Hey mama, I know that feeding, along with sleep, can seem like the biggest of puzzles when it comes to your baby.
There's certainly a learning curve to both, and some babies take easier to them than others.
I am no feeding expert - I do have recommendations if you're looking for help with lactation or bottle feeding (send me a DM or an email and I'll hook you up) - but I am a mother of two and a former early childhood teacher.
There are three big takeaways that I want to leave you with:
You need to do what's best for YOU and YOUR BABY. In order to establish, support, and maintain a secure attachment with your child, you need to be mentally well. You need to be able to care for and respond to your child. If how you're feeding your baby isn't serving your wellbeing or your baby's wellbeing, it may be time to look into making changes. Even though we were breastfeeding and I *thought* things we going well, my second son had drastically fallen off his weight curve between months 1 and 2 - he went from the 45%ile down to the 11%ile in a month's time. Something wasn't right and I needed to re-evaluate. There were many factors that went into my decision making process, and you are the only one who knows what's truly best for your situation.
You may need to invest time and/or money in support where ever you may need it. If being successful with breastfeeding is a top priority for you, and you're having some struggles, find support! There are tons of lactation consultants who would love to help you. If you have questions about formula feeding, there are infant feeding technicians who can assist you with making any decisions regarding that. What are your goals, and who can help you achieve them? And if you're not sure, just talkl to someone to help you find clarity.
Looking back (former teracher here!) at all the 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds that I've worked with over the last decade...I couldn't tell you who was bottle-fed, who was exclusively breastfed, whose mom exclusively pumped for them, or who received a combination of any of those. Here's what I can tell you: I could tell whose parents spoke love and kindness into their hearts and minds. I could what character traits a family valued based on the interactions I'd experience firsthand or witness between the students in my classroom. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I know this seems like a really big deal right now. And it is! At this moment in time, IT IS! But it's not always going to be that way, so keep that in mind too.
There are a lot of nuances that go into the decision of how you feed your baby, and some may dictate your decisions more than you want:
what you're comfortable with
what you're not comfortable with
health concerns for mom
health concerns for baby
If you want to hear more about my feeding journeys with my children, head to my Instagram page and watch a recent Live I shared.