How can we be all those things? Well, we believe that breastfeeding our babies is an incredible gift, but that sometimes it simply doesn't happen the way we planned.
We are not here to encourage or discourage any particular choice parents make on how to nourish their babies. We are here to support the ones who struggled or are struggling to breastfeed and are facing the guilt that often comes along with deciding to stop breastfeeding. We have both experienced this personally, and have gone through all the guilt alone, so we wanted to start this tumblr to post encouragement and to answer your questions and concerns as you make this sometimes difficult and traumatic transition.
We want you to bottle-feed without fear of judgement, and without guilt. You are doing the best that you can do for your baby given your particular circumstances. Be assured that the love and care you take in making this sometimes agonizing decision shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that love can come in bottles, too.
Lily: I just thought I would share something that one of my son’s donor breast milk mommas (named Kieu) wrote today, regarding her experiences with exclusively pumping breastmilk for her 14-month-old (named Kaden). I thought it was a wonderful message and I admire her for her strength to overcome adversity!
This month marks a full year I have been exclusively pumping milk for my Kaden. Looking back, I can’t believe the amount of time I’ve spent pumping, starting out 8 sessions a day, half an hour per session, and now down to 5 sessions. I usually get 5 oz per session. That would average out to be 320 liters of milk a year! Holy cow! That’s a lot of milk!
I always knew I wanted to breast-feed Kaden way before I had him. [Not breastfeeding him] wasn’t even an option for me. What I wasn’t aware of was there are all kinds of problems that can prevent a mom from nursing: from latch issues, to postpartum depression, to oversupply (a condition where milk is over-produced and comes down so fast that when the baby latches on, he chokes). I had this condition; it was frustrating feeding him as he would latch on for a few seconds then started to yank off and cry hysterically. I would have kept on trying, but Kaden didn’t gain enough weight.
After 2 months of breast-feeding Kaden, I decided to exclusively pump milk for him. This way I knew the exact amount he was eating. I was saddened- I loved the skin to skin contact with my son. It was the closest contact I had with him…
Pumping milk is not an easy task as it may seem to be. I need to be consistent with the sessions to keep up with milk production. It means I need to wake up at the odd hours of 2 or 3 in the morning, not counting a stiff neck from looking down so much. I also get nipple pain from too much pumping. It was easier when Kaden was little. Now that he is mobile, it’s harder because sometimes he needs his mommy. A lot of times it happens to be during pumping sessions. All of these obstacles frustrated me, and at times, I wanted to give up! “To hell with it,” I thought…
But then I looked at my son, knowing what the benefits breast milk have done for him this far, I can’t stop. (Well, I vent to my husband instead. Sorry, Hon!) I also learned about other moms who can’t produce milk at all, who look for donors’ milk to feed their babies. These moms give me perspective and motivation to keep on pumping…
I am not trying to be a SUPER mom.
I am far from being a SUPER mom.
I just believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of breast milk, its protection against diseases. Not one single formula out there can come close to breast milk. Isn’t nature incredible for supplying the best food for babies?
I am not judging other moms who choose other outlets other than breast milk. You do what you think is best for your babies. My goal is to share my story with other moms. And that if I can do it, you can too, because God knows I am the most impatient person in this planet! Amazing, just like that, time flies. One year of pumping milk has gone by…
Cheers to another year of pumping for Kaden.