My breastfeeding journey ended sooner than expected and how I allowed myself to grieve.

My worth is not in how much milk I produced (or not produced) to my child. My worth is not in how I birthed my son either. Our bond is sacred, its goes beyond those things. It's a journey of discovery who I am as a mother, and having compassion for myself every day. My son is my biggest teacher and the journey as a mother, to become a mother, has been very humbling. As always I share from my heart about my journey, because maybe your first year as a mother, didn't go as you hoped....

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I know a lot of women dream about having “the perfect breastfeeding journey.”

But truth is, it doesn’t exist for most women.

Mine started perfect to be honest (we never got the golden hour, since Wilder came out needing support from NICU), but when he was in my arms, 8 hours after his birth, it was so natural for us.

Perfect latch, barely any sore nipples and just pure joy.

The most precious moments holding my son and nursing him. (You can read more about my breastfeeding journey, and 4 simple tips that helped our breastfeeding journey in this blog post.)

I am mourning our nursing moments.
At times I still make myself wrong.
Maybe I could have done something else, tried even harder?

Feeling shame that I couldn’t nurse for longer, that my supply started to decrease.

Judging myself for no longer nursing.

I still make myself wrong.

My humanness.

But you know what? Our worth is not in “the perfect birth” or “our perfect nursing journey”.

I felt judged by society, but I know it’s my ego judging and punishing myself.

My baby chose the bottle.

Slowly. But surely he did.

I kept trying every day but he either tried to bite my nipple off or screamed.

We still make his feeds sacred.

Because the times I feed him formula, I know it’s not “living” food, so I bless it with love and Reiki and I say a prayer of gratitude for his food.

I add Prana/life force/Reiki to his formula - I am also choosing a formula that I feel his good for him, after a lot of research, this is the one we use.

And he is still laying close to me.

Looking into my eyes.

That special bond is still there.

He keeps reassuring me that “mom, we are OK”.

It’s crazy how much the mom-guilt / mom-shaming is a real thing - mostly in our own minds.

My milked started to decrease after the second time we got Thrush , something very common that babies get in their mouth, a yeast infection (around 70% of babies get it).

He didn’t even get that much in his mouth, only on the side of his cheeks. We tried treating it on him for a few weeks. And also my nipples because I started to get it there too. Very intense stinging feeling.

The treatment didn’t work and my let down started to slow down. The milk came in hot, but it took 30 seconds to a minute for it to flow - which made my baby upset.

We got an anti-fungal treatment and it worked quickly. But a month later I started to have the same (let down) issue but this time it took over a minute, sometimes two for the milk to come down.

This, of course, irritated my hungry baby even more. So we started giving a bottle, which we had done since around 5 weeks anyway to make him use to both (for a couple of times per week).

He quickly learned that he got food faster from the bottle compared to my boob.

A month before that I felt a weird intuitive feeling that he would not want to breastfeed for that long by the way…

Honestly, this stressed me out a bit and I felt like I didn’t have enough milk. And because he was in a growth phase, he was constantly hungry. He wanted to feed every hour!

By the time all of this happened, we were also "nomads". We had left our apartment in San Francisco for new adventures, until we found our home in Austin, we stayed with family in California and Sweden. My milk started to decrease in Sweden, and I did not have my electric breast-pump with me, which would have helped, or any of my holistic medical support (homeopaths, midwives....etc) - but I trust that it's all divine timing.

I felt like we took a very conscious decision together. And formula felt like the right choice for our son.

After my period came my milk decreased even more (around 6 months after I gave birth).

I nursed until around 5 1/2 months, by then he chose the bottle completely.

I still tried to put him by my boob almost every day but he just tried to bite it off (ouch) or screamed like crazy! He got his first teeth by 4 months, and started to eat avocado and other foods by this time too, so the boob was the last thing on his mind (lol).

I still pumped a couple of times per day, until 8 months. It’s was not much but I didn’t want to give it up fully.

I don’t know why, I guess a part of me felt like I “had failed” and I didn't want to give up just yet.

Expecting the unexpected, having compassion for myself and my motherhood journey is my goals every day.

We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others.
We are not suppose to be the same as other mothers, because we are raising different individuals.
Each child is unique.

They come here with their own unique imprint.

Trust that they chose you as their mom, and that you are making the right choices for you and them.

xo, Linda


#breastfeedingjourney #postpartum #formulafeeding #babytips #motherhood #honestmotherhood #tipsonbreastfeedingjourney

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