We are lucky, that we live in a society, where our babies can thrive, even if we are not able to directly breastfeed them. Although breast is best and its drilled into us, its not always going to be the right way for every parent, or for some parents, even possible at all.
I have been working in the parenting industry for many years now, and I’m still blown away by the attitude towards Mums who choose to or by default can’t breastfeed.
When I had my last baby, being self employed, I had to go back to work when he was 2 weeks old. Financially we were not able to keep me out of work for longer, and being self employed I was not entitled to any kind of E.I. I would be hooked-up to the pump all day, to get as much milk out as possible and he was bottle fed breastmilk from 2 weeks to 3 months, with a half bottle of formula added in, as I just couldn’t make enough.
Being that I was also at work, I couldn’t work, eat enough calories and get enough water in me. I managed to limp along like this until he was around 3 months old and merged over to formula for all feedings.
Over the years, I have seen many reasons why breast-feeding has not worked, and more reasons than the common ones like latching issues, or bleeding nipples. Once there was a lady whose breasts didn’t develop properly as a teenager and she was told it would be impossible for her to breastfeed. I had another Mum who has such bad post partum psychosis, she was admitted to hospital without her baby. I had another lady who was under going chemotherapy and she was not able to go through her treatment and breastfeed. I had a Dad whose wife was seriously ill after delivery and was hospitalized for many weeks.
It can take a toll on a mothers mental health, if she feels as though she has failed in this area, when the pressure can be so intense. So please BE kind!
You have no idea what is going on in other peoples lives, and what they have been through or how they are feeling, so please DON’T judge.
In a nutshell, how you choose (or as in these cases, it was not a choice but a necessity) to feed your baby is your decision. Don’t let anyone else make you feel less of a mother / parent and don’t think that by resorting to other means, will result in your baby not bonding with you.
Be proud of YOU, and be proud of your baby, enjoy the time you have with them regardless of how you feed, the most important thing being that you baby is fed, whether its breastfeeding, breastmilk in a bottle, formula, or a tube.