I want to talk about breast feeding from a different perspective. It is a wonderful thing that our bodies are capable of supplying our babies with all the nutrients they need. But some women just can’t breastfeed, or have trouble doing so. And I feel right now there is such a big hype on breastfeeding, especially on Instagram lately. And it makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong I am pro normalising breastfeeding and am happy for mothers who can breastfeed there children weather it be for 2 days or 2 years! But I get saddened at the fact that I can’t be apart of that “group” and I feel like the odd one out. So I wanted to share my story on deciding to formula feed my child hoping that other women who have gone through the same kind of situation can relate.
I wanted to breastfeed Lucy until she was at least one. I wanted to give my child the best start to her life. What I didn’t know was how hard breast feeding would be (for me!). Lucy had trouble latching on, every single time! Which made my nipples bleed and crack. No amount of nipple cream and ice could help with the pain. Lucy was nearly 2 weeks old and I remember lying in bed crying because I knew Lucy would be waking up soon and would want a feed. And I knew how much pain I was going to be in. I didn’t want to dred my child waking up I wanted to enjoy every moment with her. That night I didn’t get any sleep. I spent the whole night googling breast feeding vs formula feeding. In the morning I asked Oliver if he could pop to the shop and buy a tin of formula. I felt a whole weight fall off my shoulders right at that time. But later on was when the guilt kicked in. Why didn’t I stick it out? Why didn’t I try something else? I beat myself up about it so much. But now I look back and think no! I did what was best at the time and she’s happy and healthy that’s all that matters now.
I mean don’t get me wrong I do wish I had more support from my midwives as now I know about expressing and nipple guards and things that could have helped me over come that tough period. But at the time I was a scared 20 year old new mum learning the ropes with no experience. With my next child I do want to breast feed and will try all the things I have learnt. But if it doesn’t work out for me, that’s fine. Formula isn’t the devil. It’s just as good and I won’t bring myself to feel that much pressure again.
Mums we are all just trying to do what’s best for our child. And I know some people will disagree when I say this but in my opinion the happier the mother is the happier the baby is. Don’t be harsh on yourself if you feel like you failed, because you DIDN’T!
My child is a happy, healthy, funny, loving, cheeky, playful 14 month old now and I wouldn’t change a thing!