But is breast really best?

I know as I am writing this that I am about to stir the pot the same way that if you open the kettle of fish about religion or politics you have to be ready for the tidal wave of opinions and fury.

So here goes…is Breast Really Best?

I know there are all kinds of stats about how breast is the best for your baby, and yes, I get it.  But sometimes Breast is not always best for Mom,in my opinion. It’s even tougher when you are a working mom too.

Let me explain.

With my first son I had an emergency c-section.  It was a pretty traumatizing experience to begin with, never mind the fact that nobody ever mentions that the procedure is major surgery.  I had a really hard recovery and I am so lucky my husband was able to take pat leave for 4 months, because I would have been screwed.  I could barely walk up the stairs, let alone, lift a car seat or stroller.

Anyway, I digress. The point of the matter is – no one bothered to tell me at the hospital that when you have a c-section/major surgery, your milk production gets delayed.  My son was born at 6.3 oz and then dropped to 5.9 oz.  The nurses refused to release us unless I started supplementing – which of course, again interfered with my milk production.

Needless to say, I had a heck of time; even with the help of lactation consultants.  My son screamed all the time because he was starving. Finally, at 3.5 months, I decided, with much guilt in my heart, it was best to switch to formula.

All of a sudden things started to change for the better.  My son started to thrive, I was calmer, my husband was calmer because he could then help with feedings, I was happier – but of course my pocket book was lighter.

Fast forward 3.5 years later. I swore to myself this time with this baby – my second son – I would be a lot healthier and fit during my pregnancy and following.  I was determined to go for a V-BAC, and yes, hallelujah,  did it.

So I said to myself, “I managed the V-BAC so now let’s give breastfeeding another shot.”

Enter my baby vampire. This little suckmeister loved to eat all the time. I remember one day I literally did not leave the couch except to pee and drink water.  I think I barely ate that day. Yes, I know he was cluster feeding, but I was halfway committed to the loonie bin.

I did lose 20 pounds in the first 2 weeks, and was able to ditch my maternity clothes, but I was miserable. My udders were porn-star worthy, I had back pain and spasms everyday, and there was absolutely no chance I could work – not even for half a minute.

I had a hard time again, and I really didn’t want to quit, but I really didn’t know how I was going to manage. It was my doctor who said, “Do I need to slap you across the face – why do you feel guilty?  What’s worse? A breastfeeding mom who is unhappy and anxious all the time or a happy mom who feeds her child formula and lots of love?”  She continued by saying, “Formula can’t be a bad thing if they supply it hospitals.” Well, enough said.

The point of the matter is do what is best for you, your family and your baby – whether breast or bottle – love is all they need!

MD

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