This series was inspired by the I Support You campaign, which was created by three amazing bloggers: I Am Not the Babysitter, Mama by the Bay and The Fearless Formula Feeder. The questions I used came from Jessica Smock’s interview of her “feeding opposite” at School of Smock. I want to provide a place where moms can feel free to share their experiences and find encouragement, love and acceptance – regardless of feeding choices. All moms deserve to feel supported.
Jade is the mother of a beautiful boy. Read her story below and give her some love in the comments!
Please share a brief summary of your feeding experience.
Jade: My mom formula fed both my brother and I. I didn’t have her support when it came to breastfeeding. I was really hesitant and uncomfortable about the whole latching on idea, but I knew it was best for the baby. My husband (who was very supportive and pro-breastfeeding) and I decided that we were going to try to at least pump and possibly try latch.
I went to my very first MOMS appointment at the hospital while I was still pregnant. I told them my plan as well as my medical history. I have PCOS and a small tumor on my pituitary gland. With that information, the nurse told me that I would be very lucky if I can breastfeed.
After my son was born, he was transported to Doernbecher Hospital in Portland for a week. I pumped every chance I got. He was born on a Monday and I didn’t get any milk until the following Sunday. I produced very little and by the next Sunday I was getting nothing.
What was your original plan for feeding your child, and how did that compare to what you ultimately ended up doing?
I was really confused and didn’t really know what to expect. I wish I could have produced milk to meet my son’s needs.
What kind of support did you have for your feeding choice?
People would ask me all the time if I breastfed or formula fed. Nobody really gave me a hard time about formula feeding.
What was the best part about how you fed your child?
I could sleep and daddy could get up and feed baby.
What was the worst?
I felt like I was failing as a mom and not giving my son the nutrients that he needs.
What myths about how you fed your child were the most hurtful?
That formula fed babies are more prone to ear infections, obesity, and overall worse health than breast fed babies.
What is your “truth” that counteracts those myths?
My son is perfectly healthy. Has never been sick other than the common cold, he is very active and I think he is developing fine.
What would help you (or would have helped you) to feel supported/understood in your choices?
I’m not sure; I think more exposure and open-minded family members. I definitely want to try again with my second child.
Think ten, twenty years into the future. If you could give your grown child(ren) one message about how they choose to feed their child what would it be?
I would be supportive of whatever their choices are. My mom wasn’t supportive of me wanting to try to breastfeed.
Please share any additional thoughts you have about infant feeding and how it affects motherhood.
People need to be supportive of new moms. Not everyone can breastfeed and some do not want to. As long as the baby is getting what it needs that’s all that matters.
Thank you for sharing your story, Jade! You are a good mama.
Tell us in the comments how support from family helped or hurt your feeding experience!