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Friday, 20 May 2016

Bottle-fed shaming

This is an extremely deep and opinionated topic and i don't right this post to cause any offence to either parties however it's one i wanted to discuss as I'm soon coming into that world again and i wanted to share how i felt the first time round compared to now. I have no issue with how a baby is fed by it being via breast or by formula, nor do i have an issue with it being in public or in the comfort of your own home. I suppose you could say I'm quite easy and laid back and believe it's entirely a mothers choice how they feed their baby. 

However what i do find is the shaming mothers are faced with if they choose not to breast feed their babies and the fact it seems to come from medical professionals and other breast-feeding mums, not saying I'm taring you all with the same brush but this is my personal observance. When having my son i had no idea what to expect from breast feeding but wanted to give it a try, he had the colostrum and i attempted to breast feed on our first night in hospital however the pain was greater than i expected and he just wasn't latching on which was causing more pain and distress for both of us. At that stage the mid-wife suggested (in a not so supportive tone) about formula, tiered and concerned about him being hungry i said it might be for the best but asked if i could try breast feeding again on his next feed to which i was told simply no. This upset me greatly, i was young, tiered and on my own as it was the middle of the night, I felt pressured into making a decision and was made to feel ashamed by the midwife cause i chose the formula. At the time this really upset me and i felt like i had already made my first mistake at being a mother.

Luckily my husband wasn't bothered in the slightest as he felt the same as i did, that Aiden was being fed and that was far more important. I later found out that actually what i was told was wrong and i could of attempted breast feeding again on the next feed. And looking back i believe i found it so difficult as my milk didn't come through as i didn't leak or experience anything and that's not my fault either. I was actually speaking to one of my dear friends who is also expecting again about this issue and she told me the guilt she felt cause she too couldn't breast feed her son and felt it was her when fault he got ill. The thought of their being woman out their who feel this way and put such tremendous pressure and stress on themselves actually makes me really sad, no way should a mother be made to feel belittled or no good because they have chosen to bottle feed their baby. 

I feel there is a lot of awareness and talk about how breast feeding mums are made to feel shunned about feeding their baby out in public and it's true this certainly shouldn't happen. But I don't feel like it's discussed enough about the shame some mothers are put through because they have chosen for whatever personal reason to bottle feed and i think this needs to stop. 

I do plan for this baby to have the colostrum and i may attempt to breast feed again, however i have a formula ready if i don't. I feel like as mothers we are putting an awful lot of pressure on ourselves and others. It's a personal choice and one i feel should not be picked apart by someone else's opinion, especially when it's not their child. One thing to keep in mind is that once your child reaches a certain stage it's never actually asked how you chose to feed your baby. When they start school you don't get did you breast feed? When your child is ill you don't get asked did you breast feed? If your child becomes a doctor or works in a supermarket you are not asked did you breast feed? Choose what is right for you and don't judge if someone else chooses different, we're doing a hard enough job raising little humans as it is.
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