Breastfeeding: How I Went From Formula to EBF

IMHO, breastfeeding is more challenging than pregnancy and labor combined. I know a lot of mamas share this same experience. Every culture and nation has its own breastfeeding culture. African countries, at present, seem to hold the torch for highest rates of breastfeeding while western nations, like France, seem to be less “pro-breast”. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends babies be breastfed for up to two years. During the first 2 months of breastfeeding, the thought of even doing it for six months was daunting, if not terrifying.

After the first 4-5 days of colostrum, my son was fed formula for two weeks. I had developed Cellulitis from delivery complications as well as Mastitis and was placed on narcotics and antibiotics. Both of these medications, although cleared as “safe” by my PCP, were not acceptable as being transferred through my breastmilk to my son. I had made the difficult decision to risk losing my milk supply so that he could remain medication free. There were a lot of tears and mom guilt involved.

To prevent losing my milk supply, I manually expressed milk every 3-4 hours for two weeks. 

After I stopped taking medications, I began to breastfeed my son once in the morning. During the next 1-2 weeks, I slowly added feeding sessions as my milk supply increased. I understand that many women in the same situation would not have been able to maintain and build back their milk supply. I feel very fortunate. That’s not to say that I didn’t experience many challenges along the way: cracked, bleeding, and sore nipples, nipple bleps, anxiety about my son’s weight gain, etc.

My son still feeds every 1.5-2 hours for up to 50 minutes at a time. It’s completely exhausting and some days I shudder at the thought of breastfeeding for the months, or weeks, ahead. My solution for this anxiety? One simple mantra: one feeding session at a time.

Despite all the challenges, I deeply enjoying breastfeeding my son. It is a bonding experience unlike any other. It amazes me that I can nourish my baby and provide him with antibodies, vitamins, and minerals that help him thrive. I sympathize with women who are not able to breastfeed their babies. I also understand why women choose not to. It’s hard and it’s not for everyone. I personally am just grateful that I get to nourish my baby in the way that I choose.

TLDR; Breastfeeding isn’t easy. I wasn’t able to breastfeed for the first weeks. Luckily, I was able to rebuild my milk supply slowly. I am blessed.

Why Postpartum is a B!tch

They warned me about pregnancy. The swollen ankles. The incessant midnight cravings. The inability to sleep and bend over to tie my shoes.

They warned me about giving birth. The “ring of fire”. The contractions. The tearing.

But no one warned me about new motherhood’s ugly stepchild; postpartum. No, I don’t have postpartum depression and I have so much empathy for the new mamas who have to deal with that on top of everything else.

What’s everything else?

  • Baby blues.
  • No sleep AT ALL.
  • Wearing adult diapers.
  • Going #2 without your ass ripping apart.
  • Cracked and bleeding nipples.
  • Mastitis.
  • Mom guilt (lots of it!).
  • Worrying about keeping your baby alive.
  • Night sweats.
  • Hair loss.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Chubby new mom pooch.

And that’s just to name a few.

Two weeks after I gave birth, I knew something wasn’t right “down there”. The sutures were poking through the skin. It was discolored. It burned every time I peed. I ended up having to hop in the shower or bath every time I wanted to go pee to alleviate the sting for 2 weeks — you should’ve seen that month’s water bill.

I visited the emergency room twice and the clinic 5 times all within the span of 2 weeks. It took five physicians (two OB’s and three family medicine physicians) to discover that I was allergic to the vicryl sutures used after birth. My body was rejecting them.

At 9 weeks postpartum, I was rolled into the OR to remove the sutures and a considerable amount of tissue. When I was supposed to be gearing up to resume intimacy with my SO again, I was instead starting my recovery from scratch all over again.

My postpartum recovery has challenged me more than pregnancy and labor combined. I no longer feel like my body is my own. I no longer feel that my body is acting right. With pregnancy, you at least know that’s it going to end at some point. During postpartum, all your physical (and emotional) struggles seem like they’ll last forever. All while you’re trying to learn how to care for another beautiful and helpless human being.

TLDR; Pregnant women are doted on. New moms receive flowers and wine at the hospital after their babies are born. But those moms in postpartum are forgotten while they are enduring the most challenging phase of all. If you know a new mama; hit her up and remind her that she’s amazing.

Why I Didn’t Share My Pregnancy on Social Media

On a balmy summer night last August, Dan Kim and I found out that we were going to be parents. Those two little pink lines didn’t take more than a second to appear. It was real and this was happening.

I simultaneously and instantaneously felt a sense of excitement and terror. This would continue for the rest of pregnancy (and beyond!). It is true that my being 24-years-old made the odds of miscarriage or genetic abnormality very low. But pregnancy doesn’t exactly encourage rational train of thought. I was endlessly cognizant of my own fragility, both physically and emotionally, for those 40 weeks and 2 days.

Microwaves. Caffeine. X-ray machines. Traveling by airplane. Pants that were too tight. Stress. Sleeping on my back. Secondhand smoke. Sashimi. Toxic people. These were all my worst enemies but none more so than social media.

If you didn’t post it, did it really happen?” seems to be the theme of my generation. Bought a car? Post it. Traveling to a new place? Post it. Getting engaged? Married? Find out the gender of your baby? At the gym? POST IT! Unlike most, my first instinct upon finding out I was pregnant, was to keep this information private. The custom of telling people at 12 weeks came and went with little to no announcement. I would be towards the end of my second trimester before even some of my closest friends would be told.

I didn’t want to be a piece of gossip swirling around my high school alumni. I didn’t want those who I barely fraternized with to know the intimate details of my life. I was a fragile pregnant woman. I wanted zero negativity, nosiness, and unsolicited advice regarding myself and my baby. So I opted out of the clever graphic t-shirts that say “bun in the oven”. The gender reveal posts. The monthly photo updates of my growing bare belly. The birth announcement with my baby’s full name, weight, and height.

Conversations often went like this:


Friend: “Is your pregnancy a secret?”

Me: No.

Friend: “Then why aren’t you posting it?”

Me: Because I only want close friends and family to know.

Friend: “So it is a secret then.”

Me: *sigh*……………………..


These conversations only validated my desire to keep this special time in my life close to my heart. I’m a strong opponent of oversharing. Social media isn’t entitled to my life. My details. My intimate moments. Out of the 1,000+ measly followers on my Instagram, only a handful of them would truly care about my pregnancy. For the rest of them, I would simply be a post that they scrolled past at 11 p.m. while in bed dreading work the next day. The most beautiful time in my life deserved more than that.

This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy people’s pregnancy announcements, maternity photo shoots (I am a photographer after all), and pictures of their little peanuts fresh out the womb. I find a lot of joy viewing these beautiful moments of people’s lives. I get it. But for me, the right answer was privacy. This privacy allowed me to have a stress-free, “good vibes only”, and intimate experience. One that strengthened me to bring my beautiful son into this world with psychological and spiritual ease.

TLDR; Sharing my pregnancy on social media wasn’t for me personally. Keeping it intimate allowed me to remain peaceful, at ease, and enjoy it more with those who truly cared.