I, like many other women, have children (3 to be exact). I love my kids very much. I would do the unimaginable for them. My kids range from 6 years old to 7 months old.
I, like many other women, I’m sick of breastfeeding blogs.
The part that sickens my about them is the fact that some of them make it seem as if you don’t breastfeed you baby you are a “bad mom” or even anti God (bare with me you will understand more in a minute).
But first let me say this for the record:
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my kids even before I had them. I tried breastfeeding.
The first time around the milk just would not come. Call it whatever you want, it just would not come. I tried for a whole month and my child was going hungry. She was very colicky and whinny and would easily throw up anything she was feed. So I tried and tried and tried until I (yes that’s right I) gave up. During this “I must breastfeed time” I went through Postpartum depression (I had no clue that existed at the time). I felt unloved; I was extremely sleep deprived from trying to breast feed day and night. I was angry at myself for not being able to provide my child with the much needed breast milk.
The second time around, I tried again and again failed. I again beat myself up everyday because I was not producing enough milk for my baby. I consulted a lactation consultant and spoke to my doctor about it. I followed all of their advice but still could not breastfeed.
The third time around (and notice how by the third time I have not giving up on it, still trying) it was worse. I had my 2 last children very close to each other (10 months apart) and as my doctor said my body had no time to heal. The pain I felt while trying to breastfeed was so intense that one day my partner found me on the floor unable to move. I was crying as if I had just got beaten up, because I tried to breastfeed.
I was in excruciating pain. This was worse that giving birth to my second child (whom I deliver with NO PAIN medication whatsoever). It was painful. He gave me Ibuprofen and tried to get me to stand up but I couldn’t. To make a long story short “I” decided to stop breastfeeding (you could read my article on breast feeding if you want to know the whole story).
Now that this is clear allow me to continue with my story.
I’ve come across some blogs that portray breastfeeding as “a mothers responsibility” and “as God designed food”. This articles frown upon the parent who make the important decision not to breastfeed. What they don’t include is that a mom does not simply get up one day and says “ah I just don’t feel like breastfeeding anymore”. That is not how this comes to be. Most moms know that breastfeeding is important and they want to breastfeed their babies but is not as easy for some of us. Not as easy as it look’s.
I also came across “The Human Pacifier” a blog that promotes and embraces the dignity behind breastfeeding. But in my opinion omits how hard it is for some women. How for some of us is not as easy as saying this is what we were born to do. How it fails to point out that the fact that we are mother’s does not necessarily means that we “must” breastfeed our kids because it’s hard wired in our system.
In the other hand I really like an article I found in PostPartum Progress that talks about the “ok” in not breastfeeding.
It promotes breastfeeding without putting down the woman who decides that breastfeeding is simply is not for them.
Yes breastfeeding is recommended and it’s good for mother and baby but a woman has the right not to breastfeed.
And that doesn’t make her a bad mom. A woman (me) has the right not to be questioned or looked at "funny" just because she is not breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is a different experience for everyone. And while some enjoy it and embrace it, some of us are a lot less fortunate and go through a great deal of emotional stress and pain.
I firmly believe that if breastfeeding affects the mental and emotional peace that a woman should have and the relationship of a mom with her baby then its best not to breastfeed at all. Call me crazy or anti-breastfeeding but nothing (including breastfeeding) should be in the way of your emotional health.
Being a mom is a joy and is also very stressful. There are a lot of choices to make, a lot of worrying involved with vaccines, sudden death syndrome, poisoning, child care, money, marital life and so much more that we don’t need to add extras to the bucket.
Call me weird but breastfeeding is a woman’s choice and it should not be frowned upon if she decides not to.
Asides from all the great benefits a mom doesn’t have to breastfeed to be a good mom. I happen to be a great mom (or so I was told by my 6 year old). My children are healthy, happy and I give then all the love I have and more. I decided not to beat myself up or allow anyone to do so just because I decided to call it quits.
I propose the "I decide whether to breastfeed or not" movement. Because it is my choice. It’s your choice!