Nourished Baby, Nourished Mama

Monday, April 10, 2023

Primary Blog/Nourished Baby, Nourished Mama

One of the first decisions we often make for our babies is how we will feed them. And often times, that decision is a complex one. Breast feeding is not always easy. It takes an incredible amount of energy and perseverance at times. It can be painful as we learn how to feed and our babies learn how to eat. It can be physically and emotionally draining as we sit in bed at 2 a.m. while our partner is fast asleep, silently wishing that they could lactate also. Bottle feeding can provide a much-needed break at times. It can make it easier to feed in public in the early days when we haven’t mastered the latch without our system of boppies and pillows, or our perfect armchair. No matter how we choose to feed our babies, whether it be breast or bottle (of, as it is for many of us, both), we provide them nourishment. We bond with them and through feeding our babies, we experience connection, joy, and unconditional love. No matter how we feed our babies, they still need us just as much. And our newborn-self, as a mother, needs them.

I can remember being a new mom, and struggling with the challenges of breastfeeding. Our daughter was three days old, and I was in pain and feeding around the clock, with what felt like little success. She was not gaining weight. She was jaundiced. I went to see a lactation consultant who identified a potential tongue and lip tie and advised me to pump exclusively until we could follow up with a pediatric dentist. So, after a long day of appointments, a stop at the store for pump parts, and a drive home, I was left with my pump (which I didn’t know how to use) and a very hungry and upset baby. I can remember the anxiety I felt as I placed our daughter in her swing, and sat next to her on the floor while I pumped for 20 minutes...and 20 minutes is a long, painful time to hear your baby cry.

The love we have for our children may look different for each of us, but it is also what brings us together.

After 20 minutes, I searched frantically for a bottle to put the milk in. My husband had run to the store to get more bottles at the time. I found these samplers we had received. They were anti-colic bottles, and they had a bottom that detached. I grabbed one, my hands shaking, I poured the pumped milk in the bottle. As I held my sweet baby and tilted the bottle to her awaiting and eager little mouth, the bottom fell off (it wasn’t screwed on all the way), and almost all of the milk spilled out onto her onesie. I stood in our bedroom sobbing, with my baby. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever had. I even said out loud, just her and I in the house, “I just want to feed my baby.”

Whoever came up with the saying “don’t cry over spilled milk” has never pumped milk before. We were able to get her tongue and lip tie corrected, and ended up breastfeeding for longer than I had anticipated. It took us a while to get the hang of it. And there were moments I felt like a failure, but I needed to know I could nourish my baby.

When we feed our babies we nourish them. Not just with food, breast milk, or formula, but with love. And we continue to feed our babies long after they’re weaned. We protect them when they need it, and also foster their growth and independence. Our arms are their safe haven. Our strength teaches them how to overcome their own fears. Our creativity nurtures their spirit, and our sacrifices offer them new opportunities. So remember that how you feed your baby does not define who you are as a mother. The love we have for our children may look different for each of us, but it is also what brings us together.

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Hi, I Am Donielle

CEO Of Breast to Table

I am a registered dietitian and international board certified lactation consultant. I am also a mom of two. I had a very difficult breastfeeding journey with my oldest and after much support and education, I realized my desire to help others in their journeys. My expertise is in helping women optimize their nutrition during pregnancy, postpartum and throughout their breastfeeding journey. I also help families introduce solids to their little ones through a baby-led approach. I love working with families from preparing the body for breastfeeding, to eating solid foods and weaning - providing support from breast to table.