While pregnant, I didn’t give much thought on how I would feed Alinea. And perhaps that’s why this was one of the most difficult parts of new motherhood so far.
I don’t even remember how I got it into my head that I wanted to breastfeed. I was formula fed and come from a generation of formula babies. My mum brags about the formula brand I ate.
So I don’t have much of an emotional attachment to how babies should eat. By choosing to breastfeed, I was unprepared for the physical pain of it, the exhaustion and utter inability to share the load. My mother, seeing her own child in pain, was continually asking me ‘are you ok?’, ‘Is the baby eating enough?’. It was causing a stress in our home I didn’t want for baby.
I then switched to combination feeding of expressed milk and formula. We bought the Elvie so I could still move around the house. But then it started to hurt. Enter the lactation consultant. Then the hospital grade pump rental. Then the pain came back. With all of this – I didn’t enjoy motherhood or time with Alinea.
The minute I decided to switch to formula, a weight had been lifted. My mental health started to come back on the mend. Our household began to operate in a happier space. I got to have lovely bonding time with my mum about how she raised me and my brother instead of pumping milk and being obsessed with how baby ate. My husband became equipped to take on a more equal role in caring for Alinea. I started to sink into the happier parts of motherhood with more cuddles, singing and kisses.
You can see the story in the viz below.