Leahby Aoife Anderson
Not being able to exclusively breastfeed came as a surprise to me. I was shocked and disappointed to have to change my plan.
I supplemented with formula almost from the start when my daughter wasn't eating enough, starting in the hospital. She lost more than the usual amount of weight after birth, so we had to do weight checks for the first couple of weeks.
After I had been home for two nights, she was just screaming and not eating very much. We still weren’t aware her screams were food related. We called into the advice nurse line that our doctor provides. She said to go to Walgreens immediately, buy formula, and give it to her. We were somewhat forced into that decision. While it didn’t feel like we had a choice, it was also nice to not have to overthink it.
I remember that first time my husband was going to buy formula, I thought not yet, I should be breastfeeding. My mom was also visiting for the first 10 days and told me, ‘Of course you can give her formula. I gave you both.’ Once we gave her the formula, she stopped crying and slept.
My lactation consultant noticed my daughter had a posterior tongue-tie, the opposite of the one she was checked for in the hospital, so we had that clipped. But my breasts didn’t change at all during my pregnancy so she thought I also just had low supply.
I wanted so hard to be able to breastfeed but after about three days I got over it. It would have helped more if breastfeeding classes addressed all of the reasons and non-reasons that you might need to change your plan.