We all know the big never ending breastfeeding debate continues and mums continue to feel judged by how they decide to feed their baby.
Now I breastfed Mop Top for about 3 months and am currently breastfeeding Bear, not because I have an over whelming desire to but I guess just because I felt I should. (By who I’m not sure)
I can’t even count the amount of times I have been asked ‘are you feeding baby yourself?’….. no I’m starving him!!! I know full well they mean am I breastfeeding but I just don’t understand why people ask that question. In fact I found myself asking a friend recently if she was breastfeeding her newborn and her response felt like she was justifying why she was bottle feeding. Why on earth should us mums feel the need to justify how we feed our baby. I had one lady mid way through an exercise class say ‘are you breast feeding, it’s so easy isn’t it’ well actually no it’s not!!
I can feel my self getting angry as I’m writing this. But I feel we have enough pressures put on us as new mums without the added stress of trying to fulfil societies desire for us to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding Mop Top was never easy, i am not one of those mums who took to breastfeeding like a duck to water (excuse that saying.) I felt awkward, could never get the right position, always seemed to wear the wrong top, used to finish feeding with huge wet patches on me. So when I got mastitis around 3 months that was the final straw and she went to formula.
I remember when Bear was born, it was about day 4 and breastfeeding was proving so hard. I sat in our bedroom and cried in pain as Bear screamed for more milk, with a feeling of guilt smothering me as Mr DC suggested we give him formula. I wanted him to have breast milk so was convinced I’d be able to pump exclusively. I sent Mr DC out at about 9o clock at night to buy a manual pump. I’d googled it, asked friends who’d done it and it was possible.
Oh wow what a faff!!! Every 2 hours up I’d go pump what I could and then feed him that way. It didn’t last long as for us it just wasn’t doable especially with a demanding 12 month old.
Now I am combination feeding Bear and have done since about six weeks. I heard the teat/nipple confusion argument from multiple health visitors but felt it was right for us. We opted for Avent bottles as were advertised as naturally shaped teats ideal for combination feeding. So we introduced one bottle at lunch time and one at bed time the rest he has from the breast. For us this works, I feel less pressure, Mr DC can do bed times, the lunch time bottle fits in with Mop Top. He is now 4 months and this way is working really well.
I appreciate the whole breast is best debate but surely the formula made today is as nutritious and nourishing as needed. If i compare Mop Top who had 3 months of breast milk with my friends baby who was bottle fed from birth, developmentally they are exactly the same, at the same stage and doing similar things.
It is 2016 and mums are still being judged on whether they breast or bottle feed their baby. It’s crazy. Mums should do what they feel is right and fits into their life style.
I really do not want to get into a breast feeding vs bottle feeding debate, but wanted to share our experience. If you are the mum who exclusively breast fed right up to age 1…. great, if you bottle feed your baby from birth …. great! As long as that baby is well fed, well loved does it really matter.
Please don’t judge us mums as we are all in this together and it is by no means a competition.
Have a great weekend