Okay folks, like I said when I began searching for people to participate in this series, this is about feeding your baby…whether that’s by breastfeeding, or formula..or both! I will talk more about what I think when I finish the series with my journey but I’ve been so thankful for these different mamas and our different paths and being able to share them. This next post is by a sweet lady named Holly Stankowski, we met via Instagram through my fantastic wedding photographer as a mutual friend. I’m so happy Holly is sharing her journey with us and I enjoyed reading it immensely and I’m sure you all will as well! Enjoy! Thank you Holly!!!!
When I found out I was pregnant I immediately knew that I wanted to breast feed. There really was no question in my and my husband’s mind. It would be inexpensive and I was all about being financially responsible with a child. Gender-neutral baby stuff, cloth diapers and trying to be practical in a world that often temps otherwise.
Somehow a formula company found out I was pregnant…still not sure how that happened! They sent me some samples and coupons. I gave them to my mother-in-law who often cared for my nephew whom was a formula fed baby. I didn’t need them...or so I thought.
My daughter was born on a Wednesday. The gender was a surprise and I was thrilled to have a little lady to love up on. Plus we only had a girl name and no boy name that we both agreed on so it made that part easy! She was beautiful and I was in love.
At the hospital everything about breast feeding was wonderful. She latched immediately and had the right kind and number of dirty diapers. I met with the lactation consultant briefly and was sent on my way.
And then my milk never really came in. Family and friends spoke of this sensation and ‘knowing’ that it was happening. But it didn’t. I called the breast feeding line and was told to continue feeding and pump in between. I did that, but never pumped a full ounce at one time. And nursing was hurting and I had blisters…no one ever told me that might happen.
I was disappointed. And then my baby cried a lot. And I cried. I felt that she wasn’t getting enough milk. She nursed and nursed but it never seemed to be enough. On Saturday afternoon I packed up my sweet little babe and went to my mother-in-law’s for the formula. E drank an ounce and then part of a second ounce. And this was immediately following a lengthy breastfeeding session.
And that’s when I began combination breast and formula feeding.
And people asked how breastfeeding was going. And I was disappointed in myself. I felt that I was letting my husband down. I felt that I wasn’t doing what was best for my child. I tried herbs. I tried pumping. I drank more water. And I still had to keep supplementing.
And you know what? At some point I realized it was ok. Supplementing was what was best for my baby. It was needed to nourish her. And this was our reality and not only was it ok, it was perfect. For us.
My thoughts to new moms or seasoned moms: do what is best for you and your child(ren). Yes, breast is best, but sometimes breast isn’t best. It’s not best if you rbaby needs more nourishment that you can’t provide. It’s not best if you can’t produce milk at all. It’s not best if it is interfering with your ability to care for yourself – whether it be stress, sadness, frustration…anything! Do what works for you and give that baby an extra kiss and snuggle and simply enjoy.