Thoughts on breastfeeding

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I’m sure this post will offend someone.  I feel like this area of mothering is such a touchy one and people seem to always be so black and white on the issue that regardless of careful wording I’m bound to put someone off.  When really, like every thing there are shades of grey and I guess that’s where I am.  Grey. Conflicted.  Questioning.

 

I wish we could just feed and mother our babies without getting into who is doing it better.  I’m sure someone will think me ungrateful and selfish for feeling this way, but I believe in sharing my truth and at the moment, this is it.

 

I wish people wouldn’t congratulate me in public for breastfeeding ; I wish it was just what we do, as normal as having a coffee or sitting down for a meal.  But I also wish that mothers with bottles didn’t feel the need to justify why.  I wish we hadn’t gone down the road of labelling one as better or worse and just left them both as options on the table; each with its own good and bad points.

 

If I’m being honest I have a love / hate relationship with breastfeeding.  Admitting that feels blasphemous. To admit I don’t always love being solely responsible for feeding my child, especially when it has been a relatively easy road for me, for us, seems self indulgent and ungrateful.   Other than the usual first few weeks of learning how to latch soreness and one bout of caught-early mastitis  (touch wood) I know I am lucky that it just works for us.  And even though I am grateful that I haven’t had to battle with some of the challenges that other mothers do to establish and maintain breastfeeding, there are days when I wish he just took a bottle.  That I wasn’t the sole person who can feed him, and put him to sleep, and console him when he is upset, and every other reason he uses my boobs for.

 

Some days it feels too heavy, too much responsibility and I look on with envy as Andrew sails out of the house without a care in the world. (At least that’s how it feels when I have been feeding for the last 4 hour hours straight without an end in sight.)

 

And even as I write this I know that breastfeeding isn’t really even the issue.  It’s more than that because even when I stopped feeding Eamon I was still the one he sought. Still the only one who could console him at times.  Still the one he relied on for so long to put him to sleep.  I still felt that mix of loving being so important to a little person and being simultaneously trapped by it.

 

But even when I could leave him.  When he would happily take a bottle and could be put to sleep by other people.  Even when I knew he would be okay without me, I still didn’t really ever leave him.  Occasionally yes, but once the option was available it didn’t seem to matter anymore.  I wanted to be there.  

 

Do you ever feel trapped by the total reliance of little people? Please tell me I’m not alone!

6 Responses to “Thoughts on breastfeeding

  • You are not alone. I have felt exactly the same way, sometimes I felt I would go crazy. I made the choice to stop breastfeeding Matilda much earlier than I did with Millie for lots of reasons but I guess one big one was my frame of mind. I felt it was more important for me to be feeling right and I knew both girls would pick up on it. Maybe I should have persisted a little longer but I feel we are all much happier and everything works better.. Happy mum, happy bub.

    • littleoldsouls@hotmail.com
      7 years ago

      Thanks Em. It feels good to know I’m not the only one feeling this way. It’s like we’re expected to always love it even though that’s not always the case. And you’re right. A happy mum is always the best option. Xx

  • Janelle
    7 years ago

    Breastfeeding was very traumatic for me. I stopped at about a month and expressed for another 3 1/2 months. That was awful. I spent nearly all day either attached to a machine or feeding her just to ensure she got the “best” milk. Eventually we were both suffering for it. I was depressed and resentful. She was not getting attention from me while I was pumping. After I switched to formula, the guilt killed me for months. But now I realise she’s completely healthy and we’re bonding better than ever because we made the decision to do what was right for us, not what other people told us was right! Great post 🙂 People need to know that breastfeeding is not always the simple “best” answer a lot of people make it out to be.

    • littleoldsouls@hotmail.com
      7 years ago

      Thanks so much for sharing Janelle. You’re so right. ‘Best’ needs to take in so many more factors- mums wellbeing needs to be given more weight than we do. I don’t know how you did it pumping. I’m hopeless at it! Glad you found what worked best for you in the end and are enjoying your bub now. X

  • Whether it was expressed milk or formula, I honestly cherished being able to share that role with Kathryn. For us it worked out great. Everyone got more sleep and we both got to be the one Ashleigh saw as ‘responsible’ for her feeding and I got to bond with Ashleigh in a way I don’t think every/most dads get to.

    • littleoldsouls@hotmail.com
      7 years ago

      I do wish you men would just learn to lactate already! Ha! I’m determined to get this kid to take a bottle so that Andrew can share in that exact thing. (Although something tells me Eamon is more interested in feeding him than Andrew). It’s lovely that you saw it as a bonding time, I don’t think all dads are as willing as you to jump into that role. X

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