Written by Desirae Ofori. Originally posted July 29, 2016.
I’m a big advocate of “Baby’s Gotta Eat”! You are the Mama and you know what’s best for you and your child. Sometimes, Mama’s have the choice to breastfeed and sometimes they don’t. Although I’m pro-breastfeeding, I’m not into shaming any Mother who hasn’t or isn’t able to breastfeed. I just wanted to get that out there first, so you don’t feel pressured either way. Whether you nurse, pump, supplement with formula, or use 100% formula, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. That “baby’s gotta eat”! If you’re feeding your baby and giving them the best nutrients you can, you are doing a phenomenal job! You’ve already won half the battle.
Three years ago, when asked if I was going to breastfeed, my answer was, “I will pump and feed from a bottle”. As usual, I have to be honest. I just couldn’t understand how a woman could separate nursing from “sexy time”. I thought there would be a criss-cross in my brain. Weird, I know. I guess I could blame it on our over-sexed society, my ignorance at the time, or not having access to other breastfeeding women who could “school” me different. However, thankfully I dived into the breastfeeding world, and learned as much as I could. My mind was transformed. And no, my brain doesn’t cross the wires, haha!
One year ago, when asked how long I would breastfeed, my answer was, “I’m not making any promises to no one, I’m just taking it one day at a time”. I knew how difficult the start of breastfeeding could be, and that challenges beyond my control may come along. I didn’t want to set myself up for major disappointment. Now, here I am 13 months later, working on weaning my Samson. I didn’t know I would make it this far, I’m still amazed we made it this far.
My biggest determination to be successful at breastfeeding started from Samson’s first week of life. He was three days old and down 9% out of the allowed 10% of his birth weight. One of the Pediatrician’s told me, if you can just make it to the 4th day, your milk will come in. She then demonstrated how to successfully nurse him, keep him awake during feeds, and showed my husband Sam how he could help me.
Our Mom’s were nervous and suggested that I give him formula to help him out. Yet, my gut and determination was set to nurse him back to weight. Don’t worry Grandma’s no shade, or hard feelings. That was the boost I needed to stay on track. I wanted to prove we could do this. The support I received from Sam, the extra boost from the Pediatrician and the cheer squad from my Instagram Mommy community got me through that first week. One week later he was up to 7.12 lbs; he was 8 lbs at birth. We did it! At the final weight check the Pediatrician, said to keep doing what we were doing. I was so happy and so proud! He’s been putting on the weight ever since.
Knowing how challenging it can be, yet so rewarding, I want to extend that support to you Mama. If you’re a loved one of someone who is trying or thinking about breastfeeding, I want to help you extend support. I will be doing a series of posts about breastfeeding. They will include products, tips, lessons, online resources and advice from other Mom’s on what has worked for them.
We ended up having to supplement with formula, so I’ll also post about that decision and the amazing formula that worked for us. Remember, at the end of the day… Baby’s gotta eat! Let’s get that baby fed and let’s keep Mama supported!!
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