Breastfeeding vs Formula: Fed is Best!
There has been a lot of debate and discussion around breastfeeding, formula feeding, ‘how to feed your baby’ and ‘what to feed your baby’ – our vote is Fed is Best!
As a new mum, who has just been through 40 weeks of pregnancy, hormonal changes, labour and giving birth, you feel an enormous amount of pressure to breastfeed your baby.
You hold your baby, and reality sets in… what am I suppose to do, this baby is totally dependent on me and all the control you had up until this point has gone out the window.
The lactation classes you attended have gone out the window and everything they told you really doesn’t happen the way they explain it. I mean seriously, a baby’s mouth doesn’t open up perfectly to the size of your nipple, your baby doesn’t stay in one spot like the doll they were using and exhaustion has well and truly set in.
I think – just my opinion – is that all of mums want everything to go perfectly and may like to opt for breast feeding. Sometimes this just doesn’t happen for everyone. As mums we put so much pressure on ourselves to live up to these high expectations, but in reality, we are only human and can only do what we can do.
I did manage to successfully breast feed my baby but it wasn’t without constant difficulty. The first 6 weeks were the hardest and no one or nothing can prepare you for it.
Firstly, my milk came in and I got engorgement, wow there is no words to describe the pain I felt! The nurses at the hospital told me “it is ok” and “it is normal”… it felt nothing like normal. I was told to pump to help reduce the swelling, which it did a little, but it also pulled down more milk. I got to the stage where I just pumped all my milk out and started again. You will get told not to do this, and I am not saying you should, but it did work for me. Also, it is a great way to get some milked stored away in breast milk storage bags for your baby, if you decide to take a feed off.
Secondly, my baby didn’t latch properly. Was it me? Was it the baby? Was it the 10,000 confusing and contradictory ways I was getting told how to do it? One tip I do have, if you feel any slight bit of pain, even just a little tingle, pull your baby off and try again, as your baby isn’t on properly. If you end up with grazed nipples ask for Laser Treatment, helps the healing of your nips and is covered by most insurance companies.
Thirdly, my mother wanted me to use nipple shields, however the nurses were dead against them, as they can cause nipple confusion. So, after 4 days of me being in tears and getting to the point where I didn’t even want to put my baby near me, my mum brought me some and I started using them. They enabled me to breast feed and protected me during feeding, while also helping my baby latch better.
When we finally left the hospital, I again didn’t listen to what I was told and tried to continue my everyday life. So doing the usual cleaning, laundry, cooking. Also I didn’t sleep when my baby slept and didn’t eat properly… This resulted in my milk almost drying up and me being stubborn I didn’t want my baby to be formula fed. After two hours of hell trying to feed with no milk coming through we dashed off to a 24 hour chemist (at 4am) to get formula and a bottle. My baby drank like she never had before!
Ultimately it is your choice how you decide to feed your baby and it doesn’t matter which option you choose. As long as your baby is fed that is the most important thing. Fed is Best!