic and I could have spent a lot of Avery's first moments in a more positive mindset.

3. No matter how short the nursing relationship, you will mourn it's loss.
This is one I was really not expecting. By the time I stopped nursing all together and started exclusively pumping I missed feeding Avery from the source. Even though it was painful and not fun for some reason I still missed it. When I would see someone else breastfeeding I would feel the sting all over.

4. The best people will support what is best for you and your baby.
My husband was closest to me through this whole journey, every day he would tell me "just bottle feed her, she is going to be okay. You don't have to quit but just know she will be fine either way." He saw how much pain I was in and the emotional toll it was taking on me and just wanted us to be happy.

5. Sometimes breast is simply not best 
Don't curse me through the computer screen! KIDDING! But really I know breast is obviously best for a growing baby. Except when it's not. When mom is pushing through intense PPD because of nursing hardships, or struggling to provide breastmilk via that dreaded pump; it might be best to make the switch. A happy mom and baby dyad is the most important.

6. Breast feeding does not define your ability as a mother.
This one might be the most important besides number 7. I made the mistake of thinking that if I failed to breastfeed my child I had failed as a mother. I had failed to provide her with all the essential nutrients required for her to survive. I was SO wrong about this. There are so many other avenues where you can THRIVE as a mother. This ended up being one little snag in my motherhood journey. I still think about it now but now there's a happy healthy two year old staring back at me and that is evidence I'm doing a pretty good job.

7. Fed is best.
Let's be real here. As long as your baby is fed you are doing your best. Thank the Lord above for modern technology that allows us to feed infants in more than one way.

There it is! Maybe you can relate? Maybe you have felt some of these same feelings? Let me know below. You are doing a great job mama!

In love,
Rachel

2 comments

  1. Preach mama! I wrote about this too. Feeding our kids is the most important, not how we do it. 😘😘😘

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  2. Wow! This is just what I needed to hear. Bless you for sharing!!

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