I can already see the pitchforks and blazes of firey torches coming my way from the Land of Hardcore Breastfeeding Advocates. But, yes, I switched full-time to formula. Similac Pro-Advance to be exact.
Ouchhh…. I think a pitchfork just flew in my direction and stabbed me in the back. Or at least that’s what the guilt from switching to formula just feels like. In fact, the mom guilt was real. Very real. At least for the first 20 minutes of last night.
There I was, sobbing into the arms of my Lover Amazon (AKA: my boyfriend/soon-to-be fiancé/future husband/baby daddy), whimpering about how I failed our Baby Amazon (AKA: our 11 week old son) and in turn, myself. How could I give up giving Baby Amazon the healthiest substance he could possibly be getting? The easiest answer? Is that he ultimately wasn’t….because in the course of 3 full days, I produced a total of 7 and a half ounces; less than what he eats in 1 feeding.
I’ve been exclusively breast-pumping since pretty much Day 2, when my colostrum was barely coming out at the hospital. Baby Amazon was starving, and his little goat cry was stabbing us in the heart with a pain far worst than any pitchfork attack from a hardcore breastfeeding advocate could be. His latch sucked and I too became really frustrated. It was pretty much that moment (more like that whole day) when I realized that breastfeeding just wasn’t for me.
The nurse on duty, who I will forever refer to in my head as the Godess of Feed, presented us 2 options…the first was to try, and boy, did I try; to pump colostrum with a hospital grade breastpump (which, by the way, I don’t reccomend unless you want to get yourself and your partner AND the nurse even more frustrated trying to syringe the colostrum out of the pump parts and bottle. Not fun). The second option? To give the baby formula. After all, the whole ward could hear his heart shattering goat cry from a mile away…..for the past hour.
Now, let me make this clear. We took the parenting classes, and we took the breastfeeding courses- both of which made out formula to be the hell-sent-baby-poison that you should never ever ever give your baby under any circumstances at all!!
Well, we didn’t listen. A few seconds after finishing the 2oz baby poison, Baby Amazon was fast asleep. From that moment on, we continued to give him formula. That is, until my breast milk came in.
Once my tig ol’ bitties were leaking that sweet, creamy goodness- the breast pump came out and the pumping began. Man, do they underestimate how much work that is. But as fate would have it, the day my milk came in was the same day our Pediatrician told us that we needed to feed him formula for the next 3 days to help fight off his jaundice.
As quickly as my elation from my milk coming in began, is how quick it ended. I just couldn’t win. 3 days later, Baby Amazon’s “Homer Simpson-esque” skin tone was gone and it was clear that the formula had helped. Could the teachings we learned in our classes be wrong!?
Well they were. Because as it later turned out, I couldn’t produce enough milk for my son even if I tried, and oh, I tried alright. I tried pumping more, drinking more, eating more diverse healthy foods, tried beer, tried flaxseeds, tried brewer’s yeast- I tried, tried, tried my lily white ass off until I couldn’t try no more. Which leads me to now.
If I hadn’t decided to switch from supplementing with formula to just exclusively formula (with the unconditional love and support from Lover Amazon), our little Baby Amazon would still be unleashing a goat cry that’d still be heard miles away from that same maternity/birthing ward.
I realized that I rather have my baby well fed then well starving.It feels good to know that he’s getting all the nutrition he needs and doesn’t have to deal with a stressed out Mama Amazon who can’t produce enough. So mamas, do what’s best for your little ones. At the end of the day, it’s just their full little tummies that matter.