I thought I would share with you, why choosing not to breastfeed was the best thing I did for myself.
As a first time mother, I was understandably stressed, worried and emotional.
I was constantly asking myself should I breastfeed? The question was a difficult one to answer because I felt like I was on this huge guilt trip. I wasn’t enjoying nursing at all and almost felt ashamed to admit it.
How silly when I look back now.
Some women love to share their story on how long they breastfed, how they had or have such an amazing amount of breast milk. It wasn’t like that for me. I never enjoyed it from the start and I had no milk.
Choosing not to breastfeed was the only way I was going to keep my sanity.
It didn’t help the Midwife at the time was constantly going on and on about the benefits of breastfeeding. What is more, she said, I need, to keep trying because it is good for the baby, and I will lose weight.
I actually had separated stomach muscles, which I was unaware of. Therefore, I doubt very much it would have mattered whether I lost weight or not.
My stomach was not getting any flatter no matter what I did.
I had swollen nipples, cracked and red and every time the baby latched on I was in extreme pain.
Surely the anxiety of having to feed my baby was not good for either of us?
I was not encouraged to make my own decision on what was good for me. I was expected to keep on breastfeeding even though I was extremely stressed.
Obviously, the midwife felt nursing the right thing to do, which is fine. However, was it the right thing for me?
As my nipples were sore and swollen, my baby was constantly hungry because of a low milk supply.
As a first time mother, I felt completely lost and choosing not to breastfeed seemed as though I would be doing the wrong thing.
I also had another concern on whether or not to breastfeed. Could I breastfeed in public?
What would I do if I was out in public and the baby was hungry, where would I go? It all appeared too much for me to handle.
I have no problem with women who are comfortable breastfeeding in public. I don’t judge what someone else wants to do. I just knew I couldn’t do it.
Choosing Not To Breastfeed
One day an old school friend phoned me up to see how I was going.
I was crying on the phone to her, I wasn’t coping with nursing my baby, and she said to me.
“Pauline, when I was in the hospital, I said to the nurse, give me one of those pills to help dry up my milk, I am not going to breastfeed”. She said, “it’s my body I can do what I like”.
That was all I needed to hear, shame, though, I couldn’t make up my mind.
Isn’t this what strong-minded women do? Make up their own minds?
Here I was a sniveling mess. All because I couldn’t work out if choosing not to breastfeed was ok to do.
Should I Breastfeed?
No, if you don’t want to do it then don’t, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. If you have to ask the question ‘should I breastfeed’ then the answer is NO.
This whole BS about the baby missing out on a good nutritional start to life is all well and good.
Yes, I certainly agree there are nutritional advantages in breast milk.
However, do I feel missing out can impact on a child’s health, no I do not?
My daughter is a National Champion in Middle Distance Running. So, don’t tell me, she needed her mother’s milk in the first stages of her life.
She is as fast as a cheetah and as strong as an Ox. Clearly didn’t miss out on her mother’s breast milk.
Love and nurturing aren’t just from the breast.
If you want to breastfeed great if you don’t want to great!
I will tell you a little story of what can happen when women sit around and judge you. When it comes to what you are doing with your baby.
This particular night, I went to a couple’s house for dinner with my partner.
There was another couple there too, who coincidentally had a baby around the same age.
At the time, my little girl was 3 months old.
By this stage choosing not to breastfeed was the way for me, and I was happily bottle feeding.
I took along a couple of bottles and my baby bassinet so she could lie in it if needed.
As I sat down to dinner, my baby was hungry. I whipped out her bottle, positioned her in the bassinet beside me, placed on the bib and put the bottle in her mouth.
She lay there happily sucking away while I sat down to dinner and a nice glass of red.
In the meantime, the other woman’s baby is hungry. She stole herself away into another room to privately breastfeed.
Her decision, I was happy, I didn’t have to leave the table, I felt completely at ease and comfortable.
Not so, it seems, was all comfortable with the two other women. The looks on their faces when the other returned to the table after having lovingly breastfed her child were very telling.
While I, choosing not to breastfeed, was somehow relegated from quarterback to benchwarmer. In other words, I was clearly the worst mother in the world.
Though I got over it pretty quickly, I realized, judging me, they are only judging themselves.
Choosing Not To Breastfeed It’s Your Choice
We are not all perfect and we don’t live in a perfect world. What’s good for one, does not mean it is good for everyone.
It is rather quite sad when it comes to nursing, some women will ask should I breastfeed?
Rather than being asked, “let’s try breastfeeding, and if you feel in any way you are not coping we can move onto the bottle”.
How nice would it be to hear that question, starting from when you’re in the hospital?
Well, I don’t know if much has changed in the last 16 years since I had my first child.
I hope so because no one should tell another person, what to do with their body or their babies.
Choosing not to breastfeed is your decision alone.