So, there is a lot of debate over this topic and a lot of people telling you what you should be doing. ‘Breast is best’, ‘Bottles are bad for them’ blah blah blah… Yes, breastfeeding is a beauty of nature and if you’re able to do it and chose to do it then go you! But why should we make others feel inferior for choosing a bottle? Not everyone is able to breastfeed or not everyone wants to breast feed so what is the big deal? If your baby is happy, growing well and being fed then why should people be telling others how to parent.
I personally chose to breastfeed but trust me it wasn’t the easy option that I thought it would be. I thought I would stare longingly into her beautiful eyes whilst she gently suckled but boy was I wrong! The pain and disappointment hit hard. I chose it because it worked for me and I was incredibly lucky to be able to. Breastfeeding is HARD and its painful, I remember ava first latching on and thinking that’s it, that was easy I’ve cracked it to then my nipples nearly falling off and being so painful because she wasn’t latching on correctly. The first 3 weeks I would say were hell. I was pretty much a milk making machine, I was in so much pain that it got to the point where I would have to psyche myself up by stamping on the floor and counting down then putting her on to latch. 3 weeks in, I then found my knight in shinning in armour… lansinoh nipple cream, that stuff is amazing to anyone who is breastfeeding or considering breastfeeding. It sounds like I’m putting people off the whole breastfeeding thing but once you get passed the initial stage, it’s easy!
Another thing is that I think is people are worried about doing it out in public and god forbid someone had something to say about something so natural! I personally didn’t find breastfeeding in public in issue, feeding my baby and keeping her happy is more important then worrying about people finding it offensive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I just got my boob out for everyone to see (although I’m pretty sure by accident I’ve not realised and it has been out or Ava has latched off and looked around, whoops) but I never purposely made it obvious, I always used a muslin to cover. I’m more concerned about people’s perception of your breast then me doing a thing of nature.
Ava was breastfed until she was just a little bit over a year and that was through her choice because one day she just refused it and wanted cows milk from a cup and we didn’t look back. I didn’t force her to continue, I didn’t persevere and keep going back because it’s what suited her. My breastfeeding journey was a bit like a rollercoaster, after the pain I finally thought I had it in the bag and it was a breeze until she stopped taking from my left side and I tried hard to make it work but the right side obviously was all she wanted and because of that I did suffer. I used to have to express to try and even them out but what a waste of bloody time that was… nearly a year later they are just about looking the same aha.
When I stopped breastfeeding I felt like I had my body back then I realised she didn’t want my boobs for milk but she wanted boobies for playing with or comfort and would frequently pull my top down to find them and not just mine but my mums too *eye roll*. I started to feel a little bit like me again and could finally get rid of those maternity bras (they are not cute). However, when I did stop I felt like a failure, I felt really upset that I wasn’t able to keep up with feeding my child and that she wasn’t fulfilled enough, and feeling that special time between us two was coming to end and it was the start of her independence.
The point I’m trying to make is we all parent differently and each baby is so different that if what works for you doesn’t mean it’s going to work for someone else. We should be supporting one another and helping them through which ever path they take rather than making them incapable which I’ve seen happen and it’s really upsetting. We are all mummies at the end of the day and we are all going through such an emotional journey that we shouldn’t be tearing each other down. We’ve got to do what works for our children and for ourselves, not what works for other people!!
Sorry I don’t have a beautiful breastfeeding picture but for me this was my reality… I think the face says it all!
Your stereotypical teen mum x