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Exclusive Breastfeeding: Not For Everyone and That's Okay

While you are pregnant, you prepare your child’s birth by anticipating finances and other things that you may need when the baby is out. As you go through the nesting phase while pregnant, you will find much information about all of the essential things you need to have and need to know if you are expecting. There two essential things that you need to be well-informed upon the baby’s arrival-sleep and feeding your baby.

Sleep is essential because when the baby sleeps, you sleep too. Caring for a newborn is not easy, so make sure you find ways to get enough sleep. One key to help then sleep is to read the books before bedtime, yes, start reading to them as early as possible. A good bedtime storybook you can Angela Arnephy’s “What Does My Baby Dream Of?” a definitive book for kids that will help them be curious about their dreams.

If your baby has a predictable sleep pattern, it will help your baby stay calm through the night, and the routine can help them sleep through the night. Not all babies are the same, some babies prefer swaddling, and some do not. Be open to try new techniques that will fit your baby’s sleeping habits.

Now let’s move on to the next important thing-feeding your baby. August is the breastfeeding awareness month, and you will probably read about breastfeeding success stories that will inspire you to work hard and exclusively breastfeed your baby. You see, breastfeeding has several benefits to you and your baby, but if you are struggling to breastfeed, I tell you, it’s okay not to.

Before I gave birth to my baby, I was determined to breastfeed my baby exclusively. But no matter how we plan things, unexpected things happen. My baby was born at 34 weeks; he was healthy and did not need an incubator. He was perfectly fine despite being out earlier than expected. He stayed in the NICU for two days to make sure he does not have any infection.

After a month, we noticed that he is not gaining weight. He nurses every 2 hours. I carried him through the night just for him to latch well and drink well. We went to different pediatricians and told us to continue breastfeeding, and we even had breast milk donations to feed him. Our pediatrician also told s that my baby is tongue-tied, but it was just mild, and we do not have to worry about it. Then I ask myself, how can they say that everything is okay when he is not gaining weight.

This routine continued until he was four months old, and he is still not gaining enough weight for his age. With that, my husband and I decided to mix feed. Yes, it was the best decision for all of us.

The stress of trying so hard to breastfeed exclusively is what made me gave up on it. I cannot afford to compromise my baby’s development just because I want to breastfeed exclusively. As a mom, you have to have the courage to admit that you are not producing enough milk to sustain your baby. It was hard to admit, but I had to think of my baby and my wellbeing.

Just because your baby is mix fed or formula-fed means that you do not have a story to tell this breastfeeding awareness month; we all have a story to tell. Whether you have exclusively breastfed or not, bear in mind that there is no difference, we all have one goal: to raise a healthy baby.

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