In Partnership with Motherhood Maternity ❤️
August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month & something I honestly never thought too much of until now that I’m living it. Our sweet baby Blair is now 3 and a half months old and this journey of nursing is honestly something I was not prepared for. You always hear how hard breastfeeding is but you don’t realize until you are there that everyone’s journey really is so different.
A little about our personal journey. When Blair was born, we immediately had to use a nipple shield because she was 3 weeks early and was having a very difficult time latching. I became super dependent on this little thing because of how bad I thought it would hurt without it, (and did try a few times but went right back because it was no fun!). I remember the first 3-4 weeks of her life, I was on demand feeding her what felt like every 20 minutes. You can ask my husband, it was crazy and very unexpected just HOW much of my time was spent nursing her. I didn’t do much other than that and was very discouraged a majority of the time. I started to pump and introduce her to bottles since I knew there would be times I went out to dinner or ran errands without her in the near future and wanted her to be okay on her own without me. I also felt like if I gave her a bottle, it would fill her up more and we could go more time between feedings. As I started doing this there were so many times I felt like this whole nursing thing might not be for me. I think there was about a week period I talked to my mom every day about how stressed out and anxious the whole thing made me and I felt like giving up. Well, Blair grew and we got into more of a routine and things started to get easier. She took a bottle like a champ since day one which was a huge blessing, and if I ever felt like I wasn’t providing enough for her we would supplement with formula. And that is OKAY. If I would have switched her over to formula, that is OKAY. Fast forward to today, I have ditched the shield as of less than a week ago and am nursing without it. I never thought this day would come I was so dependent on that thing!! About a week ago, I was having doubts, anxiety, and thoughts of giving up. It happens to me often – the emotions involved with feeding your baby and pressures from the world are no joke. I don’t know how long I’ll nurse Blair or what the rest of my nursing story will look like, but I am doing my best to take it day by day and know whatever I decide to do is a perfectly good option for me and my girl. ❤️
All that said, I know it’s breastfeeding awareness month and that is something to celebrate being that us moms are FREAKING AMAZING and we create and carry a baby, birth them, and are able to keep them alive from the nutrition of our bodies alone!! But, for you moms who’s feeding journey looked a lot different than mine, (I’m sure almost every mom reading this since I know all the moms in my life all have completely different stories), and for those that this month brings added pressure or emotions – YOU are the best mama for your baby. However you are feeding them – whether you breastfeed for a day, a month, a year, you supplement with formula, or fed with formula from the start. We are feeding our babies and giving them all the love we possibly have in our bones. You are all doing an amazing job 💕 The judgement and stigma of all that needs to end in my opinion. It truly doesn’t matter what each mama decides to do. I know lots of us were formula fed, I was! And I turned out pretty cool I like to think 😂
Now I know that nursing can be so hard and discouraging. I’m back and forth with my emotions every single week! But here are a few things that have helped me through it:
Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to consult with any moms in your life or a lactation consultant. I needed all the help I could get and there are days I still do. It’s something we have never done before and is a lot of pressure so it’s okay to not have it figured out and to seek advice.
Find a formula you like – This took so much pressure and stress off me. Having formula in our house is this comfort for me and backup for rough days or when I leave Blair for a short trip. I remember when Al and I went to New York last month feeling overwhelmed at the thought of not having enough breastmilk stored up – but releasing those thoughts and leaving my mom with a formula was a life saver for me truly. And it’s made my life way less stressful!
Get some comfortable nursing bras and clothing – This is a huge one!! You will be literally LIVING in these clothes and bras for months. I will go days wearing the exact same outfit because it’s comfy and easy to nurse in around my house. For me, I’ve been living in Motherhood Maternity. I have several of their seamless nursing bras in different colors and they truly are amazing! They are wireless, have a stretchable material down the middle so they can grow with you, removable pads, and of course clip down so that your bra stays in tact and you can pump or nurse your baby easily! Finding a brand you love is the best feeling ever and makes the experience more enjoyable. It’s hard to feel comfortable and confident when your new nursing boobs come in, trust me it was SO rough for me at first, and I’m so thankful for brands who’s mission is to truly help a mama out ❤️ Their seamless bras are only $25 AND their bras are buy 3 get the 4th FREE. 🙌🏼 (If you are pregnant they also have cute & cozy maternity wear!!) I know you’ll love them!
So, happy ‘we are all amazing mamas and feeding our beautiful babies’ month ☺️ You are all rockstars & it’s been so amazing to have all of you by my side going through this new chapter with. LOVE YA’LL!