There is so much pressure to breastfeed now that only of the ladies in my moms group was telling us that she felt forced into it. Now, I am very stubborn, in the hospital I made it clear that I was not going to breast feed. Even after my son had problems with the first two formulas I did not give into the nurses. I made it clear that I did not want to hear it before I was admitted, and I had a nurse kicked off my service for badgering me about it. There are many reasons I felt so strongly about it.
Many "professionals" tell you that in order to bond with your baby you need to breast feed.
Now considering our baby was not planned, and my fiance was not at all excited to be a dad, this picture sure looks like we are pretty darn attached to me.
Now my reasons for not breastfeeding could be considered selfish. I did not want to deal with the cracked nipples. I was already recovering from a c-section, not to mention ripping open my stitched a month later. I happen to have very sensitive nipples. I also have very large breasts. Before monkey man I was a DDD. I did not want the extra stress on my back. I also did not want to have to struggle with covering up my baby every time they had to eat and trying to get my breast exposed while not having it exposed.
One of the main reasons I wanted to formula feed was so that my fiance could feed while I was doing my school work. Now many of you could say but pumping was always a option so that he could feed. When you pump it takes twice as long to feed. You take the time you are pumping and the time you are feeding. Just not a option for me.
I also loved that he could feed himself while I got things done.
That same lady from my mothers group has a problem leaving her 6 month old with anyone while she goes out because her daughter will not take a bottle. All she wants is the breast. Her baby has become so attached that she will only sleep a hour at a time even during the night because she uses the breast not just for food but as a soother as well. This has left the mother exhausted and has a negative reaction every time the baby cries or wants to be held. This time around it has not been a happy motherhood for her. She has been told she does not have post partum depression she is just overly exhausted and to try to get some sleep. Well easy for the doctor to say get some sleep when he is not a pacifier/food source.
Now what good is breastfeeding when the mother is miserable? When she is in pain? When no one can help take over the feeding?
Now another mother in my moms group got a bad breast infection while her twins were 3 months old. Talk about painful. Again the babies would not take anything other than a breast so she had to continue breast feeding with a infection while on heavy antibiotics.
Others in our group have had many babies not receive enough breast milk and had to switch to formula after their babies were hospitalized for dehydration. They not only felt guilty that they were not making enough milk to keep their babies hydrated, they felt guilty that their babies now had to be on formula.
Now why would someone feel guilty that their baby had to be on formula? Formula is still healthy for your baby. Formula is still giving your baby the nourishment it needs. Formula helps babies gain weight easier than breastfeeding. Formula allows others to be able to feed your baby. Formula makes it easy for baby to be away from mom for a few hours to give her a break. Formula is richer then breast milk making it easier for babies to sleep through the night. Formula also has a more balanced amount of vitamins that does not rely on your diet and makes it so that babies do not end up needing supplements.
Now again I am not saying that breast feeding is bad or that formula feeding is for everyone. I just feel like mothers should not be punished, looked down upon, or made to feel guilty about formula feeding. Mothers know what is best for their child. I know I would have never made it through breast feeding. I could have never delt with any of the problems that could have came from breast feeding.
What is your opinion? Were you a mom who felt pressured into breast feeding? Did you have problems from breast feeding? I would love to hear your story.