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Whether you are new to it or experienced, breastfeeding is hard, and it’s not something to be ashamed of. If you are struggling with your decision to breastfeed, you aren’t the only mom to think this way. When I first became a mom, my doula and doctor wanted me to try breastfeeding first since I would be a prime candidate.
This meant that I didn’t have any issues with producing milk. Or had preexisting breast issues or health concerns that would put me at risk. Little did I know that a month into the breastfeeding work. I would experience why breastfeeding may not always be the best option for new moms.
This post is about why breastfeeding is hard.
How to handle breastfeeding problems
Not sure about you, but when I was growing up, breastfeeding wasn’t something that every woman did. Many kids who are the children of baby boomers like me got fed Similac and called it a day. Nowadays, there is pressure to breastfeed your baby, and it can be very overwhelming, especially for first-time moms. You can read about my first time mom postpartum journey for more context.
If you don’t know what breastfeeding is, it’s when you express breast milk from yourself, and you can feed it in a bottle or have the baby on your breast. If you decide not to feed on the breast, you must buy formula for your baby. Newborns can’t consume any other food items until milk for the first three to six months of life.
For me, I always knew I would try it, and if it didn’t work, oh well, but it’s much more complicated than it seems to keep this façade up. When Noah was born, I knew I would exclusively pump because I have this thing about babies on my breast. I didn’t want that for him or any other child I have; that’s me. However, I enjoyed my son having the nutritional benefits of having breast milk, so I pumped along with providing formula for the first month.
Later, it was discovered that my son was allergic to my breast milk and could not consume the milk I was expressing because of his newborn milk-protein allergies. While I was sad, I was also relieved. I didn’t have to stay up and express breast milk every few hours. Since we were already bottle feeding him, there wasn’t a big transition for that. Overall, a fed baby is best, and everyone agrees on that.
Milk protein allergy in infants
By the time you enter your 3rd trimester, you will probably hear almost every appointment about breastfeeding. Sometimes like in my case, your baby will let you know what the deal is or not, so you don’t even have to waste your time trying to figure it out. But what the doctors don’t tell you is that there are reasons why a mommy can’t or shouldn’t breastfeed.
After discovering that my son has a milk protein allergy, we had a choice to make regarding how to proceed with feedings. After looking at all the options, we had already given him Nutramigen, which is given to babies who have gas or have allergies, and since he was doing well, we decided to go with that. If you are looking for great bottles, this post is about Dr. Brown’s Bottles and their many products, including bottle warmers and sterilizers.
We were using the powder. But noticed he was still gassy and not comfortable after feeding. So we switched to the liquid and have used that ever since. Nutramigen is an Enfamil company, so if you use Simalic, Alimentum would be the same for that company and brand.
The story is funny about how my breastfeeding journey began. The pediatrician noticed that my one-day-old son was crying. That’s because he hadn’t eaten in like 12 hours when he was first born, lol. Hey, I didn’t know. Because my milk hadn’t come, which can take 3-5 days. I also didn’t know, we supplemented with formula for the first few days until my milk decided to make its grand entrance.
This is when the expressing started, and for the first month, I expressed along with formula until we because exclusively formula-fed. This was later explained to us how it works, but how was I supposed to know. If you need help getting your baby to sleep at night, this blog post goes over six new parent hacks.
If you are looking for a great product to help express, I used the SPECTRA S2 Plus Electric Breast Pump. It was perfect for my needs. The pump came with two bottles and a portable pump (which wasn’t as robust but still suitable for quick pumps). It was effortless to clean, quiet for the most part, and had a light in case you needed to see in the dark. Highly recommend it for new moms, and it has a two-year shelf-life.