I’ve seen all these beautiful posts supporting the need to normalize breast feeding. Instagram alone is such an amazing platform for generating support and bringing awareness. But I also wish to point out that no matter how a baby feeds whether it be by breast or bottle, the only thing that matters is that they’re healthy and receiving the nutrition that they require. There is a ridiculous amount of pressure on mothers to breast feed. This pressure is so immense I felt guilty for choosing to bottle feed. With every clinic appointment and doctor visit, I continually felt as though I would be starving my baby of nutrients if I chose to bottle feed.
The pressure I felt began at the very beginning of my pregnancy. I was asked by doctors, midwives, ultrasound technicians, family and friends if I was going to breast feed. To me, it’s a very personal choice and quite frankly no one else’s business. I couldn’t understand why these people felt it was any of their business to begin with. Why should my choice need to be explained over and over again. Our baby is OUR BABY and it has nothing to do with anyone else how we choose to feed, raise, dress and care for our child.
I would respond and say no I would be bottle feeding, the responses were varied. The majority tried to talk me into breast feeding without knowing my reasoning. I would get responses like; “you should breastfeed”, “why won’t you breastfeed”, “I think you should try it”, “you should at least breastfeed for the first two weeks”, “it’s better for your baby”. What if I physically couldn’t? They didn’t know if this was my personal choice or if I medically could not breast feed, but that didn’t stop the opinions flooding in. Women shouldn’t feel pressured just because someone else has an opinion and experience different to your own.
A midwife at one of my antenatal appointments asked me how I intended to feed my baby. I said I’m formula feeding and she looked at me with disgust. The midwife then continued to tell me while she took my measurements that I should attend the Friday breast feeding classes and ask me over and over until the appointment was over if I wanted to. I kept responding with no thank you I’m bottle feeding and she just did not respect my choice. My husband was horrified at just how utterly rude this lady was with no regard for my feelings.
My son has always been bottle fed. Neither of us have had any problems. Elijah is always above average at his check ups and is a completely healthy baby boy. Everyone always comments saying how content Elijah is and how well he is growing. I immediately get asked if he is breast or bottle fed and when I respond bottle fed, most people appear shocked. I think we need to NORMALIZE CHOICE and the fact the FED IS BEST. Our babies don’t care how they’re fed as long as they have all the nutrition they need. They just want to feel our love ❤️❤️ #fedisbest #normalizechoice