Sometimes the decision of how you will feed your baby when they arrive is easy. Sometimes that decision is hard and emotional and complicated. Sometimes you change your mind before the baby comes, right after they are born or a few weeks in. A lot goes into making that call and changing course. We understand that. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what is best and sometimes advice or opinions can be emotionally charged and can sting. Only you know what works best for your family and with the guidance of the professionals you trust and your instincts and wishes, that baby will be fed at the end of the day.
This year, during World Breastfeeding Week, we want you to know that we see you.
The parent who wanted so desperately to breastfeed, but couldn’t. The parent who tried, who read every book and recruited the lactation consultants. The parent who endured pain, newborn weight loss beyond what was safe, a screaming baby, or an unexpected diagnosis. The woman who hurts at the thought of breastfeeding. We see you.
The parent breastfeeding, whether it is easy and natural, or uncoordinated and messy. Whether you’re having to use a nipple shield, needing help from a partner at every latch, battling cracked nipples, mastitis or supply issues and still pushing through. The parent cluster feeding around the clock and the parent begging their baby to nurse a little longer. We see you.
The parent dragging their breast pump to work and counting every ounce, trying to tune out the office buzz to get a letdown, fearing there won’t be enough time or enough milk for tomorrow. The parent dragging their breast pump everywhere, because they are exclusively pumping. We see you.
The parent feeding their baby formula, either by choice or by circumstance. Choosing the right formula, paying the price for organic or making their own because they just want to find the best choice. Feeding their baby formula either with relief or reluctance. The parent who knew from the start formula was the best option and the parent who cried with the first bottle. We see you.
The parent finding donor breast milk because they can’t use formula, want to offer breastmilk or want to supplement with human milk. The parent who needs an extra twenty minutes to set up the supplemental nursing system or a second freezer. The parent who was forever grateful for donor milk in the NICU. We see you.
The parent with a baby who has unexplained feeding issues or food allergies. The parent with the baby who has reflux, sensitivities and pain with feedings. Cutting nearly every food from your diet to keep breastfeeding, trying countless formulas and anxiously watching for reactions. Feeling the guilt, the fear, the exhaustion and the defeat. We see you.
The parent who needs the baby to take a bottle, either to pump or to formula feed. To get a break or to go back to work. The parent who buys every bottle on the shelf and tries them all with no luck. The baby who will take any bottle and the baby who will only take the Mam bottles, Dr. Brown’s bottles, Nuk bottles, Minbie bottles or Avent bottles. The parent who will take any wine bottle. We see you.
This week and every week, at Attuned Doula Services we support your feeding choices. We are trained to guide you from the first latch or the first ounce. We are here to listen to the struggles, put the systems into place and help you to feel confident at every feeding. We know when to refer you to your pediatrician, a lactation consultant or a dietician. We know when to just listen and when to take a feeding, so you can take a break. We are in this with you.