Friday, August 2, 2013

"I Support You", I am a Breast and Formula Mom!

 
If some of you out there have a daily news addiction like I do, you may have already heard about a Mom that's making some headlines. Kim @ Mama By The Bay , who also happens to be blog for The Huffington Post, is also a fellow bloggy Mommy speaking out about what it means to be a breastfeeding and formula feeding Mom.

To read her blog click on this link: I Support You by Mama By The Bay
Here is an excerpt from her posting:

"When I was a Formula Mom, I used to pour formula into Medela bottles, so that the other moms at playgroup thought that it was pumped breastmilk. I felt their eyes on me. I felt shame, and embarrassment. I was different.
Now I am a Breast-Feeding Mom, and I get funny looks and nasty stares when I nurse in public. I feel everyone’s eyes on me. I feel shame, and embarrassment. I am different.
I am tired. I am angry. I refuse to carry the weight of everyone else’s judgment anymore.
I am standing up today to say with pride, that I am feeding my children with love.
And I’m 100% sure that you are too.
I am standing up with Suzanne Barston, The Fearless Formula Feeder and author of Bottled Up. I am standing up with Jamie Lynne Grumet, a breastfeeding advocate and blogger at I Am Not The Babysitter. We are standing together, and we’re asking you to stand up with us."

I read her recent post called "I Support You" and to be honest it really hit home for me. It is one of the most well written and relatable articles on the subject of which is the better way to feed your child after birth and I completely agree with her view, no way is the right way! Sometimes one way is necessary over the other counting your circumstance, as well as personal choice.

Back in 2008, when I had my first daughter, I felt the pressure to try breastfeeding because everyone told me it was better for my baby. After my daughter was born, my only lactation consultant at the Naval Hospital happened to be a young Navy officer who was scared to even look at me topless let alone teach me how to get my little one to latch properly. After 2 weeks of bleeding, aching, cracked nipples, I finally just figured it out on my own. Then four weeks later I had to returned to work at the Cancer Diagnostic lab where I was employed and tried to balance pumping in the ladies bathroom in a stall. On top of that. I was trying to introduce my recently returned veteran husband to the world of an infant, she was a month old when he came home from Iraq.
Eventually the stress of work, daycare arrangements, and dealing with being new parents took a toll on my body and I was no longer able to produce the amount of breast milk my daughter needed. I felt like a failure. So we had no choice but to go to formula. But, it turned out fine and she turned out to be a totally healthy little girl and has never had any major health issues.

In 2010, we welcome a second baby girl and again we tried breastfeeding. But then at her 2 week appointment we were advised that she was going to need a referral to another hospital for a possible developmental issue. After another week of waiting to be seen by the specialist, we were told she had craniosynostosis.
Eventually my maternity leave ran out, I was back at work. Again the stresses started in again. Juggling doctors appointments for my daughter along with her normal pediatric appointments, more stress from taking a higher position, and dealing with daycare issues from flaky babysitter after another until we finally found a great provider. Eventually, I stopped producing breast milk for my baby girl once again after only 3 and a half months. We had been fortunately supplementing with formula during the last month. This time however I understood there were circumstances I couldn't control and made me realize that we needed to change how we looked at nurturing our children.

Now with our son due soon, I'm in a position where I'm not working in a stressful environment, or dealing with daycare providers who bail at the last minute. I look forward to hopefully breastfeeding with him for as long as possible. However, if I can't, I will use formula and not feel bad about it.

So to those Mom's out there that are feeling the pressure about breast or formula feeding, all I have to say is don't. regardless of your choice I support You. It's no one else's choice but your own. So screw those around you who are trying to force you into a decision you yourself are not comfortable with.

I also ask that others out there, support your fellow Moms. No one else understands what it's like to be a mother but other Mom's. Adoptive, Birth, or Otherwise!