Channel Mum have got their regular vloggers to film some short videos about them discussing their baby feeding journey, whether it be breast or bottle and tell everyone about the pressure they were under (or not) to breastfeed. It came off the back of this article about the pressures to breastfeed or ‘bressure’ if you will. It really got me thinking and wanted to share my thoughts with you all.
Apparently women are feeling under immense pressure to breastfeed according to this article. By midwives, health visitors, family, friends, strangers in the street. But really I honestly believe the most pressure comes from ourselves. We feel if we don’t breastfeed we are somehow not a good Mum and believe people will also think this of us.
Watch this little video from one of my favourite Mummy vloggers, Mrs Meldrum, who sums up the pressure we put on ourselves. Her first experience is heartbreaking.
I call nonsense on this! The ‘breast is best’ campaign is all very well and good but what if women are not able to breastfeed or they struggle through pain and exhaustion and feel they can’t cope. How does this pressure make them feel.
I’m a bit different. Or at least the media would have me believe I’m different. I (controversially it seems) chose to formula feed. Yes, I weighed up the options and actually chose the Devil’s food, Aptamil, to feed my baby. Shocking.
Don’t get me wrong, I really did weigh up my options. At first I thought I should probably give breastfeeding a chance but it wasn’t the ‘norm’ for me as nobody in my family has chosen to breastfeed so I really didn’t have a clue what it would entail so I did my research. I think I did feel ‘the bressure’ from all the midwives I seen but not because they were pushing it on me but because they’re not actually allowed to tell anyone about formula feeding. That’s the part that really annoyed me. Surely it’s a choice? Loads of information on one option and brush over the other like it’s some sort of witch craft. I just felt like I wasn’t allowed to ask about formula feeding so I didn’t. I asked my family about what equipment etc I would need and they gave me advice.
In the end it was talking to some lovely midwives (who shall remain nameless) that I finally made my decision to formula feed. We were talking generally about feeding and I was feeling really unsure that breastfeeding would make me a happy Mum. They convinced me that really everyone should just be pro-feeding and however I chose to feed my baby would be the right way. And that I should be confident in my choice knowing that I had done my research and come to an informed decision. And so I did!
As it turned out, I ended up having to have a c-section with Adam and that process can stop your milk coming in any way, mine didn’t appear until day 7 after he was born. And I really wanted the drugs to help with the pain afterwards so that I could even spend time with Adam without wincing so it was bottle feeding from the first moment. And there was no complaints from the midwives at the hospital. I didn’t feel guilty at all. After all, no one gives you a medal for giving birth and they certainly don’t give you a medal for breastfeeding.
I’m in no way anti-breastfeeding of course, I so admire women that do it. Totally amazing! But I didn’t think it would make me happy. I know that sounds so selfish because it was Adam I should’ve been thinking about but to be honest, it was all about Adam. A happy Mum makes for a happy baby. After my c-section I needed help getting up from the couch never mind anything else and it was absolutely the right decision for us. As it should be for all women.
I think we are far too quick to judge each other and ourselves. We are our own harshest critics. I have ignored the pressure to breastfeed and got on with looking after my baby happily and he is thriving.
I really hope that one day the whole feeding argument won’t be an issue but that’s wishful thinking. So it’s up to us women to make a change and be proud that we are happy with our decisions. Pro-feeding all the way!