15.3.18

Don’t pressure me to breastfeed!  | Blog

Ever heard the phrase “my body my choice”? How comes that phrase stands in so many walks of life but when it comes to breastfeeding and your boobs, the choice is is taken away and the “right” thing to do is force upon you? 

A couple of weeks ago I had an appointment at the women’s clinic in my local hospital. I was sat outside the room waiting to go in when I was faced with a wall full of posters and information sheets. As I sat there scanning the wall it dawned on me... 

27 posters on the wall 

17 posters on the wall promoting breastfeeding 

0 mentioning ANY other way of feeding. 


Now, I understand and appreciate that the NHS and baby company’s aren’t allowed to promote any other form of feeding as breastmilk has been found to be most nutritious for baby and helps mum too BUT what about all those mums out there that couldn’t or chose not to breastfeed? I was one of those Mums 3 years ago and even now seeing a wall FILLED with breastfeeding posters promoting how breast is best takes me right back to holding my tiny 3 day old baby and crying into him whilst asking myself if I was failing him as a mother because I couldn’t breastfeed him? Mother’s are under so much pressure now days to be perfect. We are bombarded with so much information that when our baby gets here and we are faced with making decisions we end up feeling like a failure no matter what we choose to do. We are told how to raise our baby, feed it, let it sleep, cuddle it, put it down, let it cry, swaddle it, don’t swaddle it, wear a sling, don’t dare wear a sling... the advice and information is endless and can be so overwhelming!! 

When baby no 2 comes along my plan is to try breastfeeding. I will give it my best shot as I didn’t really get a chance to with Pickle due to him being poorly when he was born so I do want to try this time BUT if it doesn’t work, I am okay with that. I’ve already brought bottles, a breast pump and pack of ready made milk just in case. I am prepared this time, not just physically but also mentally. When breastfeeding didn’t work with Pickle I was made to feel like a lesser mother. I felt like I wasn’t giving my baby the best start in life and made to feel like I wasn’t as good as a mother as those who could breast feed. And do you know why? Because of walls full of posters like the one I saw the other day. This time round if it doesn’t work I won’t berate myself. I won’t feel less than any other mother because I know that it’s okay to do what is right for me and my baby, regardless of what some may say around me. Pickle is now a healthy, crazy three year old who isn’t obese or hyperactive or any other things that apparently formula feeding can cause. He turned out fine so if I have to bottle feed our new baby then I know he will be fine too! 

This time round it is my body and it IS my choice so I will do what I feel is right and I will not feel bad for it!! 

8 comments:

  1. There is way too much pressure on mums to feed. I had it with every one of my babies and by the 3rd time I was quite happy to be assertive and tell the nurses my point of view. Just do what works for you. Sod the midwives, nurses and judgemental idiots!

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  2. I’ve just had my 3rd baby I was straight with the midwives from the start that I would give breastfeeding a go for the first couple of days and then I was formula feeding (I lasted 3 weeks) My midwives never questioned it as such but seeing all the posters and being constantly asked how you are feeding does make you feel guilty

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  3. Any hospitals and clinics advised to breastfeed the new born because according to them it's good for the baby. But how about the mother who doesn't have milk yet? When my baby girl born, I feed her with formula because my milk come along after 5 days and still not enough for her.

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  4. So much pressure on mums full stop. If I hadn’t had a few days in hospital with my first and lots of support with breastfeeding I don’t think we would have made it. It’s so hard to get going for lots of people and throw poorly babies into the mix it can be impossible. As long as you are doing your best and your baby is fed, you’re doing a great job x

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  5. Definitely too much pressure. Plus it can go the other way. I've been breastfeeding for 18 months and I never wanted to do it for this long!

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  6. I hate all that pressure! Fed is best! I felt so guilty for stopping when there was really no need to feel guilty at all!

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  7. Nodded the whole way through. You’re spot on, the pressure to breastfeed is insane and can lead to parents feeling so down when they can’t. Fed is best.

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  8. My experience was totally opposite. Due to a traumatic pregnancy and birth experience I felt huge pressure not to breastfeed. When i analysed that pressure/feelings i realised it actually came from me. No amount of wall posters created this pressure, it was within me. When i was able to personally acknowledge this i felt relief. I realised that no person on this earth can make you feel guilty. We, or in this case 'me' created that guilt. This guilt/fear/anger is totally understandable. The biological element of child birth and in this case 'feeding' your child is hugely under-estimated/under-represented. When acknowledged this it is totally understandable the amount of emotion the subject of breastfeeding brings up. In the end i realised what was important for me was that my child had a mother who they were proud of. Who was able to stand on their own two feet, own their decisions with confidence and without resentment be that breastfeeding or bottle feeding. If we all own our decisions without projecting it creates an supportive environment that enables mothers to feel empowered in deciding whether breastfeeding isn't their right path or that it is. Neither is bad. Neither is good.This positive empowering is the key and means we don't feel as mothers we have to justify our choices or project any anger onto others. It also then creates a supportive environment for those who for any reason don't have the fortune of choice and cannot breastfeed when they would like to.

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