BitchBuzz: Breastfeeding – The Good, The Bad and The Guilt

This has got to be the hardest of the BitchBuzz columns I’ve ever written. I don’t usually use a professional site for such a personal outpouring, but when it comes to parenting it’s all personal; it’s one of the things you really can write about from the heart. So here goes, my column from 15th December. And please, if you have strong feelings about the topic read the whole article – including the rest at BitchBuzz – carefully before you add your comment!

Everyone knows – or at least is told – that breast is best. But what happens when the most natural thing in the world becomes the hardest thing to achieve?

It’s been over three months since I stopped breastfeeding, and only now can talk about it publicly. Giving up was traumatic. Not because my baby was harmed in any way, but because of the tremendous feelings of failure that came with it.

I’m not here to tell anyone they shouldn’t try breastfeeding. It is the most wonderful thing when it goes right; it’s convenient, it’s reassuring and the composition of breastmilk is undoubtedly perfect for any baby. It’s also great for mum, helping your body recover from pregnancy and potentially offering protection against certain illnesses. I would certainly try again, but this time I would go armed with what I know about what can go wrong. And that’s why I’m writing this. It is not about breast vs bottle or even about my circumstances. It’s about addressing the fact that for some people things can go wrong, and resentment and guilt will interfere with your parenting more than sterilisers and bottle warmers.

Read more: http://life.bitchbuzz.com/breastfeeding-the-good-the-bad-the-guilt.html

 

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6 responses to “BitchBuzz: Breastfeeding – The Good, The Bad and The Guilt

  1. I’m sorry it was so hard for both of you, Alex. Feeding your baby is more important than how you feed your baby. Breastfeeding is one way but for the last several hundred years it has not been the only way. I’m glad there are so many loving people around you who helped you. That beautiful child of yours could not care less because she’s got the best mama and papa in the world.

    • Thank you!

      That’s how I feel about it now and I think it’s too easy to assume everyone there to help you is going to judge you if you give up – they won’t.

      Hope all’s well with your crew and happy new year to you all. 🙂

  2. I know how you feel. I agree with the first comment. It doesn’t matter how you feed your baby. I did breastfeed mine but I still manage to feel guilty over everything from what they eat now, when they started solids, can they eat lumps….the list is endless. As a mummy we feel guilty about everything. My (soon to be ex mother in law and soon to be ex husband! and his crew) made me feel crap about everything I was doing, but my children are my life and I AM a good mummy, there I said it. DO NOT feel guilty about anything you do…easier said than done. Keep up the good work.

    http://www.twinmummyoutfits.blogspot.com/

    x

    • I bet you are and it’s wonderful to hear someone say it! Guilt is heaped on you from the day you announce your pregnancy, isn’t it? From what you eat to how long you work to how long you take off, yadda yadda yadda. Enough. We do our best and we love our children. You’re so right.

      One of my friends reckons he should print a t-shirt saying “I have a child so you must have an opinion”. I think he’d make a fortune. 😉

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Brilliant article. It said many things I feel myself after I struggled. It wasn’t a physical thing for me but mental (though it did hurt a lot) and was one of the many ways I felt a failure in the early years. If you could see my seven year old now – or even my two year old – you’d never guess how they were fed as a baby.

    • I think the mental issues are almost completely ignored by medical professionals – although to her credit the midwife doing the antenatal class at my local hospital said “some women just don’t feel right about it, and that’s okay. No need to feel guilty!” which was way more open-minded than I was expecting. There are so many ways that there can be issues and women are too often just left feeling that it’s breastfeeding or failure – them’s your choices.

      It’s both heartening and distressing to know that there are other women who have felt like me. I hope someone out there struggling reads this and takes some strength from it, I really do!

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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