Dear women of the world,
Stop shaming mothers for not breastfeeding.
Breast is not always best if it is going to hurt the mother. No, I don’t mean physically hurt her, I mean mentally.
Motherhood is hard and any person that says otherwise is either lying, hasn’t been a parent or had a lot of help along the way.
For the rest of us regular women motherhood is hard.
It is a constant struggle trying to keep up with everything that a new baby needs and when a woman makes the decision to not breastfeed her baby is it not a decision made lightly.
So stop shaming her.
For me, I struggled with my decision not to breastfeed.
I wanted the very best for my baby but to be honest I wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding, or with my body. I also didn’t know what to do.
In the first few weeks of pregnancy I decided I would give it a go but then I found out that I was having twins, the thought of coping with twins and breastfeeding was just too much.
I was terrified at the thought of breastfeeding but during most of the pregnancy I left it open as a possibility.
By the time they arrived I had decided to go with a bottle as I felt it was the best option for me and for my babies.
It was a hard decision but after a stressful pregnancy, in the end it felt like the right decision for us.
Now when I say it was the right decision, if on the day they arrived I was told that their survival counted on me breastfeeding I would have done my very best to do it – but that didn’t happen.
Luckily, my babies were a little early but they were thriving and they still are, five years on – even without breastfeeding.
In the hospital, I had one visitor kindly tell me that I would lose the baby weight much easier if only I would breastfeed.
Sitting there with newborn twins, who actually thinks I was considering how to get rid of the baby weight?
I politely told her where to go and how I felt about that.
Motherhood has enough for us to worry about.
I can guarantee you that my current weight situation has nothing to do with the fact I didn’t breastfeed and more to do with what I have eaten since they arrived and throughout my fight for survival while they didn’t sleep for the first four years.
Breastfeeding is best for your baby, only if it is best for you.
It is not a decision to be made lightly but it is a decision to be made by each individual mother.
It is a decision that you as a mother need to be able to cope with.
Remember that your decision will be the right for you and for your baby and the opinions of other people are not important.
No one knows how you feel and the reasons for your choice and no one is entitled to question you or shame you or give their opinion.
From one mama to another, you’ve got this no matter what your choice.
You have and will always have the best interest of your baby at heart and if you are going to be a stronger mother because you choose to breastfeed or not to breastfeed, the choice is yours.
So remember not to listen to those kind visitors with words of judgement, they aren’t walking in your shoes.
You’ve got this.
You’re already an amazing mum because you care enough to make the right decision for you so that you can be there for your baby in the best way you know how.
So, congratulations! Enjoy the motherhood roller-coaster you’re about to get on – it is scary and fun all at the same time.
A bottle feeding mama.