Breastfeeding: Why It Wasn’t For Us

standard October 20, 2015 16 responses

When you find out you’re expecting, you have a whole host of ideal scenarios. One of the most thought about and at times controversial is how to you choose to feed your baby. I had my ideal situation: I was going to breastfeed whilst I was on maternity leave and express once I went back to work so that I could provide milk for Mason when I wasn’t with him. However, as is not uncommon with feeding a baby, the reality was not like the expectation.

When he was born, Mason was a sleepy baby. We had to wake him for feeds and frankly he was a lazy little boy. He didn’t want to latch because he was too frustrated that he wasn’t being fed. Instead he would cry until he’d forget why he was crying. I had the option to keep trying to get him to latch, and I did try, but eventually for both our sanity and for Mason’s health, we decided to combine formula feeding with breastfeeding to make sure he was, you know, eating.

It turned out that my boy liked his food so much, that my boobs didn’t in the least bit interest him and that was the end of my breastfeeding, expressing idea. But honestly? I’m pretty happy about it. (Cue people on Mumsnet telling me that I’m poisoning my child).

Let me tell you why.

I know how much Mason is eating. The more I tried (and failed) to feed Mason I realised that it really bothered me that I had no idea how much he was getting when he was feeding from me. He could have eaten literally nothing and all I’d have were sore boobs. Formula feeding meant I knew how much he was getting and whether I should be worried about it.

I don’t have the inclination to get my boobs out in public. I know this has been a subject of recent controversy, what with Primark woman lying her face off about a security guard assaulting her whilst breastfeeding and all. I have no real issue with breastfeeding in public, but the fact is that I don’t want to do it. I also don’t want to have to lock myself in a toilet every time he whinges. It’s not good for me and therefore by proxy, not good for him. With formula, when he’s hungry, he can be fed really easily and anywhere he decides to create, without too much fuss or stress.

I don’t have to worry about ‘running out’. I can bulk buy formula in advance. I know when I need more. Other people can buy it if I’m not around and can sort it out for me. I don’t have to worry that our childminder will run out of expressed milk and be left unable to help. What if my flow just won’t cut it on that particular day? I can do without that kind of worry through my work days.

Wes can do half of the feeding. No, this isn’t a nightfeed cop out. I don’t actually mind the night feeds and the excuse for cuddles with my little man, but sometimes I want to do other things. Sometimes I need to be in places where Mason and Wes aren’t. This pro isn’t just about Wes but anyone. Mason’s grandparents, aunts and uncles and anyone who wants to help us out. It gives me a rest, it helps Mason interact with a host of other people and allows his family members to share this bonding experience with him.

It’s a totally personal thing and I see the good points for both arguments. What I don’t understand is why it’s so controversial. It’s a constant source of battling between mums as to how they feed their own children. Surely as long as the kids are being fed and are growing normally, and their parents love them unconditionally, there’s no issue.

For a lot of mums, myself obviously included, the hopes and ideals that we had before our babies arrived simply weren’t to be but we’re doing what’s best for us and our babies. I am not a failure of a mother. Now if someone could grab the ‘Breast Is Best’ militia tell them the same thing, that’d be great.

Wanna wade in on the subject in the comments? Be my guest but to be honest this was more for me than anyone else. I just hope that the next time someone dares to call a mother a failure for not doing the same thing they are, they might come across this and realise that there’s way more to this topic than they will ever know.

More upbeat stuff to come, promise!

Run Jump Scrap! My Random Musings


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16 responses

  • I had high hopes and ideals when it came to breastfeeding my first, and if we had another, I just don’t know if I would be able to go there again for the sake of my sanity….#bestandworst
    Talya recently posted…#Beingamother project issue 24: What motherhood means to…Amy AntoinetteMy Profile

    • Amy

      To be honest Talya, I’m not sure I’d be able to go there again. Not just for my sanity, but seeing how we’ve all thrived (not just the baby) on the extra sleep, the bonding time everyone gets with feeding him and no constant stressing or wondering about how much milk he’s getting. That and our boy is just getting bigger and healthier and happier on formula. I’m not entirely against the idea, but at it is now, I’m quite happy being on the formula side of the fence! Thanks for reading my rant! x

  • Good points I never breast fed and my daughter turned out fine. X

    • Amy

      Exactly and that is what should be most important. Unfortunately, I find a lot of people don’t see it that way. Thanks for reading! Much appreciated! x

  • Love this post. I struggled to breastfeed and felt so much better when we changed to formula, but the guilt trips and shaming really got to me. Next time I doubt I’ll try and breastfeed, because all the pressure does is make mums feel bad. Kids absolutely thrive on formula, and will be every bit as intelligent, healthy and happy as breastfed children – my favourite rebuttal to any argument on this subject is, when you walk into a room full of 2 year olds, can you point out which ones are formula fed and which ones are breastfed? Of course not!

    Great post.
    The Speed Bump recently posted…The Five Stages of Shopping With A ToddlerMy Profile

    • Amy

      Aww, thank you.

      I felt so guilty the first few days and frustrated with myself, wondering if I was just doing something wrong. Before he was born it had never occurred to me that it might just not be something that we weren’t supposed to do. Your rebuttal is bang on, even though most of the time I just keep my mouth shut on the subject. I don’t see why it’s that controversial, unless you’re completely abstaining from feeding your child I don’t see the difference, like, at all. Posting this and seeing others in the same situation has totally helped!

      Thanks for visiting! x

  • I breastfed (am currently breastfeeding), but I can appreciate why it’s not for everyone. It’s not something I particularly enjoy, but it’s free, we’ve found it reasonably easy (both me and the babies), and they each gained a lot of weight and grew nicely from it. I don’t understand why people get their knickers in such a twist over it though! 🙂
    Ellie @ Hand Me Down Baby recently posted…Thumb-sucking BabiesMy Profile

    • Amy

      No, I don’t understand the big deal either. Whatever works for everyone, which is why it winds me up when people get on their soapbox saying one is better than the other! Thanks for popping by! x

  • I’m still breastfeeding my son (he’s nearly 15 months) and I’m very lucky that it’s worked out for us and has been absolutely the right choice. What I found interesting was that a lot of your points in favour of formula would have been the opposite for me. For example, the not knowing how much milk the baby is getting when breastfeeding. I found the not knowing quite liberating as I had to accept that I just wouldn’t know and trust that he was gaining weight and thriving. Just shows we are all so different and what’s a positive for one person is a negative for another. Totally agree that no one should be judged!

    • Amy

      Wow, that’s pretty amazing. I never, ever thought about it that way before. I guess I’m just wired very differently! I have to know things, have to be able to prepare and organise and stuff like that so never even considered the unknown could feel liberating! Glad it’s all working out for you and your son though. Thanks for reading 🙂 x

  • Bravo, what a great post. I couldn’t breastfeed with either of my girls and DESPERATELY wanted to – I ended up in hospital with terrible mastitis with number one, and was forced to give up. The pressure I felt was all from myself, not others, and even 4 and a half years on it still upsets me. I find it disgraceful that other mothers should look down on formula feeders (and vice versa) as surely we should support each other when we are going through something so epic as having a newborn! Becky x #bestandworst
    Becky at PinksCharming recently posted…ThrowbackThursday: Car washing in the 80sMy Profile

    • Amy

      Aw, thanks Becky. It sounds like you had an absolutely awful time of it but I hope it doesn’t upset you quite as much anymore. I am 100% in agreement with you – as fellow mums, we should definitely be sticking together, rather than criticising each other for stuff like this, especially when it’s such a deeply personal thing. Thanks for dropping by! x

  • As a breastfeeder myself, I actually don’t really care how others feed their babies! I cannot get over how judgemental everyone is over it. Ultimately a happy, well fed baby is all the matters and Mum is happy too. Great post hun. Good for you; you did what was right for you and it worked out! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst and see you soon xx
    Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) recently posted…My Week at a Glance #26My Profile

    • Amy

      Thanks Sarah 🙂 Was glad to be able to get this little bugbear off my chest… I still don’t really understand the judging that goes on between mums about this topic, but we often see so much about things from a breastfeeding perspective that I thought I’d like to show it from the formula feeder’s view too. Will be seeing you on #bestandworst next week! x

  • Good points I never breast fed and my daughter turned out fine. I had high hopes and ideals when it came to breastfeeding my first, and if we had another, I just don’t know if I would be able to go there again for the sake of my sanity

  • […] and 3 years old. We’ve formula-fed Short Rib basically since he was born and he’s thrived on it (yes, breastfeeding warriors, we tried the preferred method. Didn’t work.) We still give him just one bottle of formula milk just before he settles down to go to sleep – […]

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