LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, ALWAYS
So there I am, drugged to the eyelids, half compos-mentis after giving birth to my baby boy, when some steely midwife plonks him on my boob and tells me to get going.
And you know what, I found breastfeeding easy… for the first day.
But as the painkillers started to lose effect, so did the compulsion to carry on. There was the pain (not helped by his tongue-tie), the discomfort and the general lack of ‘bonding’ I had been told to expect. So I turned to combination feeding and never looked back. Read more here; Bottling It
But at that vulnerable time, I felt like I was the only woman who was doing this so early on. While you can find a million ‘reasons to breastfeed’ and propaganda at every corner, there seems to be less information on why you should listen to your body and your instinct.
Don’t get me wrong, I think breastfeeding is a FANTASTIC thing to do. But if like me, you find yourself succumbing to the bottle early on, you realise there’s very little support out there. So, I thought, it’s time someone did it, let the rant begin!
12 Reasons to Bottle-Feed
- You may find that you’re feeding baby less (which means more rest in those tiring early days) with bottle milk, as breastmilk is easier to digest than formula, so they need more of it.
- While I succumbed to expressing a few times a day, it’s a slow process and you do feel like a cow being milked! It was sooooo much easier just to pour milk from a bottle, and the time I got back was used wisely!
- I swear that my boobs are not the same after a month of expressing. I can’t say for sure it’s that, but they didn’t change throughout pregnancy. I’m currently trying to restore them to their pre-pregnancy-plumpness with Nip & Fab décolletage cream – I’ll let you know how I get on!
- No matter how you feel about breastfeeding in public, once you bottle-feed it’s something you no longer have to worry about.
- It might be ‘best’ but breast milk actually contains very little iron. It can range from 0.2mg to 0.9mg depending on Mother’s iron stores – this compares to 0.53mg for Cow & Gate formula milk (both measures are per 100ml)
- Some women find breastfeeding stressful, upsetting, frustrating and even horrible – and guess what, I ticked every one of those boxes! In my view, it cannot be good to do something that isn’t enjoyable, as this stress will be passed on to baby. Furthermore, according to this study women who have breastfeeding difficulties in the first two weeks are more likely to suffer PND.
7. I found that by bottle-feeding, friends and relatives could feed my baby, which meant they had the opportunity to bond with him too.
8. Bottle feeding at night = sleep for Mum, and help from Dad. Those amazing women that exclusively breastfeed are completely relied upon by baby, it’s quite a commitment.
9. They say that breastfeeding means that baby can look at mum and bond – well Mother Nature didn’t think about women with big boobs! I found this truer of using a bottle instead
10. I never suffered mastitis, sore nipples or an underfed baby once I turned to the bottle.
11. It was telling at our NCT reunion that the women who were trying to ‘persevere’ through breastfeeding were having the worst time. Those that were bottle-feeding, and those that enjoyed and found breastfeeding easy, were having a very different experience.
12. One study compared siblings who were fed differently and suggests breast milk is no better than bottled milk at improving long-term health. So there!
At the end of the day, this isn’t about breast milk V formula milk. It’s actually about what’s right for Mum and baby, the ability to make an informed choice and the belief that no woman should be judged for her choice. Because you know what – Mother always knows best!