“Mix Feeding Is Not Going to Make You Less of a Mother”
Many moms say it’s only hard at the beginning, and as soon as you and your baby get your rhythm, breastfeeding will be effortless eventually. Still, sometimes, it doesn’t always go according to plan, as Valerie “Bangs” Garcia recently found out.
The new mom, who gave birth to daughter Amelia in the U.K. three months ago, revealed she developed an infection after her C-section operation. While on antibiotics, her breast milk supply diminished. “It explains why Amelia got so frustrated and stopped latching during our last day there,” she wrote on Instagram
“I thought I couldn’t [breastfeed], but I did. It really hurts in the beginning, but it’s tolerable,”she shared. “The struggle is REAL, indeed. Breastfeeding doesn’t come so naturally to all mothers, different strokes for different folks, but with perseverance, it’s possible.”
Bangs was grateful to the midwives who helped and taught her how to latch as soon as she delivered her daughter. But she also felt pressured to breastfeed, even when Amelia refused to latch. The pressure, the new mom said, “magnified all the pain and exhaustion” she went through from labor to surgery.
“I was seriously burnt-out. It had caused me a great deal of distress. I [wept] my heart out thinking that I’m a bad mum for not being able to produce much milk for her,” she added.
Then, it dawned on Bangs that she might actually need to supplement. “Seeing her sob from hunger was agonizing, so I had to give in,” she admitted, even though she dreaded giving formula milk to Amelia.
The actress wasn’t ready to give up, though. She tried to manually express milk while watching breastfeeding videos, but she ended up having pumped only so little even after two hours of continuous pumping. “It had caused me the most horrible spasm of my life!” Bangs exclaimed.
It got so bad that she needed to be rushed to the hospital. “[The] pain [was] much worse than labor pain because it was constant for a few hours. I was so horrified. I thought it had something to do with my surgery and my infection,” she shared.
The incident left Bangs traumatized about nursing, she wrote in another post on Instagram. While Amelia went on formula milk exclusively, Bangs didn’t give up on breastfeeding. She researched about her situation and with the help of mom friends, she discovered that a small amount of breast milk was “100 times more nutritious than formula milk.” That made her decide to pump again, and fortunately, her milk supply has improved.
Since Amelia was on formula for about a month, the little girl was getting used to the bottle. “I found her getting lazy to latch on my breasts at times [because] she much prefers her bottle teats for lesser effort in getting milk,” Bangs explained. “It’s all right for as long as I pump my milk out and she still drinks them from her bottle, then I’m very happy,” she added.
“Mix feeding isn’t gonna make you less of a mother,” the new mom stressed, adding she was too hung up on the being the “perfect mother.” She added, “There’s no such thing. I just had to learn to accept reality and adjust to my situation.”
Bangs still chooses to continue to breastfeed her daughter Amelia.”It’s good to always strive and try our best for our little one, and that facet alone makes any mum a very good mother already,” she said.