If anyone reading this is pro-exclusive breastfeeding and/or anti-formula, you should probably stop reading now. It’s been over eight years since I had my first child. Breastfeeding was a hot-button topic then, and for reasons beyond my comprehension, it’s still something that is considered controversial and “newsworthy.”
Personally, I started breastfeeding my children right away for one main reason – it’s free! I mean, it’s good for the baby and all, but come on, you really can’t beat free!
The bad thing about breastfeeding is that it can really suck (that was not meant to be a pun). Apparently, breastfeeding isn’t as easy for all women as we have been led to believe thanks to television, movies, and self-righteous mothers who feel the need to bestow their opinions to the online community every chance they get.
Did you know that they make something called a nipple shield? Why on Earth do you think they would mass produce a nipple shield if breastfeeding was a wonderful, magical, easy experience for all women?! That’s right. They wouldn’t!
On the same note, unbeknownst to me prior to having children, there are nurses who specialize in lactation. They’re called lactation consultants. How on in the world could someone make a career out of helping mothers nurse their babies if there wasn’t a dire need for such a position? Same answer.
One other down side to breastfeeding is that, as the mother, it’s all on you. As supportive and loving as your husband may be, you will probably need to resist the urge to rip off his arms when the baby is crying he says things like, “Maybe he’s hungry.” If you can’t resist that urge, then at least try not beating him over the head with said arms when you’re feeding the baby and he says, “I feel like you’re always feeding him.”
All that being said, I know plenty of Moms who had absolutely no issues with breastfeeding. I know Moms who really wanted to breastfeed, but couldn’t and had to use formula. I also know Moms who never had any intention of breastfeeding and started their children on formula right away. Then there are Moms like me, who supplemented with formula because they just needed a break every now and then.
Raising kids is hard enough; it would be nice if we could stop creating controversy over things like mothers just trying to feed their children. Breast milk or formula, the end goal is to keep your child alive.
My advice to any expectant mothers grappling with the decision to breastfeed or not to breastfeed is, don’t take anyone’s advice. Well, that and probably avoid going on the internet for a while. Just do what you have to do to keep your baby happy and healthy. That’s what I did.