Breastfeeding; Fed is Best

 I chose to breastfeed my son for his first year of life. I decided this during my pregnancy because I figured it would save us money by not having to buy formula and I wanted to. I loved the idea that I could provide sustenance for him from my own body. How freaking cool is that. I had no idea how hard it would be and that I would want to give up so badly.
I learned early on, but had a hard time accepting, that "Fed is Best". Any way that you feed your baby is exactly the right thing for you and baby! There is so much pressure for breast is best, but who the heck cares as long as baby is fed, happy and healthy and YOU are okay.
When Declan was born, I had difficulty getting him to latch. I could not hand express the colostrum nor did a pump help. I felt an insane amount of pressure from the nurses and lactation counselor in the hospital - they just wanted baby to eat. There were one or two nurses that were able to really help me and we got him latched for a bit.
Bobby questions if Declan's tethered oral ties affected his ability to latch then, and we asked a few times if they could check and each time were told no. Later on, after a few days of nursing for 4-5 hours straight (cluster feeding) I had enough. I got a second opinion and got answers. He definitely had ties, while they were pretty posterior, he was still not able to latch well. He was exhausting himself sucking the wrong way and then falling asleep and continued the cycle for hours on end.
Bobby advises getting a second opinion because we found out that some professionals have more in-depth and specialized training than others. And trust your gut! We probably would have given up if we didn't get a second opinion and I'm forever grateful that we did.
We had to formula feed for his first month in the meantime because he wasn't gaining weight. So at this point, I was breastfeeding, formula feeding, and pumping. Which is freaking exhausting. Then at 6 months, I decided to reintroduce formula with the breastmilk and completely stop pumping. I did not want to give formula, but I was so over breastfeeding once the gymnurstics started - the act of attempting to breastfeed your baby while said baby climbs all over you.
Anyway, I really did struggle with being okay giving him formula because I still didn't want to spend the money. But it helped relieve the pressure of having enough milk when he was left with family. I gave myself permission to start weening. And while we didn't, nursing did get easier when it was being shared with bottle feeding.
Whatever works for you is perfect - Fed is Best. Breast, bottle (formula or breast), and pumping. How is your feeding journey going? Do you have a feeding milestone to celebrate? I'd love to hear!

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