No one warns you how hard mom life can truly be. No one prepares you for all the obstacles, ups and downs and all the emotions you go through being a mom … and this all takes place within minutes after your baby is born.
Then we bring our baby (or babies) home. Now what? We need to figure out their feeding schedule, count how many diapers we have changed in a day, put them on a sleep schedule, keep them entertained, debate about organic shampoos and sheets to buy or not to buy, strollers, bottles, blankets, toys and so on.
Do we put too much pressure on ourselves being a mom OR does society put too much pressure on us? This picture of what an “IDEAL” mom is portrayed all over social media and if you don’t fit into that picture, you might start to feel pretty crappy about yourself which could lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.
“No one prepares you for all the obstacles, ups and downs and all the emotions you go through being a mom”
One topic that I see often on social media is breastfeeding.
Every other post I see is about breastfeeding and how amazing it is and all the benefits that are associated with it. How women develop such a strong bond with their baby while they breastfeed. How the “pregnancy weight will fall right off” if you breastfeed. That you shouldn’t give your baby a bottle if you are breastfeeding because of nipple confusion. ETC. ETC. ETC.
This is my story about how I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding.
When I had my first daughter, I was all prepared to breastfeed. I read the books. I talked to a lactation consultant before and after my daughter was born. I bought the expensive double electric breast pump so I can pump in between feeds to stock up my supply in my freezer. I was READY … so I thought. What I didn’t realize was how hard breastfeeding truly was. No one really warns you about how HARD it is. My daughter preferred 1 breast over the other. She was jaundice and spent 2 days in the hospital under a heat lap at 3 days old. It took me 45 minutes to pump 1 once of milk. I saw 2 lactation consultants; 1 of them told me it was because my daughter had a soother and that’s why I was struggling with breastfeeding. She was gassy. She was fussy. I used a nipple shield for a bit because my nipples hurt. I tried every breastfeeding position in the books. This was not what I thought breastfeeding would be like. Everyone told me to keep going and how it will get easier. I cried and was miserable. I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding but didn’t want to talk about it because the thought of being judged by “society” was too much and I didn’t want to bring another stress into my life. So I just kept at it and eventually got the hang of breastfeeding, but also formula fed until she was 7 months old. I remember my thoughts when she completely stopped breastfeeding and only formula fed … I was happy. I felt relieved. I felt a sense of freedom.
Fast forward to when my twins were born.
I gave them formula in the hospital right away as I didn’t want to deal with my babies being jaundice. I tried tandem breastfeeding my twins because that’s the advice another lactation consultant said. “Feed your babies at the same time and they should be on the the same schedule.” The stress this caused me!! Trying to put 2 babies on my boobs at the same time, WHILE having a newly 2 year old, who was recently fully potty trained running around the house yelling at me to help her wipe her bum because she just pooped!
I stopped tandem breastfeeding and I would breastfeed 1 baby and formula feed the other baby and switch after each feed. I did this routine for 3 months. I was tired. My husband was tired. I was getting worn out. Being a stay at home mom to 3 girls under the age of 2, and still trying to run my business was making me feel anxious and I was showing signs of depression. I cried in the shower that day. I looked in my mirror and thought “What am I trying to prove?” “Who am I trying to impress?”
“What am I trying to prove?”
That day I stopped breastfeeding. I DID NOT enjoy it. I DID NOT feel a bond with my babies more so then when I was bottle feeding them formula. I instantly felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt happy. I felt relaxed. I had the same feelings I did when I stopped breastfeeding my oldest daughter. This time I didn’t have mom guilt when I stopped breastfeeding. I felt empowered and made a decision based on what worked for me and my family and not what society was telling me to do. I had the confidence to talk about how my children were getting their nutrients and wasn’t embarrassed saying I wasn’t breastfeeding anymore and was only formula feeding. Being true to myself and being aware of my emotions and feelings was WAY MORE IMPORTANT than pleasing or caring what other people thought.
So from that moment on, I bottle fed my twins formula and would read my 2 year old a book at the same time and I was a happy, still tired, but happy mom.
So to all the moms out there. Listen to your inner mom voice. Assess YOUR situation and do what YOU feel is right for YOUR family and YOUR mental health. No judgement. No mom guilt. Just do what is right for you! You are an amazing and strong mom!
Breastfeed or formula feed … it doesn’t matter.
**This is not a post about to breastfeed or not to breastfeed … this is a post about a mom’s mental health and how we need to listen to our inner voice and do what is best for our family **
My name is Rachelle and I am the owner and founder of Momentum Health & Wellness . I am devoted to inspire and promote health and wellness to individuals and families. I want to create a community where people feel motivated to share their wellness journey and to encourage one another to be positive role models in their home, at work and in the community. I offer prenatal fitness classes, postnatal fitness classes, fitcamp, personal training, injury rehabilitation, prenatal yoga and ladies night out yoga and corporate wellness.
Contact me for more information on the services I provide!