With Eryn-Rose I fully planned on breastfeeding her, I bought a pump so I could express so Liam could help with feeds. I bought shawls so I could feel more comfortable feeding out in public. When she was born I got her to latch on and everything was going well at first. Once home I had a baby that wanted feeding every hour, I had no sleep and then to top it all off I got mastitis. I was really ill with it and could barely open my eyes let alone feed Eryn-Rose, we switched to formula. I had joined a few groups and it's funny as soon as you explain your situation everyone jumps at you and not all things are positive. In fact they were mainly negative comments like "Formula babies are more likely to die it's selfish to stop" "I had mastitis and I fed through it so don't see what your problem is" etc etc. This is what prompted me to write this post.
Breastfeeding might be the best milk for babies but it isn't always the best choice for you and your family. Thanks to science formula milk is so much better now then what it was many years ago so never feel pressured into breastfeeding. There are many things to consider before deciding how you are going to feed your baby below I have put a few points down that I think needs to be thought about before making your choice.
- Mastitis - This can happen during breastfeeding and it is so painful, when Eryn-Rose was latching on I would bite down and once bit my lip and drew blood. I literally wanted to rip my tit off! You can find more information about it here. Mine turned into an abscess and to have this removed I had to have a needle jabbed into my boob.
- Expressing - It is a great way to get Dad involved and means you can have a break, but some babies just won't take a bottle if they are being breastfed. My friend's husband has to feed their baby via syringe when she goes out as baby will just not take a bottle, they have tried over 15 different bottles.
- Sleep - The first weeks you live on the adrenaline of having this new bundle of joy in your life, then the lack of sleep creeps in. Like I mentioned above Eryn-Rose wanted boobie milk every hour and maybe it would of changed if I didn't stop but then I speak to other parents who breastfeed and say how their baby is basically attached to them all day long. Just because a book says a baby will want a feed every 3-4 hours doesn't mean that is what baby will want.
- You Time - You have had a baby and if you have other kids the chances of you time or time spent with your partner will become pretty non-existent. So boyfriend has offered to watch the kids while you just pop to a friends house for a catch up even if it is for an hour. But you need to make sure you time it around feeding unless you are expressing and baby will take a bottle.
- Life - Yep your whole life will be around baby which it will be anyway. For me it was a case of planning and timing everything that I did and I felt like my son was missing out on a lot of mummy time as I always had Eryn-Rose with me to feed her so I was telling him to wait for a cuddle, read a book, look at a picture etc.
- Dad - Everyone always asks the women what they want, but what about Dad! His opinion should count too. I think we expect men to just accept what we choose to do but then when they don't help out we are very quick to shout and scream at them. How can expect Dad to bond?
Please do not confuse my post with parenting bashing as it is far from that. I just think when midwives and other care professionals discuss feeding with expectant mothers all they cover is the health benefits. They do not discuss any of the above. I find that some breastfeeding mothers seem to think they are superior when it comes to their babies as they breastfeed and therefore are a better parent. Which of course is total rubbish, every parent is the best parent they can be for their child.