Why there is even a discussion about the benefits of breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, I’ll never know. As long as the babies get fed, it’s really none of our business how mums choose to feed their children.
But not everyone is as reasonable. We have breastfeeding mums being shamed, bottle feeding mums being shamed and it can all get pretty silly.
FEED THE BABY. End of conversation.
I was a victim of breastfeeding pressure, as are many mums. I was then bottle shamed, then shamed for public breastfeeding and so on and so forth. After having my first child, the judgement affected me. By the time I had my second and third, I no longer cared what anyone else thought of my choices.
I was doing what was best for my baby, what was best for me, and anyone who had a problem with it could get stuffed. Pun intended.
We’ve spoken to seven mums who couldn’t or wouldn’t breastfeed. These are their stories.
"My obstetrician, father and husband all urged me to breastfeed my son, even though it hurt, even though I had mastitis, even though I cried while doing it. My mental and physical health wasn't considered as important as the health benefits my baby would gain from being breastfed. When my little baby proceeded to vomit up every single painful drop, woke up after an hour-and-a-half for another feed and failed to put on much weight after several weeks, I knew something was horrible wrong. I gave in to my instincts and bought formula late one night. I made the bottle and fed my baby. He kept every drop down and slept for seven hours. We found out years later that he had deadly food allergies and the proteins in my breast milk were causing a reaction."
"My placenta was not removed properly and therefore my body thought I was still pregnant and wouldn't produce milk. They only caught it after about a week during which time I had midwives trying to hand express with no luck what so ever. By then it was too late. I had to have intravenous antibiotics, which meant I couldn't even try. Then with my next child, I had to have my gall bladder removed five days after he was born, so again my body was thrown into meltdown. After having my first though and that horrible experience, I had decided to bottle feed from the start!"
WATCH the video below for adorable animals being bottle fed. Post continues after video...
"I didn't breastfeed my first born. My baby was a very lazy baby and I needed to use a nipple shield. I had help in hospital from the lactation consultant for many hours over the five days I was in hospital to get the shield working and baby attached but we were both struggling (needed a third hand to get it working). I was released from hospital on Good Friday so all the support I had was no longer available as the hospital switched to long weekend staff shift. I struggled for two days trying to get the nipple shield to work and you needed a third hand to get it to work (baby was hard to attach as she turned her head all the time)."
"In desperation of dealing with a hysterical hungry baby and feeling very anxious and exhausted I asked my husband to get more bottles and formula for Easter Sunday in case I couldn't get it the shield to work again (I had a couple bottles so I could express to feed as a backup as the lactation consultation had recommend this at the hospital so the baby received enough food). Once I had the bottles I expressed as much milk as I could and then supplemented with formula. Baby was happy and relaxed and settled as so was I."
"I had mastitis that had burst. I was too embarrassed to show anyone. I had a ?ump that was red and I ignored the pain and kept feeding. One day I woke up and I was in pain with a 40 degree temprature. The doctor came and said I had to be admitted as the lump was oozing puss. I then had a drain for two weeks and it was too sore to feed. A horrible nightmare. It was revolting. No more kids for me!"
"I was a hairdresser and had to go back to work a couple of weeks later. It wasn't really hygienic to breastfeed my baby with people's cut hair all over them, plus I had cracked nipples and mastitis which left me with blood in my milk. People say breastfeeding is natural but I found it to be the most uncomfortable thing ever. It also helped that with formula and bottles other people could help out, which took the pressure off being a new mum."
"I just didn't want to. Not the whole reason, I had struggles, but ultimately didn't persist and try to overcome them because I plain didn't want to. And that was still the best option for me and for my children."
Instead of judging each other when it comes to the breastfeeding vs bottle feeding debate, how about we just HEAR each other. At the end of the day the best thing for baby is a happy mum.
Did you breast feed for bottle feed? How did you come to the decision?