Family, friends, strangers, books, and the Internet. These are all sources that try to provide you with information regarding their interpretation of the best way to feed your baby. I have always been the person who followed the beat of my own drum, no opinions needed when it came to the best way to feed my baby. My motherhood journey started 22 years ago when I was in my teenage years. I found myself pregnant and faced with the reality of motherhood. I had it all figured out! There was never a doubt in my mind that I would formula feed. How else was I supposed to feed my baby? With my boobs? Nah… that’s not what those are for. These perky little fun bags will not be used for infant feeding, no Ma’am… On top of that, I found the cutest little baby bottles that had elephants and other cute images printed on them that would be perfect for my baby’s formula!
As I look back over the years when I was a young, new mom, it never occurred to me that there was any other method of infant feeding other than formula. By the time I was married and expecting my 4th child at 34 years old, I found myself going through a complete mind shift. At this point in my life, I wanted to breastfeed… and I was determined to do it for at least one year. To make sure that I was able to take in all the information that was needed, my husband and I took a breastfeeding class at a local hospital. After the class, I was super prepared and ready to take on breastfeeding! But… by the time my daughter was born, I found myself seriously struggling with maintaining a secure latch and making sure that my sleepy baby was getting all the milk that she needed. I cried, felt defeated, and wanted to give-up. Low milk supply began to plague my journey, which was supposed to be so wonderful and filled with unicorns, rainbows, and sunshine. Breastfeeding became a chore that ended with me partially then fully supplementing with formula by the time my daughter was 8 months old.
As my daughter turned one year old, my husband and I thought we were done having children…But God had something else in store for us. We went on to have two more daughters, my 5th and 6th child! I exclusively breastfeed my 5th child for 14 months until she self weaned AND I am currently exclusively breastfeeding my 8 month old with no end in sight! I have always been a busy mom. I have worked full-time, finished graduate school, and raised other children all while breastfeeding… It is hard work! Although I have shed many tears, suffered though cracked nipples, milk blebs, thrush, and low milk supply… I would not change it for the world. The incredible bond that results from breastfeeding is the greatest benefit that can ever be achieved. As mothers we have the distinct privilege to create and sustain life…an ability that I do not take for granted. For all the mamas out there who have struggled with breastfeeding, don’t feel defeated…keep pushing and never let anyone discourage you from you goal. You are a superstar! Whether you make a drop of milk, or a gallon of it. We all can say I make milk… what’s your superpower!