Since this month is breastfeeding month I think it’s appropriate for me to express my opinions, why not? Everyone gives me theirs! “You must breastfeed” or “It’s your choice” articles are pouring over all social media connections. It’s hard to miss them or not read them if you are an expecting mother. If you are like me, you’ve read all the articles out there with the pros and cons on every pregnancy topic, but there are no other ones that are more controversial now as it’s the breastfeeding discussion. With states like Massachusetts and New York banning formula at their hospitals to “push” moms to breastfeed, it’s hard not to have your own opinion on this personal subject.
First of all, I want to say that my personal opinion is that every mother should have the right to choose if they want to breastfeed their child or not. If I’m not mistaken, the first question that I hear whenever someone learns I’m pregnant is: “Are you going to be breastfeeding your son?” It amazes me how people are so interested in what I will be doing to feed my child. I don’t take it offensively at all, but if I say I’m not sure or no, I don’t feel like I should have an explanation ready as to why I’m not. I have my reasons (very strong ones for me) but I don’t feel I should have to defend myself every time. People should respect my decision, period.
With that I want to clarify, I’m still open to the idea of breastfeeding but I’ve got to admit I have my reservations. Some of them are:
First, is the question of my breasts: Will they ever be the same after breastfeeding? I know, some of you are thinking, that is a vain reason and I shouldn’t be selfish but it’s important to me. I want to be a mom who can lead by example and one of the examples I want to transmit to my son is to be confident and having breasts that could get saggy wouldn’t make me feel too confident about my body. Second, Would I end up resenting my child after breastfeeding him? Breastfeeding is hard work. Not only do you have to wake up every couple of hours to feed your child and by the time you are done burping him, it’s almost time to feed him again but how will I ever sleep and recharge? To be the happy mom (which would mean a happy baby) I know I will need to be somewhat rested. Also, I’ve seen and heard of a lot of women who fall into depression due to this unending cycle and the confliction of emotions it can bring to a new mom. You feel guilty for not being happy about breastfeeding because “to be a good mom you should breastfeed”. Who needs more mommy guilt? I don’t want to be a slave and feel like I’m stuck in an unending cycle (I know it’ll end eventually but for how many months would I suffer through). That’s not even talking about that breastfeeding could physically hurt, causing sore nipples and such.
My third reason is that I want my child to bond equally with Shawn and I. By bottle feeding him we’d be able to take turns, therefore not killing ourselves with being up all night. Also Shawn would be able to bond with Adam on feedings too. I think this is the most important reason why I may lean on bottle feeding instead. I dream and pray that Adam will be close to both of us and maybe with the bonding that he’ll have with each of us it’ll be easier for him.
Now, I’ve done my research on formulas and there’s a lot of information out there that now a days formulas are being made with more vitamins and supplements to build a good immune system for your baby. I’ve read and talked to moms who haven bottle fed and their kids hardly get sick and the opposite happens with moms that I know have breastfed their child. I believe formula provides a healthy alternative to our babies and our babies getting sick might be due to another factor.
I’m not trying to discourage you mommies to be out there to not breastfeed. I applaud women that are able to do it; but when it affects you, I hope you take the pros and cons and decide if this is something that’s good for you. In the long run, your physical and emotional wellbeing will affect your child.
Bottom line is I wish people weren’t so judgmental to moms who cannot or decide not to breastfeed. Or simply like me, don’t know yet. I wish hospitals would have support classes for women that are going to be bottle feeding, as much as they have breastfeeding classes. We need information on bottle feeding too, like which formulas should we consider? Engorgement relief, what can we do to stop the milk from coming, etc.
I hope that today we all try not being judgmental to moms who may not have the same views on breastfeeding as you. Know that we have our reasons and that as long as we are doing our best as moms, we are just as good as all moms out there. Let’s all focus on what us as moms do best, love our children!
I’ll update you all once I give birth (4 more weeks!) on what ends up happening, which ever I decide I want to assure you, I will try it and give it my best but I won’t lose sleep over it, I’ll already have a newborn to lose sleep over!
I’d love to hear your feedback on this topic but please keep it friendly. What are your views on breastfeeding? Was it easy/hard for you? Did you feel pressure? How do you handle or respond to unsolicited breastfeeding advice? Comment away!
PS. While there was a ton of blogs & articles I read; I came across this blog which should help moms who are going to or not going to breastfeed: