I need to talk with you about something I feel really passionate about. Breastfeeding.
This is not one of those type of blog posts. I do not believe there is a right or a wrong way to feed your babies. But I do believe there is a right way and a wrong way for you as the mom. And I do not like how people try to pressure moms to feed their babies in ways that make them uncomfortable. I do not have strong opinions either way. I just feel passionately that you have the freedom to choose whatever path you want without guilt. That is right, without guilt. As if that could ever happen.
Because we feel guilty enough for all the decisions we make as mothers. And now stupid Bloomberg with his inability to lactate is trying to make us feel even worse. I don’t get it. What happened to parental choice?
I had all the information when I became a new parent. I knew me and I knew my body and I was pretty sure breastfeeding was not for me. I talked with our pediatrician and he assured me that while there were benefits to breastfeeding, using formula was just fine. He and his wife made the same choice. It is 1 year of their life. 1 year.
Breastfeeding is a divisive topic and I can’t wrap my mind around why people care so much what other people are doing. If no one is forcing you to feed your kids formula why not leave it alone. Have you read those blog comments? It gets nasty. The judging and criticizing is horrendous. Where is the support for each other as mothers who just want to do the best we can for our families.
I was bottlefed, and I turned out mostly ok. The problems I have had are crazy bad genetics, and not because of the bottle I was fed. Go ahead and prove me wrong. I can’t think of a case where I was pissed at my mom for not breastfeeding. Or an instance that I felt different or out of place because I wasn’t breastfed. Would it have made me taller? Longer legs perhaps? Would it have made me thinner? Smarter? More sarcastic?
Didn’t think so.
All three of my kids were bottlefed. I felt so guilty about not breastfeeding, not because I thought I made the wrong choice, but because so many people TOLD me I was making the wrong choice. So I tried to breastfeed my 3rd. It was a horrible experience. I don’t know what the problem was, but she wouldn’t latch on. She lost almost a pound her first week. After 72 hrs of trying, I was crying, she was crying, and I am fairly sure my husband was crying. I couldn’t hear or see him through my own misery. I didn’t feel any closer to her than I did my other 2 kids. Any reason that someone tried to give me for not giving up just didn’t make sense. I knew she was going to be fine either way, but what mattered was how I felt. What I needed, what would help me get through the day with an infant and 2 young kids. My kids needed a mom with all her faculties about her and not a weeping, overly tired, angry mom. So I got the bottle out, and Margo was fine. And so was I.
I know other moms have made other choices and I applaud them for that. I know the determination and pain it can cause to breastfeed. Women who choose to breastfeed are awesome, but no more awesome than the mom who bottlefeeds. I am no less of a mom because I didn’t breastfeed.
It is important to make families aware of all the choices out there. However, when it crosses the line into forcing people to follow your views, that is wrong.
Especially when that person is a man who leads a city. Who doesn’t have boobs. Who isn’t a medical doctor. Who has no right to tell any woman what to do with her body. That guy can shut up. Shame on you Michael Bloomberg.
I didn’t breastfeed and I don’t have to make excuses for why, I just didn’t. I am an intelligent woman. I have a college degree and a Master’s degree, I am well read and I keep up on parenting information. I had the information, I weighed my choices and I made the right decision for me and my family.
To be honest, I just don’t care how you decided to feed your baby. But I sure am glad you have the choice.