Breastfeeding: Stigma, Success, and Failure?

I think I mentioned that previously that with G I nursed successfully. No issues with latch, no issues with supply. Until I needed to pump so I could go to work, then it didn’t work out in my favor and we switched to formula. I cried.

With R, it wasn’t as successful off the bat, but with some perseverance, and loooots of nipple cream for the cracked, painful nipples. (Sidenote: I LOVED Earth Mama Nipple Butter. It smells divine, and works for cracked heels and dry hands as well.)

Then he started spitting up. And pulling his knees to his chest. And grunting and fussing after eating.

Then came the acid reflux diagnosis, which comes with a medicine that he hates. He kind of tries to spit it out when we give it to him, but such is life.

We also did a stool sample, to see about dairy intolerance. I got the results back yesterday, and he had high markers. So, my options were to go dairy free for two weeks: no milk, yogurt, butter, cheese–with a comment that most process foods have dairy so to watch that. Or, to go to formula.

Due to the fact that R was wanting to nurse constantlywe were already supplementing. So…after really debating, and beating myself up for being selfish, I did decide to go with formula. For one thing, my diet sucks ass, but much of it is dairy based: I’m not a consistent meat eater, so a lot of my protein comes from Greek yogurt, and I eat like everything with cheese.

I cried when I nursed him the last time, but then he threw up on my boob, so I feel like it was the best choice. And today, the first day with only formula, he’s doing much better, so.

However, the whole drying up process is fucking painful. One of my boobs is so swollen, and tender, and leaking. I’ve gone through three sets of breast pads, two bras, and three tee-shirts today. Woofta.

Anyhow, all of this really makes me wonder. Why is it that we’re so ingrained that we have to sacrifice ourselves for our children? Like…why should I feel selfish for not wanting to give up CHEESE?! To not want to nurse every hour, or every hour for a half an hour? Why should I feel like I’m a failure because I want my body back after ten months?

My kid is fed; he’s growing. He’s happier on the formula. I get that breastfeeding has it’s benefits. However, I can’t look around my classroom and tell you who was breastfed or given only formula. I wouldn’t give a shit even if I could.

Why do we, as a society–no, not a society, as mom culture–get so fucking judgmental and critical on these super personal decisions. Why does it matter to anyone else is I nurse or bottle feed? Or if I cloth diaper? Or have an epidural?! I mean, seriously, motherhood is hard enough without being worried about judgment from other people.

Does it affect you and yours? No? Then shut the fuck up.

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