A pregnant mom writes in looking for advice on how to handle being pressured to breastfeed and her worries about her mental health and medication while breastfeeding.
A community member asks:
“I really have questions/need to vent. I am about to give birth. I have been fighting with myself back and forth about breastfeeding or formula feeding. My entire family is pressuring me into breastfeeding, and while I want too, I am not sure I can mentally handle that right now. I suffer from mental illness and have been medicated most of my life.
I stopped taking medications while I was pregnant and want to start them right after I give birth, but if I do, I know I can not breastfeed. These are the only meds that have ever helped me, and I know I need them to cope. Pregnancy has been super hard without them, but I wanted to ensure my baby was healthy, so I just dealt with it. But I don’t know if I can cope with the emotions of being a new mom and not being on my meds. My family will be so mad if I formula feed, but I need to think of myself. What would you do?“
Community Advice For The Mom Being Pressured By Her Family To Breastfeed
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community really backed this mom and gave her some great advice. You can read some of those comments below.
“The first 3 days of your breast milk its like LIQUID GOLD (COLOSTRUM) Hond on tight for those 3 days and feed your baby with your milk because it has things that any formula can give to him, and then switch to formula.“
“Just do what you want. I myself could not breastfeed though I wanted to. I have a medical condition that prevented me from doing so. I did, however, have a breast milk donor for the first 12 weeks. After that it was formula. There a hundred different ways to feed Yor baby. Fed is best. Do what works for you!“
“Maybe breastfeed immediately after giving birth so the baby gets the colostrum. Your mental health is as important as breastfeeding (even more so,) lots of people don’t breastfeed. However, studies show that breastfeeding helps with depression. It’s your body and your baby so it is your decision. I wasn’t producing milk with my firstborn so guess what j switched to formula. My second I breastfed for nine months, only supplementing with formula while out in public because I have gigantic breast so it just wasn’t simple. Good luck to you.“
“I’d formula feed. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of your babe without getting burnt out and emotionally exhausted. Take care of yourself too. Don’t worry what other people, they raised theirs how they wanted and the need to respect your decisions as that babe’s mamma. You got this! Good luck! Congratulations!“
“I understand what you’re going through. The benefits of breastfeeding and building your baby’s immune system are wonderful. However, if you’re mental health suffers than I think you have your answer. This is something you should discuss with your doctor. Good luck with your new little one. Ask your family to support you in helping to make sure you’re able to take care of yourself.“
“Double-check the meds with a breastfeeding specialist. Some meds are breastfeeding compatible but not pregnancy. In the end, your mental health is more important. As a compromise maybe breastfeed a few times to get the immune boost of colostrum before you start meds.“
I saw quite a few comments that I really appreciated as a lactation counselor. I have always said that no matter how little or how long you breastfeed, it still counts. If all you can do is breastfeed at the hospital or the first week after your baby is born, that counts. Every Ounce Counts!
It is my job, though, to let you know that there are many medications that are now safe for breastfeeding. If you can talk to the hospital IBCLC or your doctor, they can help you find the medications that might work for you. The most important things are your health and your baby’s health. You can’t give your baby your best if you’re not okay. You must do what is best for you not what is best for someone else.
Do you have any advice for this mom? Leave a comment to help another mom out!
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Dawn Onye is a Certified Lactation Counselor. With this certification comes education and her own experience helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. With her CLC, she is required to keep herself up to date on the research studies, conferences, and training related to breastfeeding. She chose this field not just because she is an advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding, but because she sincerely loves working with mothers and babies. Her mission is not to push breastfeeding on all mothers and babies, but to help all mothers reach the goals they have and to provide the expertise for them to do so. The most important thing in life is to do what is best for your family without judgment from others.
Dawn is also a wife and a mother. She has four children ranging from 12 to 19 years old. She can help many families with tips and tricks she has learned along the way. She loves to read and write. Her favorite seasons are spring and fall, although she does enjoy summers while spending time with her family. There has been no greater accomplishment in life for her than being a mother.
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