How is your week going so far? My dragons and I are doing well. (Any GOT fans out there?) Monday was fantastic, and though today started off on the wrong foot, it got better as the day progressed. (Thanks for the good naps boys!)
There are two mommy questions I’ve been asked a few times by IRL friends, and I thought it might be insightful to address them here. No answers are right or wrong; it’s just each mommy’s individual personal best option!
C-Section vs VBAC (vag birth after cesarean)
Not everyone has the opportunity to do both, so I’m happy to share my thoughts. I preferred the vaginal delivery, though both have their pros and cons.
The c-section was there when I needed it; I’m so glad that option is available to save the lives of mommies and babies in need. That’s an obvious pro. In addition, there are no labor pains (unless you’re one of those lucky ladies who labors for hours before finally being wheeled into the operating room.) Though the doctor slices through 7 layers of tissue, there shouldn’t be any extra tearing going on.
However… there is a much longer recovery time, which would have been particularly challenging with a toddler at home too. Some folks report more trouble with breastfeeding. There’s a scar. (Frankly, my scar doesn’t bother me.) There’s still a lot of bleeding. I didn’t feel like I got to participate.
Labor hurt. Like… a lot. So I’m not trying to say the alternative is peachy, but it was best for me. I wanted to experience what it was like, and I really wanted a shorter recovery time.
Not all woman who have a c-section first get the option for a VBAC (vag birth after cesarean); it depends on why you had the first c-section, your health, your age, time between pregnancies, etc. My dr wasn’t crazy about the idea for me, but she agreed that it wasn’t tooooo risky. (VBACs do carry additional risks that regular vag births don’t have, particularly risk of uterine rupture.)
The important part here is that your amazing body gave you a beautiful baby no matter the path taken.
Formula vs Breastfeeding
I don’t get asked this one as often, but it has come up a couple times. I prefer breastfeeding.
It’s hard – much harder than I thought it would be before having kids. But I’m glad it worked out this time. (It didn’t go so well for Ethan and I.)
Sure sure, pediatricians say it’s best for baby and all that good stuff. There’s an obvious pro. However, additional pros include fewer bottles to clean, extra calorie burn, no expense of formula, no chance of forgetting to bring food if you leave the house, extra soothing tool for mom. (The last one is a biggie!)
I burn so many calories feeding Adam that I think we spend as much or more on extra food for me than we would on formula, but I’m just happy to keep my ice cream habit going a while longer. As for the soothing tool, it really helps put Adam down for a nap or quiet him in public, etc. Just give him some boob! Ha. I try not to abuse this since I don’t want him to need to nurse to be happy or to take naps, but it has really come in handy. Having that tool would have been really helpful with baby Ethan.
Some say the extra bond with baby is a bonus, but I felt like I bonded whenever I bottle-fed Ethan. If you’re bottle feeding, don’t feel like your baby is missing out on bonding with you. Baby knows who mama is, and he/she loooooves any time spent in your arms!!!
Of course, this is not to say breastfeeding is easy. Adam’s early feedings took a little over an hour for the first month or so. (He’s now down to 10 minutes!) He also used to cluster feed regularly, which means mama can’t get up to do anything for a looooong time.
And it hurts!! Despite having a great latch, it was still incredibly painful for about 3 weeks or so at every.single.feeding. If you’re a new mom dealing with the stabbing feeling, it does get better!
Lastly, he won’t take a bottle, so I’ve been with him for every single feeding. We’re virtually inseparable.
**Unique cons with Ethan can be found here.
Even with the cons, I prefer BF. It just works for me now and seems easier. I am super glad formula exists though, especially because Ethan needed it. BF vs formula is a feeding decision, not a parenting decision. There are great parents with different answers.
Wow… that was long… I’m done. 🙂