I have a syndrome that affects my circulation called Raynaud's, it’s actually quite common. I would get very cold hands and feet when I was out in snow or pulled something from the freezer but it became more of an annoyance when I was breastfeeding, making it incredibly painful. Doctors didn’t make the connection at first, which was incredibly frustrating, and I felt a lot of judgment. We have a family-run business so I went back to work right away and that didn’t help matters.
I was given the option to try taking blood pressure medication to boost my supply and reduce the pain, but I didn’t want to take that when I don’t have high blood pressure.
I had sort of powered through childbirth and for me breastfeeding was much more painful. I was really relieved to have found a reason why. Up until then, I felt incredibly frustrated and a little confused by my breastfeeding struggles. You’re one big ball of emotions when you have a new baby. I was fairly upset with myself for a lot of things at that point, feeding being just one of them. When I finally made the decision to switch to formula I felt relieved. He was three months old.
The way other moms responded to my not breastfeeding was always so sad. Like, ‘I’m so sorry you can’t breastfeed.’ My son is healthy and huge, so it was a weird thing. It’s not like we were starving him, just using formula.