Dear New Mama,
I just hung up the phone with you. I want to make sure you heard what I said and take it in your heart.
You are doing a great job! You are not a bad mom because you gave your baby a bottle or pacifier or supplement or… You are not a bad mom because you can’t get your baby latched correctly and you have cracked and bleeding nipples. You are not a bad mom because you are sad or “hormonal”. You ARE a super mom because you care about your baby! You are a super mom because you are trying your best. You are a super mom because you are taking care of yourself so you can be there for your baby.
Your baby is not a “lazy sucker” or little “greedy” person or “using you”. Your baby wants to nurse and eat. Your baby doesn’t like that bottle more than you. Your baby simply has an easier time right now with a little help on that bottle. No mammal would be called lazy in nature if they couldn’t eat.
I want to shout this from the rooftops!
You are going to get through this but please know that you are doing great by reaching out. I am so glad you called me, and your midwife, and your IBCLC and your friend… No mom should have to suffer through this pain and just “keep trying”! If I had a severe wound on my finger, a health care person would help me with proper wound care and healing and not casually suggest that I suck on that cut every two hours without complaining.
And if you do need to pump and “rest” your body, this doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can find your way and so can your baby. There is a way to keep breast focus. This means that your baby will often be skin-to-skin, sleep near you, cuddle and bottle nurse.
Remember that with this newborn stage, the only constant is CHANGE. Things will get better as you get help and find your way. This may mean intervention therapy or massage or bottles for your baby in the meantime. This may mean positioning and latch and more help for you as well.
Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Please, don’t look too far ahead yet…just take things feeding by feeding and day by day…baby steps.
You are doing this!!