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I wish I’d known that it was going to hurt. I wish I’d known it was going to make me cry every day for three weeks, that I would feel an inexplicable emptiness and uselessness when my baby wouldn’t latch. I wish I’d known that there are other ways to feel close and connected to her, that it was the last thing in the world I needed to worry about… I wish I’d known that it wasn’t going to work.
I desperately wanted to breastfeed my sweet baby girl, I planned for it, prepped for it, read all of the books and articles on it. Yet… nothing in the world could prepare me for the un-preparable…. Evie just couldn’t latch. I had nurse after nurse, lactation specialist after lactation specialist in the hospital working with Evie and I. Finally, we left the hospital with high hopes that “with time she would figure it out”. Well, on our first night home 3 am hit with still no sleep to be seen. I set up the little contraption she had been using in the hospital, hooked it to my pillow, dropped my pumped milk into the dropper, got Evie settled….then in tune with her tears, tears of my own started flowing. I couldn’t do this anymore. I was exhausted, mentally and physically hurting. Trying to force breastfeeding on both Evie and I was causing me to be an unhappy and empty human being, and I just couldn’t let it go on any longer. I grabbed the sample bottle that I got in my baby registry gift, poured the milk into it and she ate… and ate and ate and ate. I immediately felt the house that was sitting on my chest start to lift away.
Evie took the bottle and loved it! From that point forward that’s how we started feeding her…so everything is okay, right? Wrong. That wasn’t the end of my journey. I didn’t know that I would feel utter uselessness when I couldn’t breastfeed her. My sweet hubs kept telling me that she is fine, she’s getting what she needs, gaining weight, eating like a champ. He could have told me that she was walking at 1 week old, she was so well taken care of and I still would have felt awful. I think it must be the hormones inside you after you have a baby (they are NO JOKE) but I had the hardest time accepting that I would never be able to feed my baby in the way my body felt like it should. This went on for about 3 weeks then I started to feel better day by day.
I was able to give Evie my pumped milk and I am lucky enough to have a good supply. Formula would have worked just as good! My husband and I decided to go the breastmilk route because it’s easier on our wallets, if you know what I mean :). I am a huge advocate for doing what works for YOU and YOUR baby! Like I said above, when trying to struggle and force breastfeeding on Evie and I started ruining me, I knew that it just wasn’t worth it.
Tips To Help Feed Your Baby (no matter the method)
I immediately started giving Evie Playtex Baby™ Nurser® bottles. These are amazing because they allow your baby to feed with the same natural suck, swallow and breathing patterns as breastfeeding. Because these bottles are so much like the breast Evie slowly started to figure out breastfeeding. After a few weeks of feeding her with the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® I tried to feed her with a nipple shield and IT WORKED!! I was so excited. Now we are able to go from breast (with the nipple shield) to bottle in a breeze and my hubs can help feed Evie… which I love!
These bottles also have soft dispensable liners inside them that collapses and prevents air from mixing with the milk and potentially upsetting your babies tummy! These liners also make the bottle a breeze to clean because you just have to throw the liner away…I know, amazing.
I was able to find all of my baby feeding needs at Walmart and right now you can get $3 off eligible 3-packs of Playtex Baby™ Bottles, including the Playtex Nurser 8oz., VentAire 9oz., and VentAire Colors.
Tips To Help Your Breastfeeding (or pumping) Journey
If you decide to breastfeed or pump, I absolutely love these breastfeeding cookies! They are seriously SO YUMMY! You can find them in many different flavors to adapt to whatever you like and I can’t tell the difference between them and normal yummy cookies. When I ate one of these a day and had 10 cups of water my milk supply doubled.
Pumping is where you will find me for a good portion of my day, every day and sometimes the pump can really hurt…who am I kidding, all the time pumping hurts. But I found these AMAZING nipple cushions that literally feel like pillows on your pump. I don’t know what I would have done without them, especially when I got mastitis at 6 weeks postpartum.
So what are your favorite baby feeding essentials?