Monday, August 23, 2010

...But it wont kill them!

I have been wanting to write this post for a while, it has been written in my head many times in the last few months, but, in fear of causing too much of a stir, I have let it lay.

Today I am thinking that I have found myself enough knowledge, learnt enough words, that just maybe, I will be able to write it with each and every person agreeing with me, with no one being upset, with the world being happy, and hopefully, if I do it properly, if it all goes down on paper as well as it is sounding in my head, then I just might be onto something. WE might be able to start a revolution, a new way of thinking for future generations. WE might be able to stop the behaviours that, in this society, are causing so much pain to mum's everywhere.

So, here I go.

I am a mum to 3 amazing children. I support Breastfeeding. I am a member of our local Australian Breastfeeding Association. I attend the meetings. I have breastfed all of my children.

I support Breastfeeding. I think it is the BEST thing you can do for your child.

I support Breastfeeding. And it makes me cranky when people dont even want to try it.

Please don't switch off because of my above statements. Please keep reading.

I am a mum to 3 amazing children. I support breastfeeding and I attend ABA meetings when I can, I love the social side of it, and being with people who have children the same age as mine.
I love being there, because you can feed wherever you like, and its ok! You dont feel uncomfotable, you dont worry that you are making others feel uncomfortable, and its nice to have the support.
I find that if I have to feed in public, it changes a lot of people. A lot of people wont even look at you, let alone speak to you. Conversations instantly come to a halt. It almost makes me feel bad for feeding my baby.
I am not one of these people that like to make a show of breastfeeding, I like to be discreet, but I dont feel I should have to segregate myself from the world. I have seen some women that make a rather huge spectacle out of the fact that they are feeding their baby, some that even make me feel uncomfortable!

Each of my children were breastfed, for different periods. Each one has gradually been for a longer time. I am nearly up to 12 months with this one, and in all honesty, I dont think I am ready to stop any time soon. I would love to have my body back, to be able to leave my child sometimes, but I really do cherish those quiet times that we get together. I know I can still have them if we use a bottle, but its not the same to me, she wont need ME then.

I know what you are thinking, I am just another breastfeeding Nazi and you dont want to read anymore. But please bare with me.

Breastfeeding for me, with each one, was DAMN hard! It was hard for weeks! I would brace myself each time I had to feed because of the pain. My nipples were cracked, bleeding, and excruciatingly sore. But I REALLY wanted it to work, so put up with it. Once that passed, it seriously is a walk in the park!

My 2nd child was breastfed and bottle fed, he was a greedy little thing and needed more than I could give him. While it was frowned apon by many, it worked for us, and thats all that mattered. All that ever matters is that it works for you and your baby!

While the world is out there telling us that breast is best, that we should all do it etc etc, is anyway actually saying that using formula is ok too? That formula will not harm your baby? That if you can't breastfeed, formula is perfectly acceptable?
There are so many formula advertisments around, each one claiming that it has some amazing added nutrient. But no ad's for breastmilk.
There are so many advertisments for baby bottles, but none for boobs.
There are no ad's purely saying, congratulations, your having a baby, this is what you ca do adn both are FINE!

It seems that there is no level playing field when it comes to this topic. Women who breastfeed are made to feel uncomfortable in public, whereas bottlefeeding women dont. Bottlefeeding women get to hear about how much better breast milk and are made to feel guilty. But it seems that no matter what you choose, no-one is happy when the topic is brought up. Breatfeeding mothers get on their high horse and carry on about it, talking down to everyone else, and bottlefeeding mothers get their backs up and become defensive.
This needs to stop, no matter how we choose to feed our children, no-one should be made to feel bad! We should all be supported! Hell, we are new mums!!!!

Which brings me (Finally) to my point.
My mission statement.
The one thing that I want you to take from this and pass around the world.

Breast milk is a wonderful amazing thing, designed soley for the feeding of our babies. Those that can do it easily are extremely lucky.
Formula is also a wonderful amazing thing, designed soley for the feeding of our babies, and while we know breast is best, formula isn't about to kill anyone!
As I wisely read recently - Fed is Best!


  1. So very well said!
    I agree - Breast is best - but bottle is not going to kill them!
    I found breast feeding my second son so very excruciating that after 8 weeks of constant tears, curled up toes and holding my breath at feed time that it was not doing either of us any good. He would not get a full feed as I could not stand the pain. It was the hardest decision for me as I really really wanted it to work, but when your hormones are already crazy this was one last thing I could not deal with. My friends were breastfeeding, the new mums in the mummy's room were breastfeeding and it was doing my head in knowing that I was not doing it right!
    10 months later and I have the most content, happy, sleeping baby you could ask for!
    Making the switch from breast to bottle was not an easy one for me, but it was the best for my baby, my body and my well being.
    Do what is right for you - don't let anyone tell you what you should do! It is your body, your baby and your life!

  2. Very well written, i only breastfed my first for two months and they were 2 excruciating long months of no sleep, not enough milk produced and oceans of tears from my son and myself every day. Then i finally gave in and went solely to formula, well didnt life change, my son and i were happy! He went to sleep on his own, his hunger needs were met and i could function again, instead of being a tearful wreck everyday.

    When my second came along i was determined to give it another go, although i had many scary thoughts of why bother it wont work out.....
    Along came my daughter and i never felt one ounce of pain from day one of breastfeeding. She will be 1 in a week and we are almost finished weaning.

    My honest opinion is that everyone should give breastfeeding a go and if it doesnt work out, then by all means go to formula. Dont feel guilty about it and stand up for yourself to people that think they have all the answers.

  3. I totally agree with you... I was so determined to breastfeed..I wanted to use disposable nappies (to save the smell and time of washing cloth - my gag reflex has never been good).

    But from day one it was a disaster... it was painful every feed and even the nurses in hospital couldn't get him to attach properly. I blistered, bled, cracked etc for 2 weeks or more and even in hospital was expressing and bottle feeding at almost every feed. I was released from Hospital after 10 days and on day 12 got a massive dose of mastitis and ended up in Lala land for 24 hours with no memory and was so grateful I had expressed enough the day before.

    It turned out I was spending an hour feeding, another hour expressing and 30mins to myself... the reason... My son had reflux, and lactose intollerance so my milk was no good for him. it was too thin and too easily vomited, and my lactose was giving him diahoreah and more vommiting and pain.... I felt like a failure and was frustraed and cried for weeks because I was trialling so many formulas with and with out thickeners, and was even questioned by the community nurse about how much and how often he was feeding and sleeping.

    There was no mothercare nurses available to come and help me in the country and I still (7 years on) get jealous when I see friends breastfeed....

    In short I totally agree... breast is best... but for me and my son... it was just sickening!