Wednesday, November 24, 2021

"Breastfeeding Equals Better Mom" Syndrome

"Breastfeeding Equals Better Mom" Syndrome

When you think of the words "good mom" what are some things that come to mind? 

In the past - especially with my first - I believed and felt that to be a good mom meant that I had to produce enough milk supply for my daughter and be able to breastfeed. I did get caught up in the "breast is best" mindset. Actually, I believed that was the best so much so, that I didn't even think about how hard it would be. How emotionally, mentally and physically draining it was. Once I experienced this - along with so many other factors that impacted my milk supply - my mindset around breastfeeding versus bottle feeding changed! I called this mindset...the "breastfeeding = better mom" syndrome.

Breastfeeding truly is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. Emotionally it had me crying when I couldn't produce for my first and she was crying out of hunger. Physically I felt I had to watch everything I did to try and rule out what wasn't work, plus when emotionally you are strained, there will always be a physical impact. And mentally it really put me in a dark place. I constantly questioned my ability as a mom, I questioned if I was doing enough, if I tried enough, etc. So, in short...breastfeeding with my first was the determination of whether or not I was a good enough mom.

The reality is this, postpartum hormones are real and there is so much guilt, question and doubt like ALL THE TIME! So first step for me was to normalize these feelings and reassure myself that they were okay to feel and express. Once I was able to accept that, I was able to accept that breastfeeding wasn't easy and that it may not be the journey I was destined to take with my first. 

Now, with my second, the experience was different. I got to experience the other side of things. Breastfeeding was going well. My baby latched very well, and things just flowed as they were meant to. It felt amazing to be able to provide for my daughter, but I still was not by any means an over producer so I had to top up for some feeds. Now, fast forward to when my dear baby was 5 weeks old, I got sick with COVID and that impacted my milk supply as my daughter was not wanting to nurse as often. And then just when I thought we would be back on track and I would go out to seek some support, our baby was positive for COVID and ended up in the hospital. At first, I wasn't even allowed to have been at the hospital

with her, so all the stress, anxiety had my milk supply impacted quite a bit. And then her having to be on IV and antibiotics to get better meant she wasn't feeding as much either which too impacted my supply. 

Throw a few other things in the mix, it became very discouraging every time I breastfed her. While this was a tough time for me emotionally, mentally and physically it was also a time where I came to my second realization and when I finally was able to answer the question..."what makes me a good mom"?

A good mom is not about being able to breastfeed. A good mom isn't about being perfect. chill and relaxed all the time. A good mom isn't about having a perfect, clean home. A good mom is not about having fancy gourmet meals every night. A good mom is actually about firstly being in a good state of mind mentally and emotionally which in turn puts you in a better place physically. A good mom now is about being calm, crying when needed, accepting when things don't work, not being able to breastfeed, having a messy home, because the less anxiety, stress and worry in our lives means we are living more in the moment. Being a good mom, is about knowing when we are doing too much; for example doing too much, to try making breastfeeding work when maybe it won't, and that is okay. Being able to establish when breastfeeding is taking over our emotional, mental and physical state and taking away from living in that moment. At the end of the day, the more moments we are living the best versions of Mom we could be for our kids. 

Baby Brezza & how it helped me rid of  my "breastfeeding = better mom" syndrome

With all that being said, a must have item that helped me through my experience with both kids was the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Machine. With everything I was dealing with emotionally, the Formula Pro took the guess work out of bottle feeding. With it's ability to quickly make a warm bottle for your baby, night feeds became easier, day feeds created way shorter crying periods, and even when having to switch formula, Baby Brezza makes it super easy to find the correct setting for each brand so that the ratio is dispensed appropriately! 

Fast forward to post hospital admittance, we have had to make more changes...Eliana continued to gain VERY slowly, she continued to drink very low volumes which means having to increase her caloric intake. We now are having to fortify our formula so she gets more calories with what she is able to drink on our own. Baby Brezza STILL had us covered. We did not have to go and get rid of our beloved machine, or invest in a different product. With it's versatility, we were actually able to continue using just the water option! This still made for quicker bottles to be made, less crying to be had and warm water to quickly be accessible for each feed. Which meant, as the water was dispensing, we were ready with the fortified formula! Easy as literally 1...2...3! And it meant, night feeds were still easier, no having to wait for the formula to warm up, and Mama could get back to bed sooner! 

If you haven't yet heard of Baby Brezza, they have an assortment of amazing products that are definitely worth looking at, especially their Formula's become my life saver and has helped me rid of the guilt I was experiencing with my "breastfeeding = better mom" syndrome.