Top 5 Reasons I'm Okay With Supplementing
Breastfeeding does not have to be all or nothing.
It doesn't have to come straight from the tap in order for them to reap all.of.the.benefits.
I have two beautiful and intelligent children. Neither of them were breastfed the entire first year of life. That is okay, they are okay, and eventually I was okay too. I was the last to fall in line. Both of my sweet babies just wanted to be fed. They did not care where it came from, they just wanted the good ol' milkies. I was the one that had separation anxiety. I was the one that felt like a failure when I had to add formula to breastmilk. I was the one crying, not them. I was emotionally attached and I allowed people I didn't even know make me feel like less than a heroic Mother. When I finally pulled my head out of my ass and realized, they are healthy and happy, I was able to get past the nonsense and enjoy feeding my sweet little one.
Here are the top 5 reasons I am more than okay with supplementing.
1. She is hungry. I had a lactation consultant do a weighted feed (most accurate way to know if you're producing enough) and we found out that Little Miss was only getting half of what she needed. So guess what?! I fed her the other half with formula and she loved it! She was able to get the benefits of my breastmilk while being completely satisfied. Win-Win!
2. My family needed me. Breastfeeding consumed my life. I literally was eating, breathing, and sleeping to breastfeed. I did not have time to cook for my husband or give Mr. Feef's a bath before bedtime. They were on their own while Little Miss and I tried to get into a groove. Everyone understood at first. Then the dust settled and they needed me to come back to reality. Mr. Feef's was great at being a big brother and never resented Little Miss. However, there did come a time when he asked " Why do you always have to feed her?!" That broke my heart just a bit. Especially because he was so understanding for a five year old. Supplementing gave me a little break so that I could take care of the rest of our family that still depended on me.
3. Other's can bond with her. The selfish Mama in me, doesn't really care about this one. :) If I could produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed I wouldn't think twice about the others! This does, however, help make me feel better about not being able to. I am happy that her Daddy can feed her just as easily as I can. Or the fact that when Grandma is in town she is delighted to feed Little Miss while I take a shower.(alone! heck yes!)
4. Formula is a safe and acceptable alternative. It is not perfect, but it is definitely a safe alternative. I did a lot of research when choosing a formula for supplementation. I am going to be honest and put it all out there... I do not understand why formula is not created equally across the board? There are many ingredients found in formula that probably shouldn't be there. So why are they? I am not sure but I feel like if anything should be the purest of pure it should be what we are feeding our tiny babies. I love organic foods, I try to feed my kids the healthiest foods when I can, because I know there will be times we're flying through a drive thru. It's all about balance. However, with my sweet little girl, she has proven to be very sensitive to the organic formula. It caused her to be horribly constipated. So, organic may not always fit your family and that is okay! We switched her over to Similac Sensitive Pro and there have been no issues. I especially love that Similac has been around for 40 years and has had extensive testing done. If there was a problem, we would know by now. (right?)
5. I tried everything and it still wasn't enough. I worked with lactation consultants. I put her "on the boob" all day, 24 hrs, and fed on demand. I ate all of the lactation foods, took supplements (okayed by my doctor) and drank mother's milk by the gallons. It was not enough. See the funny thing is breastfeeding is a team effort. She and I could not get on the same page. First, she had a bad latch which caused my supply to dip. Thankfully, I was able to increase my supply. Then we corrected her latch but she had flow confusion. She did not prefer the bottle nipple (most people refer to "nipple confusion"), she preferred the flow. She wasn't thrilled about working for Mama's Milkies! She became lazy and at that point I decided to supplement. I do suggest a preemie nipple if you are going to start supplementing. We chose Joovy Boob and their Nood Nipple, Stage 0 are amazing!
At the end of the day, everyone has the same goal; a happy healthy child. Little Miss was not thriving on my breastmilk alone. Once I started supplementing, she started gaining weight, sleeping longer, and staying happy while awake! This made for one happy mama!! Do what feels right to you and what helps your baby thrive.