Breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to provide nutrition and bond with your baby. Unfortunately, not all moms are able to breastfeed for many reasons. I happen to be one of those moms. My name is Lauren, I’m a blog contributor here at Bluesmart mia. I am unable to breastfeed due to a medication that I take regularly for my Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disease which affects the digestive system.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 8-years-old. Throughout the last 20 years I have been prescribed every medication on the market and have had 5 surgeries on my intestines. Growing up, I was never sure whether the medications or surgeries would prevent me from having children one day. My parents weren’t even sure I’d live to see marriage and children. But come my early twenties I met the man of my dreams, got married and 3 years later I was happily pregnant with our first child!
I was required to see a perinatologist for the duration of my pregnancy to ensure that everything ran smoothly. I was scheduled for a c-section due to all of my previous surgeries and I was informed that I would be unable to breastfeed on my medications. Due to the severity of my Crohn’s I am unable to go off of medication in order to breastfeed. Throughout the beginning of my pregnancy I mourned the loss of the chance to have that very special bond with my child. I wondered if I would be able to bond with my baby enough by bottle feeding.
In early June our beautiful baby girl decided to come a few weeks earlier than expected but we were so happy to see her! I was able to hold her on my chest just a few minutes after she was born. She was perfect and seemed to be so content right there on my chest. I fed her her first bottle just a few minutes later and she gratefully sucked away and fell asleep in my arms.
On the night before we left the hospital we were required to watch a video about caring for newborns. There was a full 7 minutes dedicated to breastfeeding. I cried silent tears, trying to hide them from my husband. Of course, I couldn't hide the pain so I told him how much I wished I could breastfeed our sweet baby girl. He hugged me and reassured me that she would love me and be given all the nutrition she needed with bottle feeding.
We headed home where I had a formula dispenser, sterilized bottles and my chosen formula ready to go. Bottle feeding ended up being great for us because I got all the rest I needed after my c-section and daddy could feed her and get a chance to bond with her. When I fed her I looked into her eyes and she gazed lovingly into mine and I knew that I wasn’t missing out on anything. This was perfect for us. She knew I would always provide for her and not only did I get a chance to bond with her but so did all of my family members.
Sometimes I felt the judging eyes of other mothers while I was picking up my formula in the store. I’m sure everyone who bottle feeds has felt that or maybe gotten a few snarky comments. I eventually got over all the feelings of guilt and let the formula-haters roll off my back. Bottle feeding was right for our family. Our daughter knew she would always be fed and that we loved her.
Whether bottle feeding is something you had to do or if you chose it, be confident that your child is being well provided for and that they love you so much! My journey with bottle feeding had its ups and downs but it was right for us. Now I’m bottle feeding our second baby and loving it!