Bottle Feeding Through World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week makes me kind of emotional because I am constantly reminded of what I fought so hard for and ultimately couldn’t manage. I can’t let this whole week pass me by without saying something because I know it isn’t just me… 

If you are a bottle feeding parent then World Breastfeeding Week can put a bit of strain on you. I know this because I was one and this same week last year was much tougher for me. So, I’m writing this for bottle feeding parents to know they are not alone and it’s okay to feel a bit 'mehhh' this week. I am also writing this so that all of you amazing booby mummas  know that us bottle mummas want to offer you support on your journey but can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by it all.

I am absolutely pro breastfeeding (it's giving your child food that is designed for them, why would anyone be against it?) but somewhere along the line that has become, to some, synonymous with anti-bottle/formula and that is really not the case.  I don’t want there to be ANY parents out there feeling bad for providing their child with nutritionally appropriate food. 

I desperately wanted to breastfeed my son and I was blessed to be able to do that for a short while but ultimately I made the decision for his health and for my own mental health -  he was better off on formula and I have to keep reminding myself a lot that I couldn’t actually have tried any harder than I did. So, without meaning to, I sometimes find myself feeling a bit bitter over the course of World Breastfeeding Week. It’s not because I hold any kind of resentment towards breastfeeding parents but because I sometimes have a wobble and struggle to be okay with the choices I made for my son.

Some women breastfeed and take to it like ducks to water and feed their little booby monsters right up, they'll have their rough patches but they come through it well.

Some struggle through it, maybe they find their feet after a little while and breast feed exclusively. Maybe they combination feed or switch fully to formula. Maybe they even discover that they hate breastfeeding but their baby just won't take a bottle. There's always going to be more to the story than you're seeing on the surface.

Some women battle. They fight and cry and scream and fight and cry some more and it just doesn't work for them. Traumatic birth, tongue ties, allergies, medication… whatever the reason, if you are one of these women I can tell you now, I have cried for you. You don’t know how strong you are. 

Some women choose to formula feed from the beginning and as much as I have struggled to understand that in the past I know darn well it is none of my business. A friend of mine explained her reasons to me once and it was like a storm settling in my head. It was 100% the right thing for her to do.

Some women would desperately love to bottle or breastfeed but can't do either because  their child needs a tube or other special feeding apparatus. You guys are real heroes.

The point is, lets celebrate! Lets promote breastfeeding and support parents through their journey regardless of its length and if a woman you know is feeding in a different way to you then you have an opportunity to open a really interesting dialogue with her. 



Happy World Breastfeeding Week, you are doing an amazing job.




Comments

  1. I didn't manage to breastfeed my first so, for a while, anything about breastfeeding made me feel terrible, but over time that feeling lessened and breastfeeding my younger child helped a lot.

    Now, when I see things like Breastfeeding Week, I feel happy that something is being done. There are so many mums who don't consider breastfeeding for reasons that shouldn't even exist (society says it's weird, it won't be possible while working, formula is just as good/better, that kind of rubbish) and I think that makes it so much harder for mums who have made an informed decision not to breastfeed. I think it's absolutely the mother's right to say she just doesn't want to, as long as the decision was made based on good information and knowing that she would have been supported. And for mums who can't, if we can get the support right we'll know that when a mum says she couldn't, she actually couldn't so she won't be viewed as somebody who didn't try hard enough or failed. I hope that if we cut out the reasons-that-aren't-really-reasons, we'll see a bottle-fed baby and know that it was an informed choice and that will be it - no nastiness or looking down on anybody!

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  2. Thank you so much for writing this. X

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