The current breastfeeding culture instills the belief that all women can exclusively breastfeed without any acknowledgment of our biological, physical, social, and psychological abilities to exclusively breastfeed.
Auli shared with us how her mindset shifts as a low milk supply mother. She has insufficient glandular tissue, which is thought to affect up to 1 in 20 mothers.
- Today I realized I have a very fast refill—I can refill my bottle with formula in less than a minute! I can provide my baby instantly with however much milk she needs. I celebrate living in the 21st century with high-quality science milk. “Fast refill” means the breasts typically fill up with milk soon after they’re drained, a characteristic of full milk production.
- I also realized I will never be able to exclusively breastfeed—but I can breastfeed inclusively. Thanks to combo feeding, I can include my husband (or anyone else) in fully taking care of the baby from early on. They will never have to feel like the lesser parent, while I can use feeding time to attend to my other favourite things. I celebrate the flexibility of combo feeding.
- And finally, I may have insufficient glandular tissue—but I have sufficient brain tissue to adapt to the situation. I also have sufficient muscle tissue to cuddle my baby, etc. There are many tissues whose insufficiency would have an even more dire effect on me and my family. I celebrate the abundance of functional tissue in my body.
So you see, I don’t have to be imprisoned by the names and labels given to those of us whose biology is different. The reality is that my baby is well fed and I get to enjoy that. My story is not to install toxic positivity or invalidate our [IGT moms’] struggles. I have also had a long journey with so many rough days. But today was not one of them. Today was a good day, and I want to be open to having many more!
Feel free to leave a comment if this made you feel a little lighter.
-Auli and her baby Piibe.
Combo-feeding stories and resources
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