Organic Milk V I've Got The Formula
I am going to try and make this a very short version but this post centres around the ever controversial question: DO YOU BREAST OR BOTTLE FEED YOUR BABY?
I do not care how you feed your beautiful baba, as long as he or she is getting fed because in my humble opinion FED IS BEST. I am quite passionate about this subject because I have my feet in both camps. The reason being is before I had my first I use to panic about whether or not I would be able to breast feed because along with the many horror stories I heard, there was this already overbearing pressure that yes breast feeding is by far the best thing for them but if you don't breastfeed, your child will become this really sick weakling who is a weirdo and no one will like??? Really???
I had to have surgery after I gave birth with my first and the midwives asked me to pump my breasts for a feed for Lily whilst I was in surgery. My milk hadn't come in yet and so there wasn't much to give. It all went a bit longer than expected and I was gone for hours by which point Lily was screaming in my husbands arms. The consultant came to me the next day and said, ‘Well that was a close call, we nearly lost you there.’ I’m not going to go into how that effected me in my first year of maternity but if I wasn't there, my husband would have had to give her formula and she would have been absolutely fine! There are so many circumstances why women cannot feed and there should be no judgement over it or barriers to promotions in supermarkets. They will put promotions on alcohol but not for a family that has to use or want to use formula because of their situation?
I put myself under a lot of pressure before I had even begun motherhood. Thankfully I could breastfeed and it came very easy and naturally to me, I do try to ignore the fact I got mastitis 3 times but I am very proud that I fed my baby for 8 whole months. I know many women go longer and that I can only applaud you for. I then was pregnant with my second daughter and I started thinking - oh god what if I can’t feed her as long as I did with Lily?
Fast forward a few years, a pregnancy, some good hypno-birthing practices and two pushes later, Robin was born and breastfeeding. It was all going ok. However 4 weeks in, I had mastitis 3 times. I underestimated how hard two was going to be and it was quite apparent Robin wasn't a good feeder or not enjoying the experience; she fussed, cried, bobbed on and off, wriggled, cried some more and then would be starving 30 minutes later because she didn't get the feed that she should have had 30 minutes prior. I started hating the experience, felt resentful, ill and guilty that Lily was constantly waiting for me to finish feeding and throw in the fact my baby never seemed satisfied or happy!
I started slowly weaning her onto formula at 8 weeks and though I felt somewhat relieved, I felt so guilty. I felt like I had to constantly explain myself to mothers at baby groups, friends and family members. I felt guilty getting the bottles out whilst mothers held their small babies to their warm and comforting chest. And what for? Why should I feel like that? I know if it had gone a bit better, I would have persevered. This is one of the reasons I created the two t shirts on my website; Organic Milk and I’ve Got The Formula because whatever camp you are in, feel proud or at least comfortable and happy with your decision. You can only try your best and if formula was your decision from the start then that's perfectly ok too. You are already giving so much of yourself to your baby, you love them and they love you. Isn't that all that matters?