I have two really close friends who exclusively breastfed their babies. It started with my good friend who moved to St. Thomas around the same time I did about 6 years ago. She already had a little curl and was pregnant with her son. For about a year or more, I got to witness her breastfeeding her boy. Fast forward to my move to Baton Rouge 3 years and I met a lady who already had 2 small boys. We became friends and when she had her daughter I was fortunate to see her breastfeeding journey, which included allergic reactions and other challenges. These experiences made me realized that breastfeeding was a thing that I wanted to try out for the health of my baby.
However, 14 years ago I had a breast surgery that decreased my chances of having the ability to feed a baby from my body.
So we prayed.
It didn’t look promising at all. Baby boy lost so much weight in the first 24 hours. All he did was sleep and he wasn’t wetting enough diapers so we asked for formula. I started pumping to try to stimulate milk production, but nothing was coming out. We started to see colostrum via hand expressing, but it just wasn’t enough to nourish my boy.
We got home and I kept pumping using the hospital pump as a rental. My milk came in and it would take me all day to pump enough for half a bottle. I focused on hydration and a ton of various lactation products and got up enough to equal one bottle by pumping all day.
BUT THEN HIS APPETITE SHIFTED. He doubled the size of the bottle and my pumping actually decreased. So now that arrangement wasn’t working. Now I just latch him as much as possible when I can get him before he reaches his hangry state of fussiness and fighting. He eats from both boobs and then still takes a full bottle.
So, my boy is formula fed and supplemented with breast milk. I am perfectly ok with it because he is greedy 😂 and I would be tethered to the couch all day if he was exclusively breastfed! But seriously, fed is best and we are doing it the way that works best for us. Yes, I am a little sad because my journey looks nothing like the friends that I watched. BUT my journey is mine and the community around me has been the best!
My prayers were answered. I have been able to feed my baby from my body…at least for light snacks for him 😂🤣😂🤣 but I know he’s at least gotten some drops of liquid gold for most days of his life in these first 2 months. And our community has come through with boxes of formula to make sure my boy eats well!
Fed is Best.