Is it automatically engrained in us as moms?
Should we force ourselves, even though we really don’t want to?
I am here to say that I see the pressure. The pressure is slight, disguised, but real. I’m not going to lie and say that you won’t feel pressure from your obstetrician, nurses, lactation consultants and other moms in your circle. But, I will say it’s all on how you handle it, if you choose not to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is a very personal decision, but has become a very popular debate. Everyone has a statistic or a strong stance, one way or another. The last time I checked, there wasn’t a law passed, requiring all moms to breastfeed. Unless the mom police show up at your door, you’ll be fine, I promise. Check your beliefs at the door and discover why it’s ok to not breastfeed and some factors that might help you in your decision to lose the guilt if you choose the bottle.
Liberation of the Breast
Experts say that breast is best. I will not debate that statement. But it doesn’t mean it’s the only healthy way to feed your newborn baby. Today’s baby formula is much better then when I was a baby. Organic baby formula contains all the best vitamins and minerals babies need to grow and develop. Confirmed with the nutritional value of the latest baby formula on the market, I was liberated. I was released of my duties, at least a tiny bit.
Now that I was liberated, I began to wonder why anyone cared what I did with my body or how my baby would be fed? As long as she wasn’t being hurt, abused or neglected, why would someone judge me when they don’t even know me? Then, the second wonderment came to mind. Why do I care? I didn’t care. I knew that what I was doing was right for me, our baby and my husband. I had no doubt in my mind that I was making the right choice for us and that’s all that mattered. Did I feel guilt? No, not in the slightest because I knew my decision was best for our family and baby.
As a mom, please stand your ground with what feels right at the time. Don’t hide the bottle for fear of what someone will think. Speak up to your mom friends who shun your decision. Let them in on your little secret (its way easier and your boobs won’t sag). Own your decision and never second guess your judgment. Your boobs and your husband will thank you.
Just Not My Thang
There are many factors that lead a mom to choose which route she will take when it comes to feeding her newborn. I knew very early on the reasons behind my decision and completely support any new mom, whichever way she leads.
When I became pregnant and decided not to breastfeed I knew that it was my choice. I knew right in the beginning that breastfeeding just wasn’t my thing and I never thought twice about it. I will be honest; I didn’t really do a lot of research. I just knew that my husband and I were bottle fed babies and we turned out ok. So, what’s the big deal?
I am a very organized and detail oriented person, which didn’t go well with the “go with the flow” mode of breastfeeding. I am selfish. I will be the first to throw that on the table. Honesty is the best policy right? Well, in this case, yes. Everyone in my house would have been miserable, including Madeleine. I just didn’t want to be tied down and the only source of milk. Sure, I could have pumped and then bottle fed, but it would have still tied me to that pump machine and saggy boobs, which just wasn’t my thing, as I said before.
Maybe if my Mom would have breastfed me, things or circumstances would have been different, but those were not the cards I was dealt. I will say it again, my husband and I turned out just find and we were bottle fed. So, my mom could haven’t have messed me up that bad, right?
Excited to Bond – Both Mommy and Daddy
When babies are born, the first thing all parents want to do with their baby is bond. We want to feel connected to that tiny little baby and we want them to feel loved. Well, breastfeeding isn’t the only way to accomplish that. I had a glider….who can’t bond in that thing!
Bonding didn’t just involve me, but it involved my husband too. My choice revolved around the fact that I wanted my husband to bond with our baby, not just my breast. I felt that wouldn’t happen if I was breastfeeding. I always heard that breastfed babies are always attached to their moms and the dad’s felt left out. Well, with the combination of knowing it wasn’t for me and wanting my husband to bond, the decision was made. It was right for us and that’s all that mattered.
It’s always funny how someone else wants to tell you how to live. Are they going to be there in your home to lend their breast? I don’t think so. Take control of your decisions and own it. It’s ok. Really.
The Stigma is Real
It was told to me by some friends who have children, about the pressure to breastfeed. I didn’t even know the stigma or pressure even existed. I was the baby of the family and didn’t really grow up around kids, so breastfeeding was new to me. I was wet behind the ears to the nonsense of feeding a newborn. Maybe that helped me not give into the pressure, I just didn’t know? I was ready for the pressure. Bring it on.
Many friends gave me the heads up that my nurses were going to be forceful about coaching me to breastfeed after the delivery. I had my speech all ready to go, but luckily for them I didn’t have to use it. Whew. It was a pleasant surprise with the support I received on my choice. Weeks later on many of our outings, I was a bit afraid to pull out the bottle in public, not going to lie. I’m human. But, I got more comfortable with sharing my decision in public.
If you feel the pressure, just ignore it and trust your gut. Let your mother’s intuition kick in. If your support system and family really care about you, they will support you no matter what your choice is and those are really the only ones you care about anyways. More than likely a doctor, nurse or stranger you will never see again, so who cares about what they think.
Equal Opportunity House
Did anyone notify the moms that when they breastfeed they will get no sleep? None. Zilch. Well, lucky for me I did my homework. I knew there was no way in hell I was getting up for every feeding. No way. Are they crazy? I went thru pushing that baby out; I certainly wasn’t going to get up every three hours to breastfeed our baby. It’s the least my hubby could do for me.
Returning to work after maternity leave was an easy transition. Madeleine was sleeping thru the night, which was a complete success! It was all worth it. Who said you can’t connect with your baby while bottle feeding. I connected better because I wasn’t a sleep deprived bitch. I was a well-rested, happy go lucky mom listening to the birds chirping outside the window while I smelled the roses. Why? I was happy with my decision. It was right for me.
In the end, the only thing that matters is that your baby is healthy and loving her milk, whatever kind it is. Madeleine hasn’t had an ear infection, so maybe all the research isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be (I never got ear injections either). They say that breast milk is better for brain development, but I see her thriving despite being a bottle fed baby.
If you believe in the benefits then go for it, they can’t be debated or disputed. But it is your choice and don’t feel guilty got it one bit. They will turn out just fine, either way you go.