So, here’s a question – breast or bottle? I have done both, I bottle fed Alfie and I chose to breastfeed Holly, which I still am.
When I had Alfie I was the young age of 17, I didn’t have any support regarding breastfeeding.
Professionals would take one look at my age and assume I would bottle feed.
Back then, I thought breast milk was some inconvenience women get after giving birth, bottle feeding was considered as normal.
Saying that, I generally didn’t even know of breastfeeding (yeah I know, living under a rock or what!) but truthfully I didn’t.
I don’t think ‘breast’ was even mentioned throughout my whole pregnancy.
It’s a shame, but with the mindset and age that I was – I would’ve given up within an hour or generally wouldn’t have been bothered to even try.
When I fell pregnant with Holly, I had in my mind that I was going to bottle feed – as that’s all I knew after bottle feeding Alfie all those years ago.
I bought the ready made Cow & Gate bottles, my sister had bought me those very expensive Perfect Prep Machines and I was given a second hand bottle steriliser.
At 32 weeks pregnant, Rob asked me – “Why don’t you just try it?”
He was right and I did. F**k me, it was hard.
By day two I was questioning whether I’d made the right decision and I physically felt like I couldn’t carry on, but I did.
At age 23 and having a baby, breastfeeding was considered the norm.
And I had the total fear of being judged if I did give up, which gave me that extra motivation.
So in regards to this blog post, I hope I am obliged to have a comment and opinion.
Yes I do believe breast is best, it’s free (love a bargain!), it’s natural.
But who are we to judge if someone chooses to feed their baby formula milk? There is so much judgement towards both formula and breastfeeding.
Example 1 – Holly at just 4 weeks old, I was asked “When you stickin’ her on the bottle then?” it may have been a completely harmless, but to me it felt like a dig, like I was wasting my time and effort.
Trust me – there was a lot of it.
Example 2 – I am a part of a Facebook group for breastfeeding mothers. Tons of support, encouragement and advice.
But someone even mentions bottle feeding/formula, it’s treated like a dirty word.
The lactivists are out with their pitchforks.
I haven’t seen so much judgement in the whole (almost) 7 years of being a mother, they treat formula as if you’re making your baby sniff cocaine and for someone who has bottle fed, I felt so much guilt and why should I be made to feel like that?
Example 3 – Rob, was bottle fed from day one.
He is healthy, strong and one of the most intelligent people I know and attended grammar school.
I, on the other hand, was exclusively breast fed for 6 months, I suffer with eczema and asthma, I’m almost always ill and left school with only having two C grade GCSE’s in ICT.
Motherhood isn’t an exam.
No-one has a bloody clue what they’re doing half the time, but we are doing the best with what we know.
We shouldn’t be made to feel like we’re failing as mums for what we choose.
Yes, I bottle fed Alfie – I was giving him the best that I knew at that time, he is healthy, intelligent and happy.
Yes, I now breastfeed Holly, that doesn’t mean I look down my nose at mums who feed their babies formula.
And I’m also not stupid when I see an indirect status aimed at me on Facebook for ‘bragging’ about breastfeeding.
I’m also sure this post shut you up too. Without wanting to sound like I’m bragging, yes I am so proud to have breastfed Holly for as long as I have, I think her sucking on my nipple for 3 hours straight has given me that right.
Just saying, again.
Some mothers even lose sleep thinking about that mum they saw in Wetherspoons feeding their baby a bottle of formula, Jesus Christ.
Get over it.
I also think many people will lose sleep after seeing a quarter of my boob whilst I’ve breastfed Holly out and about, they look terrified!
Don’t worry, just because I breastfeed does not mean I will grab your child while you aren’t looking, whip my tit out and start latching them on.
Do I think there is any difference regarding breast milk and formula?
Yes – Aptamil states that with decades of breast milk research, they’ve created a formula which is identical to breast milk.
It isn’t and I call BS.
There’s a difference in consistency, formula takes longer to digest, where as breast milk is digested quicker.
Hence why – no, Holly is not sleeping through yet.
Difference in convenience, I can leave the house without worrying about bringing sterile water and formula powder with me, but convenience for formula feeding is you’re able to share the feeding duties.
Yadda yadda yadda, yeah they’re totally different.
My conclusion in all of this – STOP JUDGING EACH OTHER.
We do what we believe is best for our baby and it’s OK to do what is best for us too.
I also believe that a mother’s happiness is far more healthier than breast milk.
A happy mum, is a happy baby.