So lets be honest….breastfeeding is hard and takes a lot of work. Disclaimer: I am not an expert. Breastfeeding is not natural for mom or baby; it is learned through experience. Yes, baby is born with a sucking reflex, but that does not mean they know how to breastfeed. Each baby is different, and each momma has a different experience. For some babies and moms, it may seem natural because it is so easy for them. For other moms, it takes a lot of time/hard work. Some moms choose to not breastfeed at all. How you chose to feed your little one is wonderful because FED IS BEST! Do not ever feel bad about the way you feed your child. I chose to do my best to breastfeed. It was hard and took a lot of time to get it down right. Due to my level of hemorrhage, the hospital staff told me I may not produce any colostrum or milk. They told me to be prepared to not be able to breastfeed. I am a huge believer in fed is best, so if I was unable to breastfeed, I was at peace with it. I still wanted to try and see if I could do it. Yes, she was fed formula from a bottle first. After delivery, I was not immediately producing anything because of the hemorrhage. With her small size and her being hungry, we decided to give her 5ml of formula after she was delivered and while the doctor was still attempting to control my hemorrhage. I still attempted to get her to latch and I let her suckle (however long she wanted to), even though I was not producing anything at that time. We let her latch and suckle as often as she wanted, to hopefully help my body produce colostrum/milk. I did this for the first 24 hours after birth. She ended up getting 2 bottles with 5ml of formula while we waited for my body to kick in (this includes the 5ml directly after delivery). After 24 hours, I began producing colostrum! I was proud of my body, especially since I was told I may not produce anything. I not only produced colostrum, I began over producing! I was not only proud of my body, but also proud of my tiny human for latching/responding to breastfeeding so well after having formula/a bottle. There are so many stories of babies not wanting to latch after having a bottle with formula, so I was preparing myself for that to happen. She was very jaundice (read 4th trimester for details), but because of that and her small size, she ended up getting pumped colostrum in a bottle/syringe. She was working too hard for the milk, so needed a few bottles/syringe feedings to help her get hydrated while my milk was coming in. We gave her 2 .5oz bottles while my milk supply was coming in. She nursed between the bottles but was given the 2 bottles between feeds to help her hydrate. We used Avent natural latch bottles with a preemie nipple (size 0). It took 4 days for my milk to come in. On day 5, my milk production kicked into high gear and I ended up over producing milk. There was good and bad to this. I was so amazed at how well my body was providing for my baby, but that also meant I needed to pump a little with each feeding session to prevent from being engorged. Every momma has their own breastfeeding journey. This is my journey, and I am proud I was able to accomplish my end goal of providing breastmilk. As a momma you should be proud with whatever way you are able to feed your baby. Do not ever feel bad about your journey, it is your story. My story also includes spilled milk, a baby that has fussed/did not want to eat from being tired, a baby that ended up covered in milk, clothes covered in milk, and many other things (funny and stressful).

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