My Breastfeeding Journey

my breastfeeding journey

Look at that cutie bear

 

Over the past eight months (yea, Zain turned eight months this week—can you believe it?) I’ve learned a lot about myself, my baby and my family. I know I had mentioned this before, but the mom shaming is real. Whether it’s about staying at home vs working in an office, breastfeeding vs formula, CIO or not, it seems to be a sensitive place for a lot of women. 

I hope that by sharing mine and my families experience, it can open up a dialogue and a place for us to talk freely about our experiences because I know they are all so different and there is so much we can learn from one another. Before I ever had Zain, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. It’s just something I had always seen myself doing and even though I believe ‘Fed is Best’ I wanted to try my hand at this breastfeeding thing. 

 

my breastfeeding journey

I can NOT believe how tiny my baby looks here 😭 I lived in these nursing tanks and bra’s!

 

I touched on the very beginning of our journey a little bit here but the actual act of feeding was quite easy for us. He was good at latching, very quick and efficient and I seemed to be surviving. He latched within seconds of being born and if anything, I had an oversupply issue. Everything was going well (well, besides us never sleeping ha!) until around 2-3 months.

Zain’s reflux got really bad. He would cry inconsolably in the evenings for an hour or so because his gas was hurting him. We tried everything from gas drops, bicycle kicks, tummy exercises, even the Frida Windi once. Nothing seemed to relieve him and we finally consulted our pediatrician about it. She recommended we try a formula that was helpful for reflux in his last bottle before bed to see how it helped. 

This, much like the sleep training was something I would agree to during the day and then when it came time to do it; I would resist and just nurse him. I felt a little selfish for it especially when his reflux wasn’t improving and I finally gave in.

I sat in my bedroom and cried my eyes out while Trevor fed him a bottle of formula in the living room. I didn’t expect to have such a strong reaction but I think more than anything, I felt like a failure. I felt like I had let him down and myself I guess. 

The formula seemed to greatly help his reflux and he almost immediately stopped having so much discomfort in the evenings. We decided to keep that one bottle on the schedule and after that first time it bothered me less and was so nice to have someone else feed him every night. 

We continued that schedule till around 5 months. Zain was becoming more aware and breastfeeding was becoming harder and harder. He would latch and then immediately come away, turn his head and try to look around. I think he was just getting older and less interested in staring at me all day, haha.

It slowly started to happen at every feed and I physically couldn’t get him to stay latched long enough to fill him up anymore. I started pumping and storing milk but we had some trouble with that too. For reference, I used the Medela Freestyle and it worked great! It was covered by my insurance—make sure to call and check with yours because they are almost always covered. I loved how small the pump motor was and it was really easy to  travel with. I pumped the whole time I was at Jess and Neal’s wedding in Portland and it was so nice to have something small enough to throw in my bag and take with! 

I did a lot of research about thawed milk possibly tasting different and think that may have been the problem but Zain would not drink straight breast milk from a bottle. I was routinely wasting breast milk and literally crying over spilt milk. I tried to save what I could and mix it in with his food but it just wasn’t working for us. Mixing it with formula (even 50/50) seemed to piss him off and eventually once he was past 6 months I stopped trying to force it. 

I had to find a way to be at peace more with myself and my goals because Zain was very happy with himself. Some days I really miss it and wish we could have made it to a year and some days I see or hear friends pumping over the phone and don’t miss it a bit, ha! 

I think every family has a unique journey and whether you tried or not, I applaud you for doing what’s best for your baby. I think it’s important to take the guilt and shame off of mom’s who decide either way. Zain’s now on full formula (we use Enfamil Gentlease Non – GMO), I still have frozen breast milk I mix in his food and we are obviously on lots of solids. He will eat just about anything and doesn’t even have teeth yet. I’m pretty sure he’s going to eat me out of house and home soon! 

 

babys first food

We seriously love this high chair!

 

He’s a happy healthy baby and that’s all I can really ask for. If you have any questions about my journey, breast feeding or formula feel free to reach out and I would love to hear how it went for you! 

 

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14 thoughts on “My Breastfeeding Journey

  1. Britney Crawley

    Just like with your approach to sleep training, thanks for sharing this! I always enjoy hearing what works for other moms and babies. Glad you found something that works for Zain and his reflux. A happy, healthy is what’s important. We’re nursing over here and so far it’s going well. It’s good to know about other breastfeeding experiences because when something doesn’t go according to plan, then we have something to reference. Breastfeeding seems to be one of those journeys with lots of potential bumps along the way.

    Reply
    1. Shaheen Khan | Lows to Luxe

      Of course Britney! I am the same way, it’s nice to hear a variety of stories so you can take some pressure off yourself. Yes! I used to always hear people say it was the hardest thing they’ve ever done and I didn’t understand it till the time came, ha! So glad everything is going well for you all!

      Reply
  2. Katie

    I really loved reading this post! My son just turned 6 months old and it’s been a struggle since I’ve been back at work to pump as much as he needs. I cried when we had to supplement with formula for the first time but it ended up being a relief to have some of the pressure off me to produce the exact right amount each day. He’s also become a super distracted nurser anytime except first thing in the morning! Too interested in the world around him! Curious how you weaned yourself off of nursing to avoid clogged ducts, engorgement, mastitis?

    Reply
    1. Shaheen Khan | Lows to Luxe

      Awww, thank you!!! I totally hear you on the relief! It was so stressful that first time and then so nice to not be the only one who could provide for him. Yes, I think that’s exactly what it is. Zain was the same way, he was still a little sleepy in the morning so I could get him to nurse but never during the day and at night I felt like he wasn’t getting enough if I could get him to nurse. I didn’t do anything in particular and I think maybe because I slowly dropped feeds (well, really he dropped them haha) that may have helped. I did have a few issues with engorgement and I would try to lightly pump that out without making my body think I needed more but overall it went pretty smoothly.

      Reply
  3. lorecks

    Thank you for being honest about your journey. I too wanted to breastfeed but 2 weeks in postpartum depression hit me hard and I needed all the help I could get. My parents would stay the night and help. Even with pumping it was much easier for my husband, my parents and me to supplement with formula. Finally our pediatrician said if we didn’t want to anymore and formula was easier, then it’s fine. It was such a relief. Like you said, it’s also nice to have someone else be able to feed him while you get some rest or you time. 5 months in I do get sad about post partum taking away my joy and also my ability to breastfeed but in the end, I know we did what was best for my son and me.

    Reply
    1. Shaheen Khan | Lows to Luxe

      Of course, thank you for reading and opening up about your own experience! I totally understand where you are coming from and I am certain you did what was best. I told my mom that the act of feeding was never hard but the way it made me feel was really tough, especially in the beginning. Congrats on your sweet boy and I hope motherhood is treating you well—it’s a crazy ride, right?

      Reply
  4. Courtney

    Thanks for this post!! We have been having full on battles with our second baby (she’s 12 weeks old) to get her to take a bottle. We have tried, no joke, 6or 7 different types of bottles and everytime are met with screams and tears and major drama. It’s distressing. After I read your post we tried formula for her next bottle and she drank it down with not one complaint!! This was seriously a life saver as I have been beyond stressed about this bottle situation as I return to work on Monday. THANK YOU!

    Reply
    1. Shaheen Khan | Lows to Luxe

      Oh my gosh, I am so glad!!! You know my pediatrician told me it’s very uncommon for babies to drink more than 4oz of breast milk from a bottle even if they will take it which I thought ws so interesting. I couldn’t believe he could taste the difference even when I was mixing it with formula! Hahaha, sleep deprivation is very real and with two babies! Thanks for sharing and good luck with you return to work today!

      Reply

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