Formula for Happiness - Just Do Your Best

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The first five days after the weekend are the hardest.  Right? ;)

That's a joke. But I would also the say the the first five months after having a baby are the hardest as well, and that's not a joke.  Your body is recovering from a trauma (vaginal birth, C-section, both are traumatic), your hormones are out of whack (that's that technical term), you have a new living being that is dependent upon you for EVERYTHING, but you get very little sleep and are still somehow functioning (or giving that impression, anyway.)  


Around the 5-6 month mark your little life-disrupter, whom you wouldn't trade for the world, starts to get the hang of this sleeping through the night thing, and you can sometimes get consecutive hours of sleep yourself.  That makes it all a bit easier.  And they start eating solids at this point as well.

Until they are old enough to be introduced to solids, all their nutrition comes in liquid form.  And that is another huge source of stress and hardship mom's have to deal with.  Considering it is the way nature designed us, I find it so baffling that there is so much controversy and societal reaction to breastfeeding. All other animals with mammary glands do it -- maybe people don't like being reminded we're mammals?  

However, just because breastfeeding is what nature intended, doesn't mean it actually works that way.  And that can be really frustrating for a new mom.  She can feel like her body is failing her, and that she is failing her baby because she has the 'job' to provide nutrition for her offspring and she can't.  I had no idea what it was like or what to do to breastfeed, I just assumed my body and my baby would know what to do because it was what they were designed to do.  I was one of the fortunate ones that my milk came in very quickly and my son had a good latch from the first try.  But I never took that for granted.  

I attended the lactation support group for a couple weeks at the hospital where I gave birth, and there was every range of experience.  I was in awe of these women, they were suffering through pain and exhaustion to try to do what was 'best' for their babies.  But some had to supplement with formula.  And I'm sure many ultimately had to transition to only formula.  And I bet they felt guilt about that.


But the point here is that they shouldn't. You should not feel guilt about doing what is best for you and your baby.  If you've tried what you can and you can't produce enough milk or nurse efficiently, there is no shame in formula.  We are lucky that there are such quality formulas out there, you should feel good actually because you are providing for your baby.  

Do your best, don't listen to the negatives - if your child is healthy and thriving, you're doing good, and doing it right, no matter how you're doing it.