Before you give birth to your first child, you will inevitably be asked pretty personal questions about your baby and your personal life. Are you finding out the sex, how far along are you, do you want a boy or girl….are all common inquiries. And one you will inevitably be asked…breast or bottle?
It’s a personal choice, but suddenly, you become pregnant and everyone gets to weigh in on your decisions…I get it, it takes a village and all. And then there’s mom-shaming and the trends changing throughout history (wet nurses, only man-made formula, breastfeeding in public, etc., etc., etc.). And the anecdotes! Every baby-different, experience-different, mama-different, everyone wants to share their knowledge and advice!
There’s an entire movement dedicated to this choice #fedisbest. However you choose to feed your baby is what’s best for them. Feeding our babes takes love, patience and effort, no matter which method you chose, so you do you, gurl.
If you choose to breastfeed, you will hear how hard it is. It’s such a vague threat. No one tells you the specifics of what you’re actually going to go through just to feed your baby. Breastfeeding is hard. What’s so hard about it?
To begin with… Your milk may or may not come in, you may or may not have to supplement, a soother may or may not ruin breast feeding, baby may or may not have a tongue or lip tie, your nipples may or may not make breastfeeding more difficult, babe may or may not know how to latch and you may or may not have a plethora of other unknown issues.
And that’s JUST the beginning! If you are able to, there’s also a million other things that could make the journey more difficult… Nipple pain, thrush, engorgement, blocked ducts, nipple shields, pumping?, thrush, milk storage, mastitis, thrush (it’s SO hard to get rid of) and more.
Its time consuming, frustrating, tiring, aging (my old back!), and so Incredibly wonderful. But there’s no mistaking: It. Is. Hard.
And then I think of the exclusively pumping mamas, ohhhh man, they have it bad! Instead of having a sweet, cuddly alarm clock (aka baby) to hold, they have to adhere to a schedule, pump in closets, store the milk, sanitize the parts, lug around a pump, get carpeltunnel (hand pumps anyone?!), deal with bottles, and then after all that, they still have to feed their babies at the same intervals as breastfed babies. Could that be harder?! Talk about commitment!
Or the formula mommies, who have to buy bottles, wash bottles, sanitize bottles, make bottles, feed bottles, (repeat forever) buy new nipples for the bottles (bottles are sold in threes, nipples in packs of two, there’s a flaw in this system, folks!), and basically it’s bottles all the time. Then they have to worrying about physically choosing/changing/remembering to purchase the formula, and actually still feeding their babies. Too hard. It’s all too hard!
There are so many ways to feed our babies, and each method requires an insane amount of effort and time and commitment, but the point is, no matter how you feed your baby, take comfort in the fact that you are doing the hardest (and arguably, most important) job in the world, and you are crushing it. Your baby is literally – in the dictionary sense of the word – still alive because of your efforts.
So I say, let’s forget about judging each other, forget about sharing unwanted and unasked-for advice, feeding our babes is just one of the hard, never ending jobs of parenthood, so let’s support each other and lift each other up!
Feed your babies. You do you, Momma.
#sohard #fedisbest #crushingit