Breastfeeding was the thing I was most nervous about while pregnant, I think. I had never done it before, obviously, and I wasn’t sure if I was “strong enough” to do it. It was my desire to breastfeed, but I wasn’t sure if I’d go through with it.
I had to have a c-section and so I didn’t get to breastfeed my daughter until she was a few hours old. I was exhausted and still a bit loopy from all the pain meds and everything when the hospital lactation consultant brought my daughter over to nurse for the first time. It all happened so fast I didn’t even really have time to talk myself out of it. All of a sudden, this precious, hungry baby was laid on my chest and somehow she knew just what to do. It was happening. It didn’t hurt like everyone said it would. Then I realized how amazing breastfeeding was. What a special gift from God.
Since I had a c-section, I was told it may take longer for my milk to come in, but that was normal and to not be concerned. I had done practically no research on breastfeeding prior to having my daughter. I thought, “How hard can it be? It’s natural, so obviously it will be the easiest part of motherhood.” Boy, was I wrong. I had no idea how any of it worked. I didn’t even know at the time that newborns will cluster feed or nurse more often to trigger your body to make milk. I thought it would just magically be there whenever the baby was hungry. I didn’t know there was a whole process that God created for it all to happen just perfectly.
This is an incredibly long story that I won’t get into now just for the sake of time. However, I really struggled with breastfeeding. She would nurse for two hours at a time. TWO HOURS. And when your baby nurses just about every two hours… well, I was literally nursing all day long. I was lucky if I had enough time to shower in between feedings in the morning. It was completely draining me. I binge watched full series (9 seasons) of TV shows on Netflix in like 1-2 weeks. I tried pumping and was lucky to get an ounce (total from both sides) after 45 minutes of pumping if I found the time to do so. We had a very minor lip tie released when my daughter was about 3 months old. While it did improve her already decent latch, it didn’t help any of the other issues like long feedings. I had to supplement with formula, more and more. I felt like a total failure. I couldn’t even feed my baby. (This is a real struggle that a lot of mothers deal with. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, you’re not alone and you’re not a failure. Don’t believe that lie from the enemy. It’s a lie straight from the pit of hell. You are NOT a failure if you can’t, or even struggle, with breastfeeding).
One day, I was sitting on the couch nursing my daughter in tears because I knew she was still hungry, and I was exhausted. I went to the kitchen to make her a bottle of formula feeling so discouraged. I started praying. Then I heard God say, “Look in my Word.” After feeding my starving baby, I opened up my Bible and didn’t really know where to go or what to look for. So, I went to the very back of the book. The index. I started looking up words like “breastfeeding,” “nurse,” “feed,” “breast,” “infant,” anything that I could think of that would relate to breastfeeding. I found a couple verses and wrote them out on index cards. I started speaking them over my body, and over Olivia.
My favorite was Isaiah 66:11, “That you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance.” Every time we sat down to nurse, I would tell Olivia, “Olivia, you will nurse and be satisfied. Momma has an abundance of milk for you!”
I went from nearly having to stop breastfeeding to having an oversupply of milk which was confirmed by a lactation consultant. WOW! I truly had a glorious abundance of milk, or the NIV says, “overflowing abundance.”
I still had my share of struggles, but she went from being almost entirely formula feed, to exclusively breastfed. Satan wanted to steal this from me, but I wasn’t going to let him win. I was going to breastfeed my daughter, and I refused to give up. The exclusively breastfeeding came to an end, unfortunately, but I have been successfully breastfeeding my daughter for 6 months now without any issues. I’ve been breastfeeding her for a year total with half of that time without struggles. She’s now doing half breast milk and half formula, but it was the best fit for us. I’m at peace with it. Even though exclusively breastfeeding was my goal, I was okay with doing half formula, half breast milk. I had gotten used to the convenience of not bottle feeding, and my husband could also be apart of it. It just worked for us. If I had been able to pump well, I would have done that. But I can’t pump more than 5oz at any given time.
Do what is right for you and your family. Don’t feel guilty if that means formula. The most important thing is that you and your baby are healthy and getting what you need. But also know that if your desire is to breastfeed then there are promises for that. Do whatever you need to do while waiting for the promise to manifest, though. Do not let your baby starve. Reach out to a lactation consultant or a pediatrician for help and guidance in the meantime. I made sure my baby was healthy, gaining weight, and getting the proper nutrients while waiting for the promise to manifest. I encourage you to do the same. It does not mean you’re not walking in faith. It means you’re using wisdom. This post is simply my own personal testimony and experience. I consulted with medical professionals to make sure my daughter was healthy. I’m not a doctor, or professional. This is ONLY my experience that I’m sharing to encourage you.
Here are some more verses to stand on:
“But thou [art] he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope [when I was] upon my mother’s breasts.” Psalm 22:9
“By the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.” Genesis 49:25