This may end up being a very unpopular post, but I’m going to go for it. I am not a lover of breastfeeding. I actually can’t stand the push and pressure that is forced upon women to breastfeed. I find it unnecessary. Now, I know breastmilk is the best thing you can give your child, but if it isn’t working out then why do we need to beat ourselves up about it?
After having my first child, I was basically not given any other option (at least that is how it felt). I was getting it from all angles. The parenting and mom community has made it such a standard of practice that if you do not conform you’re left with guilt and a sense of failure. This doesn’t need to be the case. There are so many options out there for families who choose to not breastfeed. So many moms struggle with breastfeeding. There are so many things that don’t line up and it doesn’t work out. Also, here we are trying to figure out how to be a parent, work, and be the sole food source for a baby. It’s such a daunting task. I threw in the towel much faster with my second kid than I did with my first because I didn’t want the added stress. About halfway through my maternity leave, I thought why do I need to add to my worries when there is formula available? I didn’t want the added task of having to pump at work either. The supplies, the timing, the storage. I didn’t want any part of it, so I switched my baby to formula before my leave was over, and that was that. I didn’t look back, and he is now nine months old and growing like a weed.
I have had so many friends that have struggled with breastfeeding. As a mom community, we should be changing the conversation. Breastfeeding is a wonderful, beautiful way to provide for your child. This is a special part of being a woman and it should be celebrated. On the other side of things, we should be understanding and supportive if a mom chooses to not go this route. So if you are one of those moms who chooses not to breastfeed, it’s going to be ok. You need to make the best decision for you and your baby. You don’t need to feel guilty or like you failed in some way. If your baby is eating (breastmilk or formula) and growing, you are doing a great job.
How has your experience with breastfeeding or not gone? Have you felt supported by your community in your decision?