Fed is best. Fed is best is a foundation looking to crush cultural misconceptions and societal pressures that are placed on women to specifically feed their baby a certain way.
I only realized this foundation existed towards the end of my breastfeeding journey with my son. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I was looking forward to breastfeeding. The idea of my body being able to not just grow a tiny human, but continue to help him grow even after birth amazed me. I loved being able to take him to the beach or the park to nurse. With the stress of my son’s Periodic Fever Syndrome diagnosis, it was nice to just be able to have a quiet place to sit and decompress while my baby nursed. But our breastfeeding journey came with some challenges.
I kept getting mastitis and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Any mama that has breastfed their baby has most likely experienced this extremely painful infection. After visiting my OBGYN, she sent me for a breast ultrasound. When I went to see the Radiologist, I found out that my breasts were filled with cysts. This was most likely from my extended birth control use. I wasn’t getting reoccurring mastitis, I had galactoceles. Cysts that had completely filled up with my breast milk.
The pain was unbelievable. The worst part was that the only way to ease my pain was to wait for the cyst to drain naturally or to have them drained by a breast surgeon. If I chose to have them drained by the breast surgeon, I would have to stop breastfeeding.
I’m not sure where the pressure to breastfeed came from. Most likely, I put the pressure on myself; the pressure to be a good mom. I felt like if I made the decision to get the cysts drained, I was giving up. I wasn’t completely sure if the cysts were obstructing my milk supply, but I knew I needed to have a back up plan just incase. My friend was a mass producer, and able to donate her breastmilk to help feed my son if he needed it. My son’s pediatrician told me that she didn’t feel like the galactoceles were obstructing my milk supply and that my son was maintaining a healthy weight.
Our breastfeeding journey lasted 18 months. I was proud of the two of us; my son and I. While I didn’t have the breastfeeding journey I had planned, my son was fed. Mama’s if you are in a situation similar to mine, switching feeding techniques or supplementing is not giving up. It’s the opposite. It’s you putting your baby and their health and needs first.
This is just one of the things I have balanced on my journey through motherhood.
What tightrope do you walk?