Good Mum If You Don’t Breastfeed

Are You A Good Mum If You Don’t Breastfeed?

I saw a statement on Facebook that made me question are you a good mum if you don’t breastfeed. The women in question had posted that she felt sorry for the baby of a mum who did not breastfeed and it took me back to when I had my own children.

It angered me as I did not breastfeed all of my baby’s and it was my choice not too.

I did not appreciate being told that this choice meant that I was not a good mum.

Does bottle-feeding mean I cared or loved my baby less?

I did feel guilty about not breastfeeding and I was envious of those mothers who made it look as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do, but it wasn’t to me.

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People often use the word natural when referring to breastfeeding but it felt far from normal to me personally.

I did naturally feed my first baby for a total of 3 months and I hated it.

I felt like a cow being milked in all honesty.

It did not help that my ex-mother in law clearly told me that because my boobs were too small I was starving her granddaughter.

My ex-husband thought it was disgusting and I had no support. I did it because I had a point to prove, that I could.

I did it for all the wrong reasons.

I suffered from extreme postnatal depression and because I was breastfeeding I chose not to take them. This made my depression worse and it made me hated breastfeeding even more.

I was not comfortable getting my boobs out in public and even in front of family and friends was an issue to me, if we had visitors I would leave the room

I was only 19 and I was under the impression that breast was best and I wanted to be the best mother I could be.

Rather stupidly I read the breastfeeding textbooks and I was very naive to think that once I started I could not just give up because I didn’t like it.

Are you a good mum if you don’t breastfeed?

Not surprisingly when I had my second and third baby I refused point blank to breastfeed and I was happy with the choice I made. She grew into a happy child despite being fed solely on formula milk.

I did breastfeed baby number 4 and 5 for the first 2 weeks, they were both born early and were of quite low birth weight and I felt guilty because of this as a party it was my own fault. I was a smoker and I was not eating correctly. (I have an eating disorder)

Are You A Good Mum If You Don’t Breastfeedjpg
source:intermountainhealthcare.org

I could not breastfeed baby number 6 because I had been diagnosed with bipolar during the pregnancy and I needed to start taking antipsychotic drugs straight after birth. These medications were not suitable to take if you were breastfeeding.

I do not love one of my children more than the other; I have acted, cared and parented all 6 of my children the exact same way. The way in which I fed my children plays no part in how good of a mother I was to them.

While I am in support of breastfeeding groups I am also against those who preach that breast is best.

Mothers should not be judged on the choices they make.

Bottle feeding mums should not have to explain why they are not breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a very personal choice and it is not for everybody.

I have come across a variety of health professionals during 6 pregnancies and I did find that some of the midwives were rather pushy when it came to making the correct choice in regards to feeding a newborn baby.

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The most common pro breastfeeding phases I have heard midwives say most:

“Why not give it a try”

“It will save you a fortune”

“It’s great for mum too”

Why should bottle feeding mothers be told they are not providing the best start in life to their babies?

Of course, you are you a good mum if you don’t breastfeed, a baby needs feeding it does not have a preference over breast or formula milk.

Are you a good mum if you don’t breastfeed?

Did you feel pressured into breastfeeding?

Did you feel guilty about not breastfeeding?

Is breast best?

Let’s hear your own views and experiences.

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