I recently read an article on breast feeding and I found myself reliving those first few months of motherhood and remembering my breast feeding experience.
Breast feeding is one of those never ending debates, no matter how you look at it, you’ll have an opinion about it, every person does. Some people believe that breast feeding is vital, and research proves how beneficial it can be for your newborn baby, some mothers choose to feed their children in public, others choose to keep it for whilst they are at home. Some mothers have even been penalised for breast feeding in public places like cafés, restaurants, shopping centres, parks, the list goes on.
I personally feel that it’s a perfectly natural part of motherhood and parenting, if a mother is comfortable feeding her baby in public then who’s business is it too interfere? Essentially, the most important thing to remember is that a mother bottle feeding her baby in public isn’t ever frowned upon. People don’t even so much as bat an eyelid at those mothers and yet the women who are able too or choose to breastfed get judged immediately.
“disgusting“, “gross“, “offensive“, I’ve even personally heard a breast feeding mother being called a “slut” whilst I sat in a coffee shop, years before I was a mother. The fact of the matter is this:
Women who breastfeed their children are doing nothing more than what their bodies are designed to do. They have spent hours upon hours, day after day, sleepless night after sleepless night making sure their child is able to be fed from the boob. Breast feeding does not come easy, it is probably one of the hardest things a new mother has to do.
The baby isn’t born and just starts sucking, baby needs time to get used to the boobies. A baby’s mummy also needs adjustment time, a mother doesn’t just give birth and know exactly what to do, how to hold, handle and feed a baby at the same time. She has to spend time learning how to breastfeed and I’ll tell you, it’s more difficult than any other job.
So my point above is this, breast feeding is beautiful, natural and a damn fine thing for any woman to do. If you find yourself uncomfortable around a breast feeding mother then please remember what you have read here. It’s like the age old spider saying ‘they’re probably more scared of you than you are of them.’
Now I’ve cleared up the fact that I think breast feeding is great. My original reaction to the article was negative. With the writer explaining how she used to feel awkward around breastfeeding mothers but now that she herself is one she understands more than she did then, which I totally respect. She then went on to say how she would like to educate mothers who don’t breast feed about the benefits of breastfeeding and how much better it is for their babies. Now, don’t misunderstand my motive for this blog post, it is not to slam the author of the article nor is it to bring down the article in any way, I just simply felt strongly about what was written and felt the need to express an opinion about it.
“breast is best“
You may have heard this line before, it’s been proven that breast milk has many beneficial nutrients that formula milk simply cannot provide for a baby but I personally wouldn’t say that breastfeeding is essential.
I myself tried breast feeding my daughter and, believe me or not, she would not have a bar of it! She hated the breast, she would cry with hunger and I’d try with the boob until she would be red in the face with anger and frustration and this went on for three weeks before I used bottles all the time and stopped offering her the boob completely.
It made me feel like a terrible mum because she wouldn’t feed off me, the whole rigmarole of it was distressing and heartbreaking. Each. And. Every. Time.
I gave up in the end, I literally just gave up.
no matter how bad I beat myself up for not breast feeding, there was always someone else throwing in a few punches too.
“Breast is best,”
“There was no such thing as formula in my day. You breastfed or your baby didn’t eat.”
I had it all. And the one thing I noticed throughout all of that was, it actually didn’t matter. My ‘artificially fed’ baby is one of the healthiest babies I know. She is also one of the most intelligent children, of her age, I have ever met. (Of course I’m biased because she’s mine but it’s true)
The girl has been ill a total of four times in her two year life.
I can hold a conversation with my two year old child, I can ask her questions and get clear answers. She says please and thank you,
She can recognise her own name when it is written in front of her, she even says bless-you when someone around her sneezes.
She will try to do anything, She’s not afraid of anything. She knows right from wrong, hot from cold, yes from no as well as many other things. She has one of the best appetites I’ve seen in a baby, she eats fruit, vegetables, salads, meat, fish and lots of other foods like curry, soup, Sunday lunch and noodles. She said her first word at 7 months old (duck) her second word at 8 months (mum) and she was walking by the time she was 10 months old! I truly do have a forward child. Am I lucky? To that I answer no. I am, to put it simply, a pretty damn good mum, I spent hours and hours sitting and playing with willow, using words and exploring new things, I still do to this day and will continue to do so until she no longer needs me to.
When I look back at how others made me feel about not feeding my baby on the boob I can smile and say, “well, you know what? it actually didn’t matter,” I’ve managed to nurture and teach my daughter enough so that she is happy, healthy, intelligent and forever trying to do better. Does it truly matter that my daughter was bottle fed? No, because the only downside I can see from her being bottle fed instead of breastfed is the fact that I’m still sporting a wibbly-wobbly baby belly that I probably wouldn’t have if I breastfed.
If the only difference in my life is the fact that I am still over weight two years after my pregnancy then so be it, I’d bottle feed any other child I have in a heartbeat.
I beg mothers who breast feed their children in the same way I beg those who judge them for doing so, don’t judge another mother because she chose to bottle feed instead of breast feed, you have no idea why they don’t.
Mothers who breast feed their babies are no better at being mothers than those who bottle feed their children. Whichever method any mother chooses to use doesn’t make them any less of a parent.
how do you feel about breast feeding and bottle feeding?
leave me a comment!
Thanks for reading!