Breastfeeding: Do it. Or don’t do it. Whatever

This mum is coming out fighting in the breast-bottle battle. And when we say fighting, we mean throwing herself on the couch and saying, ‘meh!’

Is anyone else as tired of all the hoopla about breastfeeding as I am?

The final straw was when I recently walked past a café window bearing a sticker stating it was a ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’ venue. Oh, puh-lease, I thought, do we really need a sticker?

Geez, it bugged me. And then everything about modern society’s obsession with ramming the ‘breast is best’ message came to the surface; from my first in-hospital experience with a crazy lactation consultant, to reading online forums where women swing between self-righteousness or desperation regarding breastfeeding. It seems there’s no middle ground about the act.


This is how I feel about breastfeeding:

Me, a bottle, my baby. Loving it.

Great to do it if you can and want to, but if you can’t or don’t – do not stress. Just be thankful we live in a First World country with access to safe formula and sterilising solutions.

As for me, I breastfed both daughters – Betty for eight months, and Kitty for three months. But by the World Health Organisation’s recommendation, I failed. (Tell that to my healthy 99th-percentile-in-length-and-weight children!)

Both girls were supplemented with formula from around six weeks. Expressing was tedious. Being glued to the couch for the first couple of months even more so. I never had a set length of time that I wanted to breastfeed. Why not? Because that would have been about me, and not about what was working best for my baby and me. (However, I did know that if my child could ask for it or chew a steak, my milk bar would be closed for business. Full stop.)

Personally, I found bottle-feeding a welcome relief. Sue me.

Trust me; a bond is developed through cuddles...

And then there’s the romanticism about the mother-child bond as directly related to breastfeeding. Has anyone else noticed this? Trust me; a bond is developed through cuddles, eye contact and loving gazes, and not whether a baby has a nipple or teat in its little mouth, or how much ‘skin on skin’ contact was had at birth.

Perhaps my attitude is so because I was bottle-fed myself from early on. Mum had issues, despite her best intentions. (Although I believe she was comforted when her mother-in-law and my grandmother, Nano, gave her some matter-of-fact advice. Nano was a dairy farmer’s daughter who bottle-fed all five of her children because she simply knew her milk was too weak. And any dairy farmer knows some cows are better milkers than others!)

Anyway, back to my point. How’s my bond with Mum? TOO CLOSE, at times! Seriously, the woman makes me text her when I drive to a friend’s house to make sure I’ve arrived. We talk every night on the phone. If she can’t reach me within four hours, she’ll start calling my husband, sisters and friends to find out where I am. It’s safe to say the umbilical cord is well and truly still attached, even at my 33 and her 59.

I really did, and do, feel breastfeeding was a means to an end .

I really did, and do, feel breastfeeding was a means to an end – just a normal way to make my child grow, but not the ONLY way. Nothing special. Nothing out of the ordinary. And I’m quietly confident no-one will be able to tell how my kids were fed.

Or where.

So, how about a new sticker to pop up around the place? I’m thinking ‘Feed Your Child However You Want HERE’.

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Do you agree that there's too much drama about the breast-bottle dilemma. Or is it too important to ignore?