Over the past few weeks I have come across numerous articles about women who choose or were unable to breastfeed and have felt shamed for bottle feeding their children. This issue has given me tons of guilt since having both of my daughters. Both of my girls were bottle fed and here’s why:
With my first daughter I had every intention of breastfeeding, I had a pump, lotions and potions, books, and everything in between. My labor was quick however (without going into too much detail) I had issues with my placenta being delivered and I had A LOT of tearing. After the doctors “fixed” me, I was cathed and pretty much bed ridden my entire hospital stay. I was traumatized by labor to say the least. My bond with Sydney was immediate however, her latch was not. We worked on it while in the hospital and when we arrived home it became more of a struggle. Sydney was not interested at all and I was in so much pain that after four days of trying to get her to latch and many many tears later I gave in and started her on formula.
I had the same intentions with my second daughter. Elliot came fast and furious and my delivery and recovery were flawless, however, Elli was in the NICU for two days because of fluid in her lungs. I again tried my darnest to get her to breastfeed, with no such luck. With her it was much more difficult for me to except because I did not feel that initial bond. I felt like if she would just latch on it would make it all better. I’m happy to report that about three months in we finally got to know one another and she is the most amazing little babe!
In the past two years I have been asked many times if I breastfed and I anxiously answer “no” waiting for a disapproving reply. Most of the time I’m questioned and I never know what to say. At times I have felt so embarrassed that I completely avoid answering.
Fellow momma’s, being a momma is not just about your children, it’s about supporting each other. Life and parenthood is very difficult. You don’t know what someone else is going through or what they have been though. So next time you inquire about if someone breastfed their baby, please rather than questioning her, let her know you support her no matter what.