Southern Charm's Cameran Eubanks was open about the challenges that come with breastfeeding a newborn, and took to Instagram to share that she has decided to stop breastfeeding her two-month-old baby daughter, Palmer Corrine Wimberly, and start feeding her with formula instead.
"Today marks the day I am DONE with breastfeeding. Gave it a good almost 3 months and I am retiring the boobs. Writing this in hopes it will make other mothers feel less alone," Cameran shared. "You see, I'm not quitting because my milk supply dried up or because I'm sick...I'm quitting because I'm just plain OVER IT. By CHOICE. I know I’m opening up the flood gates with this one.
Open the floodgates it does. Personal Space asked moms to give their take on breastfeeding — whether they did it, loved it, hated it, never tried it — and the feedback went from “not interested” to "I did it for nearly two years."
The following moms weighed in on their experience with breastfeeding; they range in age from 30 to 43 and are all based in the U.S.
Melodie said: “Breastfeeding made me feel like a factory worker that was under pressure to produce a certain amount of, er, ‘merchandise.’ It stressed me out to the max and I became obsessed with charting how much I was producing. My husband would accidentally spill some and I'd go nuts. It was just so much pressure. I did it for 6 months but that was pretty much only because of other women being sanctimonious. I'm so happy there's starting to be more discussion these days about how it might not be the best path for everyone.”
Julie said: “I’m in a Facebook group where Bay Ridge moms complain about everything, especially breast feeding. I cried everyday for the first three weeks of baby boy’s life. It was a nightmare but after seeing his horrible reaction from a tiny bit of formula in the hospital I didn’t want him to ever have it again. Turned out he had a milk allergy! I ended up breastfeeding him for 18 months. EIGHTEEN! He self weaned when I got pregnant again. I definitely plan on breastfeeding this next kiddo too. He wouldn’t latch for the first three weeks so I would pump and my husband would give him the breast milk with a syringe. It was nuts but eventually the little guy learned to latch and went on and on for 18 months. I didn’t even know why he stopped nursing but I guess once I got pregnant again I wasn’t producing milk. It’s a can of worms on breastfeeding! These women go to your home called lactation consultants and teach you to breast feed. I was visiting my friend and her mother in law was retired from La Leche League and sat at my side for five hours coaching me. Changed the course for feeding. I would’ve given up otherwise.”
Rachel said: “Parenting in L.A. is like 1000 percent different than parenting in New York in so many ways. Where you live, who you’re surrounded by, what surrounds you, really dictates so much about your experiences. As far as breastfeeding — man, it’s a wild journey that can be so divisive among women. I wanted to and was lucky enough to make a lot of milk and not work at all until my baby was over five months. But going back even part time affected my supply and her interest. And over the following few months she slowly weaned herself. By 10 months she only nursed in the morning and barely got anything — and the week before she was one she wouldn’t nurse again, would actually cry if I tried! No one prepared me for this and it sucked. But was so nice to have my body back after almost two years.”
Amy said: “Can tell you I never thought much about breastfeeding but didn’t judge those who didn’t do it and didn’t judge those that did…
Picture this…Dec 29, 2015, I go in for a routine check up and covering doctor tells me I’ll likely be induced the following week when my doc gets back from vacation and I’ll be about 40 weeks and a couple of days. After seeing her I go for an ultrasound and the tech calls in a fellow and the next thing I know I am being told that I need to go to labor and delivery to start being induced I needed a C- section. At 3:36 AM my daughter was born.
About an hour or two later, they put her on my boob and it was the most foreign experience ever. I didn’t know her yet, I hadn’t sleep in almost 24 hrs and I was in such a daze from the spinal block. I had a 4-5 day stay at the hospital and I can tell you - nurses all tell you different things when it comes to breastfeeding. Luckily I have a friend who is a lactation consultant and she came to visit and helped me understand how you know when the newborn is fully latched and when the newborn is completely relaxed. Having the right amount of milk and pumping was a whole other experience. I get home - I have my friend visit a few times - she gives me helpful pointers for milk production (eat lots of oatmeal). The schedule she put me on was feed and two hours later pump and one hour after that feed. It sounds easy but it takes about an hour to feed and I didn’t realize how it drained all my energy and then to feel I need to pump immediately and then feed again was very stressful for a new mom.
“A month after giving birth - I started having signs of postpartum depression and the whole month of February 2016 was an internal battle of ‘I’m a horrible mother if I stop’ and ‘I feel so much better when I’m not depleted of energy.’ I had extremely sore nipples, had minimal sleep and was recovering from the C-section. I only cared about being a horrible mother if I stopped or supplemented with formula. I felt people would look at me and say ‘you’re not really a mom.’ I drove my husband crazy in hysterics and ask him at least 2-3 times daily if he thought less of me if I stopped.
I adored my precious baby but felt like my body wasn’t mine. I was supposed to consume 500 extra calories a day but was so depressed I could hardly eat.
“I’m proud to say that I now feel confident telling my story and want it shared since there were moments of fun and confusion - my baby was latched so tight my husband and I couldn’t figure out how to unlatch and moments of will I ever move past this phase of hating myself as a mother. However you feel now about breastfeeding- please know that whatever decision you make - and you are the only one who will know - will be the right decision for your child. It’s two years since my postpartum depression and my breastfeeding issues and I can say I’m clearly onto temper tantrums and looking into nursery schools.”
Johanna says: “I despised breast feeding in the beginning. It was the hardest part of having a newborn. He latched perfectly fine but it felt like my nipples were being cut by glass every time he ate for about two months. I kept going and it got easier and I did a mix of bottle and boob and formula and milk and lasted breastfeeding until six months when he really decided he didn't want it any more. I feel like there are a lot of things no one tells you about breastfeeding....like how much it fucking hurts for a lot of people in the beginning! No one also told me I would have a huge hormone crash when I was finally done that would send me into a terrible week long panic attack until my period came back.”
Sandy said: “I have a very interesting take...Coming from a nutrition background and working in Child Nutrition for the last 17 years, breastfeeding was the only way for me. I went into the hospital with breastfeeding as my only option for my newborn. Well, what a lesson learned. My son came early and struggled with low blood sugar; he spent just first five days of life in the NICU. This over exhausted, confused, scared and misinformed mom struggled -too head strong and not for my own good. Without a consistent supply baby was suffering, his sugar would peak and valley to dangerous levels. I had to cave and supplement for his benefit. Boy did I cry. Defeated and hormonal - not a good combo.
“When all was good and we were home I did it all to catch up with production. Unfortunately the odds were not in my favor...after 1.5 days home my mom suffered from a major stroke and unfortunately never made it home or had a chance to hold my son - she passed one month and two days after he was born and just seven days before my first Mother’s Day. My supply never fully developed. So I had to nurse and supplement for as long as I could. I went back to work after 12 weeks and pumped like crazy. I made it to six months and then my supply dwindled altogether.
“What did I learn, nursing is hard. However, the sleepless night, physical pain (boobs kill), and struggles are all worth it. Having my son latch and look for my breast was the best feeling in the world. But, formula-feeding is not the end of the world. It’s a choice and sometimes an only option and that should be OKAY. I should not feel ashamed when I buy formula, I shouldn’t judge the woman that opens the plastic bottle. In the end we are all feeding our babies, hoping we are doing our best, questioning if we are doing our best and all our babies really want is to be loved.”
Christa says: “I am a breastfeeding failure. I have a lot of opinions and a few good stories (including the time my mother-in-law grabbed my bare breast and shoved it into my six day old baby's mouth whilst muttering things about my areolas ...she's a doctor so I guess that makes that sort of less weird? No. it doesn’t…But my strongest issue with the whole thing, is this group of ‘new-wave’ breastfeeding industry people and lactation consultants who are basically breast-shaming an entire generation of mothers – setting them up to fail, hate themselves, and think they are ruining their baby's life before they are even home from the hospital. I've seen so many of my friends be reduced to such dark places because after all of the trials and tribulations (most on their third rounds of IVF or multiple miscarriages) to get this baby to the world and then they are told that they can't feed it and thus they are a bad parent. FAILING as a mother after 48 hours of being one. That brief window of elation that you've created a human is just crushed. They starve their babies and have no enjoyable moments in those first amazing days of life because the lactation consultant has put the fear of god – and man-made nipples – into them. It's HORRIBLE. [I have] two relatively healthy kids that were fed formula and somehow managed to make it to 5.5 and 3.5 years old!”
Nicole said: “I am a mom of four my oldest is nine my youngest is 20 months I feel like I have been pregnant or nursing for that whole nine years
Currently still nursing my 20 month old as I am ready to end she isn't quite ready yet but I am working on weening her and maybe being part of your piece is the perfect end to this breastfeeding journey…”
Ariel said: “I am four plus months into breastfeeding and I love it now but had a very rocky start. I didn’t know what I was doing, he had a bad latch that destroyed my skin and the only thing that helped was the nipple shield. A lot of lactation consultants and breastfeeding advocates are against using them for a variety of reasons but it truly saved me and it’s why I was able to continue to breastfeed in those early days. Now I am back at work as an ICU nurse and on my work days I pump six times, including four times in a public locker room (it’s my only option if I want to continue) and once while driving to work.”
Heather said: (She’s a Brooklyn mommy blogger who has written extensively about the topic) “I breastfed my son for two years and my twin girls for 1.5 years, so can offer the extended breastfeeding and tandem nursing perspective…’Breast is best’ and all that. Well, there is a lot of pressure put on women to do this, and I want to say it's not for every woman - either because she can't or it just doesn't work well for her or her baby, and there is nothing wrong with that. FED IS BEST!!!”
There are entire forums dedicated to moms who actually think breastfeeding is "gross" or "disgusting," so they don't feel so alone. One mom on Babycenter asks: "I'm a FTM (first time mom) who has been planning to breastfeed all along, but suddenly I'm disgusted by my growing breasts (I'm an A cup) and the thought of breastfeeding makes me feel ill. I know all of the benefits for me and the baby, and like I said, I've planned to do it all along. I'm 17wks. What's wrong with me? Is it possible that hormones are making me feel so grossed out and disgusted? Will this pass, or will I be dreading this the entire pregnancy? Any other mothers ever experience this?"
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