With my first child I knew I wanted to try and breastfeed, breast is best they said. My mom did it, my sister did it so I wanted to try too. Right after she was born she latched right on the first time perfectly. But holy crap was it a new experience all its own.
Having someone else on such a personal area isn’t always the “it will be so natural feeling” you expect it to be. It was downright weird at first. It becomes natural but it didn’t start that way. Baby hungry? Give them some boob. Tired? Boob it up. Got hurt? You guessed it, boob. They can be a freaking miracle. If you think I am kidding just ask my husband. If he can’t get the baby to settle I give him a boob (the baby not the husband; works on husbands too though I suppose [I see you ladies out there nodding your head, you get it]) and it’s like all is well in the world.
Breastfeeding my first though wasn’t all it was cracked up to be though. We had to take her to the doctor her first week of life because she was becoming dehydrated because my milk wasn’t coming in (this was about 4 days after she was born). The doctor had us start supplementing but wouldn’t you know it the very next day I had the boobs of a porn star. My cups runneth over if you will. But throughout my breastfeeding journey with my daughter we switched seamlessly between breast and bottle the whole first year which went great. I worked frequently during that time so when I couldn’t pump enough for one of my shifts my husband was able to feed her formula no problem.
My second baby was a whole other story. He is a boob man. Hates bottles and anything non-breastmilk related. He is nine months old now and still primarily breastfed. When I started back to work with him, it was hell on my husband, he wouldn’t take a bottle .We tried baby food when it was age appropriate but he wasn’t having it. He got sick every time we tried baby food but if we gave him bites of something we were eating that was age appropriate he would yell at you till you give him more. Out went the baby food and in stayed the breastmilk and people food. Now that he is older and can do alternatives it makes life easier if I had a bad week with the babies and didn’t get a chance to pump enough for when I am gone.
Ugh Pumping. Pumping is awful, anytime I have to do it I feel like a cow. Literally. You are hooked up to a machine that milks you. Awesome. It feels so impersonal and weird. I could nurse my baby directly from the boob all day long no problems (and I have, thank you growth spurts), but pumping is so irritating. That’s the cost of breastfeeding your child when you have places to go sometimes. Some women don’t mind pumping; some actually exclusively pump instead of nursing. Those women are crazy amazing. I don’t know how you do it, hats off to you.
Everyone has their own experiences with breastfeeding and pumping. Just because someone had a rough time with either doesn’t mean you will. Experience things your own way and see what works- formula, breast, pumping, or even a combination of all the above. Having kids is hard work and whatever works for your life is great and I am glad you chose what works for your family. Fed is best.