Monday, August 5, 2013

The Big Breast Feeding Debate

There's an online movement going on right now called "I Support You", which is calling for support of mothers, however they chose to feed their babies.  It's being done to raise awareness & acceptance of each mothers' choice of how they feed their babies.

I'd like to share my own feeding stories with you & will be linking up here and here.  I'd love to hear your non-judgmental stories by linking up, too!  If you don't wish to share your story on your blog to link up, feel free to share your story in my comment section below, I'd love to hear them!

I have 2 daughters & our feeding stories for both have been very opposite.  

When Paige was born, my husband & I decided I would breastfeed her.  It wasn't something I ever thought much about, it's just what I knew.  I wasn't one of those "breast is best" kind of extreme advocates, but I knew it was a good option for many reasons.

Breastfeeding was something I had to learn (especially since she was my first baby) as well as let her learn.  I honestly felt very "new" at this breastfeeding thing.  I had several lactation consultants (LC) help us in the hospital, but they kept saying that Paige wasn't latching on.  Once I got home, she still wasn't latching on yet.  I remember getting home from the hospital & just crying because I couldn't even feed my own baby.  That's what my body was made to do, so why wasn't it working for us?  (thank you post-natal hormones!)

My mom helped me gather up the car seat, the diaper bag & my new tiny baby.  We went for several more visits with the LC.  Paige never ended up latching on.  It was a very emotional thing for me.  Each feeding I felt like I was fighting her, even though I knew it was time for her to eat.  We experimented in as many ways as we could think of, but nothing seemed to help.

After 6 very long weeks of fighting her to eat every 3 hours (give or take), I dried up.  I texted some moms who had been there, done that to get their advice.  I got a wide range of advice.  I had a few moms tell me "breast is best & to keep trying to feed her."I had one mom tell me, "take the herb Fenugreek, it will bring your milk back in."  I appreciated the advice I got, but nothing seemed to feel right for us.  I still was at a loss.  The most meaningful answer, though, was when another mom dropped everything to come & see me right when she got the text.  It was one of my (two) mothers-in-law.  She told me that she totally understood & that it was okay if I decided to formula feed my baby.  She had been in similar situations & felt guilty for not nursing at times, but that it all worked out in the end.  She knew the confusion & battle I was having in my head, but she reassured me that no matter what happened, we would know what to do & neither decision would make me a "bad mom".  I was so grateful for her acceptance of whatever I chose.  

After talking to my husband, we decided that since feeding Paige was so difficult still maybe we should embrace this "happening" & start bottle feeding.  Once we did, Paige was an even happier baby & feeding her was a happy experience for me (something I waited 6 long, sleepless weeks for).  A couple of short years later, we found out that Paige had a motor disorder called Apraxia.  When a child has Apraxia, they know how they want to move their body (especially their mouth), but their brain has a hard time telling their body exactly how to move.  Not all children with Apraxia have problems feeding as babies, but many do.  I was amazed once I found out this was why she would not ever latch on, even after working with Lactation Consultants for so long.  I was also so relieved that we decided to stop breast feeding her because I now knew that it wasn't right for her.  If we had continued, it would have been a battle for 12 very long months & I am so glad I had more time to cuddle with her when she was happily eating.  I feel like if I would have continued, it could have caused us to have more tension in our relationship or possibly even unhealthy eating habits for her.
My sweet parents feeding Paige at about 4 months old.
I can't seem to find one of me feeding her.
Photo taken by Carlye Morgan Photography.
When I got pregnant with my second daughter, I was more nervous about breastfeeding her than the actual labor & delivery.  Luckily, though, my story with Lindsey has been simple.  She has been able to breastfeed easily.  I did dry up at 6 weeks with her, too, but this time we felt like continuing would be ideal for her & our family if possible.  I took the herb called Fenugreek & got my milk back.

Can you tell what she prefers?  :)

Because of my experiences on both sides of the coin, I know that each mom knows what is best for their baby & their family (because, yes, it affects everyone else, too!).


I've breastfed & bottle fed & I support you, however you feed your baby.  Go mom!

What's your feeding story?  Share it with me below!  


  1. I m hoping I can link up with everyone. This is such a great idea. Hopefully my computer will be fixed soon so I can share.

    1. Angela, I hope you're able to get it working, too! Please post your link here so I don't miss it, or email it to me because I would love to hear your story! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Very well written. Breast feeding does not come naturally or work easily for everyone. For other reasons, I had to stop at 6 weeks as well. It's such a personal decision and no one outside can ever understand. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment & for sharing a bit of your story! I completely agree, only the care-taker can understand the full picture!

  3. AMEN! Both ways are fine. I breastfed my daughter for 14 months, but if I wasn't able to, so what?! It's whatever is best for you and your child.

    1. Jen, I LOOOVE your comment! It's perfect, thank you!

  4. When Logan was born (my oldest) I was determined to breastfeed. We tried, and tried, and tried.....and then tried some more. NOTHING worked. We even got a super-fancy breast pump, to try and pump and feed the milk to him in a bottle. That wasn't working either. After a few weeks, I gave up. Realized we would both be happier with formula. Not nursing, my milk went away, and my period started back right away. When Logan was 6 weeks old, I felt SO strongly that we needed to have another baby. CRAZY, I know. I thought it was post baby hormones, but I couldn't shake the thought. I talked to my husband and we both felt like another baby needed to be with us. Let's just say, Jace was born 10 1/2 months after Logan. haha Both Jace and my daughter Lucy have had no problem with nursing. When nursing them my period didn't come back for around 9months. I know if Logan had nursed, I wouldn't have been able to have Jace so quickly afterwards. This turned into a really long comment....sorry. Basically, I agree 100% with what you are saying. You have to do what is best for you and your family.

    1. What a neat story! I loved reading it...thank you SO much for sharing!


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