As discussions about having a newborn again in six months time go on, it reminds me of the pressures that society puts on mothers to give up breastfeeding before even the minimum recommended six months.
I’m not going to sugar coat the topic here, there is no denying that for a many the early months of breastfeeding are tough. Whether it’s first few day supply issues or the lack of social support, of even the dreaded mastitis.
What I resent the most is the general lack of society support, that immediately wants to offer mothers and fathers a short term easy fix. Honestly, there is no wonder so many switch to the bottle. And that’s not me looking down on you mums who do, I do appreciate some of the lengths you might have gone to to avoid this.
Do you intend on breastfeeding?
Erm, why the hell are people and medical professionals asking this? It should be a given. It’s MEDICALLY recommended duh?!
It’s much easier to bottle feed…some say
Honestly I’ve never done the bottle so I couldn’t talk from personal experience. If you’re not the strong maternal type and want to share the feeding load, I can see how that might be. For family who are desperate to be able to take care of baby, I can see how they might apply pressure. For me, I could wake up, nurse and drop straight back to sleep ( yes I love you beautiful chemical oxytocin). So it was easier. But it was right for me and more critically the best thing I could do for baby. This was me giving her the best start in life to fight diseases, develop healthily and have a healthy strong close bond with mummy.
You shouldn’t feel a failure if you can’t breastfeed
Ok so I know this is a tough one. Some mums who try so hard and don’t succeed are sometimes put on such a guilt trip, and that’s harsh. You don’t need that when your just getting to grips with being a mum. But for me, for arming me with this get out sympathy clause just made me more determined. I bought books ready for problem solving. I didn’t want to reach that hour of weakness and not know where to turn. And it helped. So did some of the helplines out there. I wish I had discovered the La Leche Legue earlier though, I have found them to be the best source of support and information.
Get some formula in just in case
Ok so this is being prepared, but surely it’s giving you an easy way out during those really tough moments? I did get some cartons of formula in, and everytime I saw them in the cupboard they made me dig my heels in further. I told you, I’m bloody minded (my poor hubby). But I wouldn’t recommend this at all. If you live within close reach of a 24 hour shop then there is no need. Get yourself some nice chocolate instead 😉
Oh all your baby does is feed
Yep, she’s a baby, she has a tiny belly. And get this, because my milk is so damn good it’s easier to digest than formula (this is a good thing BTW). It’s NORMAL for her to want to feed so frequently. Stop making me feel like a failure and let me do what’s medically the best I can do for my child! You can tell this was an issue for me, right? I felt like I was doing something so wrong because she wanted to feed every two hours. If my baby wants to feed every 30 minutes or less I now know that’s ok too.
What the health provider should have suggested was getting a sling that I could breastfeed in, that would mean I wasn’t chair bound. Why did no one mention this???
This time it’s gonna be different, this time I’m educated, this time I have my support network built and this time I know my own mind even more!
Other blog posts I’ve written on breastfeeding:
- We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about breastfeeding our toddlers
- 2 years breastfeeding milestone hit
- Biting while breastfeeding
- Breasfeeding a toddler: the half way house
- Starting out breastfeeding: frequency and duration in the early months