Is breast really best??

Now, before I get into this I know that this is going to be controversial. The topic itself is surrounded by controversy every single day but after a recent experience I want to get my thoughts out there. If you don't agree with me then that's fine but we are all adults so there is no need for anyone to get nasty.

When I was pregnant I wanted to breast feed. I wasn't desperate to but I wanted to give it a damn good go as I know that 'medically' it is best for your baby and I also wanted to have that bonding breast feeding experience with my newborn BUT I did go and buy some bottles before hand. The reason behind this was because in a perfect world I would have loved nothing more than being able to breastfeed my son exclusively for the first couple of weeks and then after that, express and put it into bottles so that my husband could feed our son and be involved. I was under NO illusion that breastfeeding was going to be easy so I had got it into my head that I was going to try my best but if it didn't happen then it just wasn't meant to be so I wasn't going to beat myself up about it as I know a few Mum's who have been really hard on themselves for not being able to breastfeed.

So...fast forward a few months and I had just given birth to the most wonderful, tiny bundle of joy I had ever seen. THIS BIT IS REALLY IMPORTANT - after being in labour for almost 22 hours Bubba was born with a low temperature and a rash all over his body. I knew something was wrong when he was born as someone went out to go and get a pediatric doctor who came in pretty sharpish to check him over. I can't remember exactly what happened timing wise as its all a bit of a blur but the long and short of it is that basically Bubba was born with an infection which meant he wasn't able to keep his temperature up, he needed an IV attached to his tiny little hand and he had to have a heel

prick blood test done after every feed to check his blood sugar levels. It was honestly the most helpless I have every felt in my entire life. Having to watching my newborn having to have a little tiny canular stuck in his hand and hearing him scream out every time they pricked his heel for blood was the most upsetting thing I had ever experienced. Twice a day they would take him away from me and wheel him down to NICU for his antibiotics and it broke my heart that I wasn't allowed to go with him. Even writing about it now, I can feel tears starting to prickle my eyes. I had just given birth to my glorious little boy and all I wanted to do was go home, snuggle with him and my husband and begin our new chapter as a family. Instead, there were times where Hubby had been sent home because it was out of visiting hours and Bubba had been taken for his antibiotics and I was left feeling empty, alone and helpless. It was honestly the worst time of my life.

Now, the reason I have gone into all of that is to give you the background and to hopefully help you understand this next part. When Bubs was born they tried to get him to latch on but it wasn't working. He was getting stressed and screaming as he was hungry/wanted comforting, I was getting stressed and emotional  (and literally dripping with sweat) and after about an hour or 2 I said to my husband ''Thats it...just get him a bottle please!''. With that, we never looked back. I'm not sure if it was my fault because I was so tired and emotional during the 4 day hospital stay or if Bubba just couldn't latch on because I'm rather large chested but it just didn't work and we didn't try again. I know why we didn't and that was because during all the drama of the infection and all the test etc the midwives and doctors needed to know how much milk he was taking and by bottle feeding him it meant that we could see exactly what he had taken to then allow the blood sugars to be worked out. Even once the blood sugar tests stopped, we continued to formula feed and do you know what, to this day I can say that I do not regret our decision one bit!

Bubba was a monster when it came to milk and he used to take so so much even in his early days so I can only imagine how tiring and painful it would have been if I would have breast fed. Bubba also developed silent reflux so we were able to manage this quite easily and help him by just simply changing his milk. Formula feeding also meant that Hubby could be involved in the feeding which wasn't only great for me (to selfishly allow me to get a little more sleep) but more importantly allowed the two of them to bond together and for me to have just 10 minutes away rather than having my baby stuck to my boobie 24/7.

Call it selfish, call it irresponsible, call me a bad parent..whatever. I really don't care. My son is now a very healthy, extremely happy 10 month old little boy who has always been as happy and healthy as his breastfed baby friends.

What really gets me though, and actually what prompted this post, is when people become so almost obsessed which being an advocate of breast feeding that they become judgmental, sometimes nasty people. I had a recent run in on Twitter with 2 'Lactavists' (look it up, its an actual thing) who said a few things to me but a fellow mummy blogger of mine was totally slammed by them. The fellow blogger responded to a question I had put out about gifts for soon to be mummies and they suggested a bottle of ready made milk just in case. I thought it was a great idea as you never know if breastfeeding is going to work for you and OH MY GOD...hell broke loose. These 'lactavists' started questioning why we didn't breast feed and saying that we should be supporting new mums not condemning them to formula and then when the other blogger put her side across they started to almost interrogating her asking why she didn't use donor milk or donate her milk. It was unbelievable. This is 2015!! Women have the right to choose how they feed their child and there is NO ONE that should be questioning that...especially not un-medically trained randoms on twitter! It boiled my blood!!!

The point of all of this is 'is breast really best' or is it best to do what suits you as a woman, as a mother and as a family? I know what I think :)

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  1. Oh my word, I cannot believe that people in this day and age are so backwards in their thinking. Open mindedness is what we need in this world, and no judgement. Like I have said many times before, if you were feeding your newborn baby a chicken nugget then yes. I would judge. But whether it be boob or bottle, if your baby is being nourished with milk, who cares?! It is such a personal thing to each woman and nobody should be questioned over their choices about their bodies and their babies.

    PS: T had a very similar start to her life, being born with an infection and being wheeled down to NICU for antibiotics twice a day with a big ol' needle in her tiny hands. Such a very emotional time :(

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, there are so many reasons why a woman might make the decisions she does for her baby. I was shocked how many people asked me if I was going to breastfeed and I always answered, 'If I can.' Now I would say, 'If I want to.'

  3. Well said ami.... rewind 26 years when u was born and I had every intention to breast feed u but my beloved nan died 36hrs later unexpectedly not seeing u and causing my milk to dry up....so SMA it was on the advice of the midwives. Dint think i did you any harm love Mumma xx

  4. This is a very hot topic! My mummy breastfed with me but just as long as baby and mummy are happy and healthy I don't think it really matters? Happy mummy = Happy Baby x #BrilliantBlogPosts

  5. What bothers me about your post is that you justified why you bottle fed. In my mind you did exactly what you needed to do for your family. Good on you. My bot wasn't poorly (thank God). I never felt that desire to breastfeed but when he was born something inside me (hormones?) made me give it a go. It was awful and I just couldn't do it. So I didn't. I was happy, he was happy, and so are you by the sounds of things. I hate it when people get all evangelical about it. Breastmilk, and the ability to breastfeed is truly a wonderful thing and all credit to those mums that do. And those that dont x

  6. Totally agree. Some people make formula out to be poison which is just ridiculous. I don't get the whole breast V's bottle thing. We're all just doing our best. And this comes from someone who has formula fed two of her children and breast fed one due to different circumstances with each of them. My breast fed baby is not superior to her siblings and my bond is just as string with the other two and none of them suffered any ill health from 'nasty poisoness chemicals' ;-)