Choosing Not To BreastFeed

A Mothers Right To Choose

Or is it?


When you become pregnant for the first time there suddenly becomes so many new things to think about. Nothing is about you any more, it all becomes about the baby, what is best for  baby, what is right and wrong, what type of parent do you want to be, it’s never ending and it doesn’t stop once you have baby. If anything it gets worse!
All mums to be start planning in advance, making decisions, deciding on things like disposable or cloth nappies, home/water/hospital birth, pain medication or nothing at all, dummies or nothing and so on.
The lists and extensive preparation can be exhausting but completely worthwhile if it all goes to plan. Because as we are all aware babies very rarely go along with plans.
What if it all goes awry? If your birth and first days of motherhood don’t go to plan?  What can or do you do? Do you change it all? Do you scrap it and go one day at a time? Or do you adapt?
Before baby arrives there is one choice you need to make. The most important choice. How are you going to feed your baby?
We all know breast is best! It’s the most natural way to feed your baby. The best way, easy way, the only way…..
Of course breastfeeding your newborn is what your body is designed to do, what it is supposed to do,
BUT……

But what if it doesn’t happen the way it is supposed to? You can’t express any or enough. What if your body can’t do it? Are you supposed to suffer in the pursuit of being a ‘good’ mum, is your baby supposed to go hungry because they aren’t being satisfied?
Yes you can choose to persevere, to plough on regardless for fear of being branded a bad mum for giving up. 
But why should doing what is best for you be so wrong? Being a new mum is hard whether it is your first or fifth baby. Choosing how to feed your baby should be a personal choice and no one should be made to feel inferior if they want or need to bottle feed their newborn. 
All mums should be encouraged to ultimately do what is best for them and baby as an unhappy and unhealthy mum is no good to anyone and if giving baby a bottle resolves an unhappy situation shouldn’t that be what is important. A happy mum and a well fed baby is a much more preferable scenario I think.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do agree with breastfeeding absolutely. Everyone should be given all the information, practical and emotional support to encourage breastfeeding where possible. It is the natural and best way to feed and nourish your baby. What I don’t agree with is mums being berated, looked down on if they don’t want to or can’t breastfeed. We should be encouraging them to find what is ultimately a solution if this is the case and forcing them into carrying on and persevering isn’t the way to do it. 
I didn’t choose to breastfeed my daughter. I had my reasons and situations occurred that made me decide that personally bottle feeding was the right choice for us. Do I feel like I’ve missed out on the bonding with my daughter due to not breastfeeding? No I don’t. Would I do anything differently if I could do it all over again? No I don’t think I would. My daughter has grown up to be a happy, healthy independent young lady who has a healthy appetite, no allergies, no health problems and we are really close. 
I know all mums are different and all of us experience different emotions with regards to our choice of feeding our babies. Each emotion and feeling is unique to them. All experiences and information should be shared freely so we can all make the best informed decision we can. And if that decision is different to yours…….
  1. Please don’t judge
  2. Encourage, help and support others choices
  3. Listen
  4. Understand
  5. Care

If you are struggling with breastfeeding, or struggling to make the decision for or against, I hope this helps but what ever you decide the choice is yours and yours alone. Make it, be strong and ignore anyone who tells you otherwise because no one knows your body or your baby better than you!

*I appreciate all comments and I love learning about peoples personal experiences. This is my personal view towards breastfeeding, I am not anti or for a certain way of feeding I am pro mum please bare this in mind when commenting.*
Thank you.

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  1. A wonderful VITAL post, the pressure on mums is ridiculous, every mother should do what they want and can without back seat parenting and pressure. Thanks so much for linking this up to #brillblogposts

  2. How awful that you wanted to but couldn't. I was the only mum in our group who didn't BF and needless to say I was made to feel inferior. I am glad your decision was accepted and the only person you had to justify it to was yourself. Thank you for sharing your story

  3. Great post! I had always planned to BF, but I didn't get along with it at all with my first child, and switched to FF after a few weeks of trying to express. With my second child I managed to get going for a couple of weeks (even though it was AGONY, I didn't enjoy one feed!), but health problems that landed us both in hospital when she 2 weeks old meant we couldn't continue. I've never felt judged particularly by anyone in the flesh, but most people i've made friends with through NCT and at other groups ALL BF, so whilst they have never mentioned it, I still felt left out on occasion. Definitely my issue rather than theirs. I think i'm just jealous of their ease at being able to BF! I've been told (in the nicest way possible) by a midwife that my nipples are shit for BF, so if we do have number 3, I'm not sure i'll put myself through all the stress again!

  4. What a horrible experience I have never heard it personally from that point if I am honest. I bottlefed and I'm not embarrassed or ashamed and would never do that. This post was for those mums feeling 'forced' to carry on breast feeding when it just isn't working for them. Congrats and good luck on your pregnancy x

  5. im due in june im planning to breastfeed or to give it a go, for me it is hard to judge those who bottle feed as circumstances can be different, i remember once i commented not even commented just asked questions out of curiosity why one lady doesnt wan to breastfeed and what will happen to milk, at this point i was judged, called "baby police" and truly and honestly these people made me feel horrible as i genuinely didnt mean harm and just wanted to know things i didnt know, i think sometimes those you bottle feed feel that they need to protect their point of view, the way they go about things, where as i think they need to not take others so seriously

  6. Breastfeeding isn't for all mums. Yes we all know the benefits etc… But at the end of the day, you as the mother will make that decision and that decision definitely will not make you or anyone a "bad" mother. I tried to breastfeed my baby. I was a new mum too, but I wasn't very good at it. I tried in the hospital with the help of midwives. I kept trying till my nipples were sore. Most of the midwives were lovely and encouraging. But I had this awful experience with one on the nightshift, but that's a long story. In the end, I mixed fed for awhile. My daughter would feed on me and then we'd do a follow-up with a bottle. This went on for about three months, till my daughter decided that she had enough of my breasts and preferred the bottle. Yes, I felt like a "bad" mum and guilty about it. But quickly got over the guilt. I think as mums, we just have to go with our instincts – and that's what makes us good mums! 🙂 #BrilliantBlogPosts.

  7. Great post! And I wholeheartedly agree. I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed my daughter as was one of my sisters but my other sister and sister in law weren't able to. I think you have to do what is best for YOU, the mother x

  8. Such an important debate. I tried with all three but my milk supply was so rubbish it made the first weeks so stressful. The relief/guilt was equal when I switched to a bottle. They all seem okay for it though 🙂

  9. So glad you liked it! I chose not to breastfeed but luckily didn't get any criticism but I have seen struggling mums who do. It must of been so hard if you are struggling and I feel these mums need help to make the right choice not pressure. Thank you for your lovely comment

  10. Thanks for this excellent post, it's a really difficult subject and there is a LOT of pressure on mums. I found it extremely difficult to bf but did manage and at 11 months still do, I am lucky in some ways but spent a lot of time wondering why I bothered given the level of stress it caused…on the other hand a close friend decided to exclusively FF and suffered a lot of criticism from people who didn't understand the reasons she did so. Ultimately we both did our best and what is right for us. As you say, happy mum and well fed baby is the priority.

  11. Thank you Jo. It sometimes takes me a while to pluck up the courage to hit publish but I am always glad when I do. I love that we have the same views on a lot of things xx

  12. I am not a parent and have no immediate plans to become one, but what I do know is that the choice to breastfeed or not should be mine and I've always said that I would choose NOT to breastfeed. I understand the benefits, but I think everyone is different – so it should be a choice and you shouldnt be made to feel bad for making a choice.

  13. I totally agree it should be a personal decision but I seen some very negative tweets to mums thinking about giving up and I felt so bad for the mums involved. They do whatever is best for mum and baby. Thanks for commenting x

  14. I don't know why you hold back on publishing these posts. They are so even in terms of debate that you shouldn't be nervous about what people say. I 100% agree with and think it's great that you've published this.
    I do dislike when people say things like 'there's no bond more special than breast feeding' because it makes me think, really? Are they trying to say that I don't have that special bond with Carson? Hmm… there's no right or wrong here. There's simply understanding 🙂 xx

  15. It's absolutely a choice and it depends entirely on each child. Every child's unique so saying the same would work for all is quite ignorant. Really good post

    AliceMegan

  16. A very well written post on a subject that seems to divide us mothers so much. I breastfed both of mine, exclusively until their 6 months weaning, and then until 9 months. Breast is best, it came very naturally to me and my babies and so it was the option I went for. But, my mum (whom I am very close to, so bond unaffected!) bottle fed me and I don't feel any worse off for it! We shouldn't judge, each to their own, I say! x