Finding the balance between Motherhood & Me

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Why We Need to Stop Shaming Bottle Feeders


Maybe I am naïve but I always assumed that you chose bottle feeding or breastfeeding, but it wasn’t until I fell pregnant that it was expected I would try breastfeeding and only if that failed would I bottle feed.

I have never outwardly admitted that I actually plan to bottle feed. I have always been too afraid. Whenever someone asks me if I am going to breastfeed I either change the subject or say I will try it, but I have no plans whatsoever to do so. Whenever I have told someone outright “I want to bottle feed” I get a look and asked, “so you are not even trying?”

Breastfeeding is amazing and I respect it as a decision, I am disappointed that it isn’t reciprocated by the majority of people. I completely see how breastfeeding can be magical and how it is way more convenient. However it really upsets me that we talk so much about normalising breastfeeding, and absolutely we should, but why shame bottle feeders in the process?

I didn’t make the decision to bottle feed lightly, I did my research… don’t worry! I have decided that as a family, it is the best decision for us. People may consider that completely selfish and actually, that’s okay. It’s not their family, baby or body.

I have decided to now be upfront about my decision on how my baby is fed. I will tell people that no I am not even trying breast feeding and I will stomach the looks, I will no longer desperately try and justify my decision but will stand by it.

Our Reasons to Bottle Feed:
Others can help: When the baby is here I have a strong support system, my mum, my in-laws and Rich will all have time off work to support me, I want them to be able to help with feeding.

Others can bond with baby: When my cousin had her baby, as he was breastfed he would not go to anyone else or be comforted by anyone else. He just wanted mummy because she had the milk. It was quite a hard time for her partner as there wasn’t much he could do for his baby and the baby would cry when he went to him.
It can already be a time for Daddy’s to feel pushed out and I don’t want that pressure added too, also a huge part of me bonding with my brother when he was born was being able to feed him and I want that for the rest of the family too. It’s going to be a transition for Richards’s kids and I think it’s important they feel involved with their new sibling and are allowed the responsibility of feeding him.

But you can express or combine feed?
Hmm, I have heard this so many times and again we thought this too, we decided we would try combine feeding but after reading into it a lot combi--feeding isn’t that simple! It’s hard enough getting a baby to latch on without then throwing in a bottle for him to get used to. Babies tend to take a preference to one and then if that’s breast that doesn’t really help my above reasons. Also expressing can really mess up your milk supply if you are doing both, you can over produce or end up with you boobs constantly attached to either a machine or a baby. So many people told me it was unlikely my baby would take to both and it seems really complicated.

Why don’t you just try it?
What’s the point? I don’t want my baby breastfed for the above reasons so why would I try it? I may adore the bond it builds, but that doesn’t take away from the other things I want for my child and my family! People constantly get frustrated with me that I won’t try it, but I plan to bottle feed anyway so what’s the point in confusing my baby? He’s been through enough after labour!
Has anyone else felt the pressure to breastfeed or been made to feel bad about your decision to bottle feed? 
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4 comments

  1. Such a great post. I did breastfeed for two months, three weeks exclusively and it was hard work. And what's worse is you do feel guilty for wanting to give up even if it's going OK.
    Always do what you want and what's best for you and your family. And make sure you have bottles and milk in your hospital bag as the hospital will try and push breastfeeding. Oh and the tommee tippee perfect prep machine is a God send!!

    Rach // http://illustratedteacup.com

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    1. Haha thank you! Yeah its a real shame there is such pressure. Have already picked up the Perfect Prep - wasn't letting that one slip through the wishlist! xx

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  2. At the end of the day fed is best and its your baby and your body so therefore your decision. I have breastfed Arthur since birth and I love it (most of the time anyway haha) but I completely respect a mother's decision not to. Don't let people put you down. You know best for your baby and family xxx

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