I didn’t do it for as long as I’d hoped but I did it.
I tried, I struggled, I would feed him while I cried my eyes out. The pain was horrible. My bleeding and split nipples would simply not heal. I would pump and in an attempt to ease the pain, the milk was red with blood.
I cried to my midwife, I so badly wanted to breastfeed. She was so supportive and amazing, in a way I felt like I would be letting her down if I made the decision to stop.
I felt like an outsider at my antenatal group catch-ups when everybody was successfully breastfeeding and I was fumbling around trying to prepare a bottle while Baxter melted down. Don’t get me wrong, our group is full of supportive and lovely mums but it didn’t change how I personally felt.
After weeks of pain, blood and a hungry baby, my partner and I made the decision to switch to formula.
I’ve come to the realization that giving up on breastfeeding doesn’t make me a bad mother. Baxter is thriving and happy. I feel like I made the best decision for me because PND was starting to creep up on me. I was in so much pain, I kept trying, I couldn’t get him to latch properly, it didn’t feel right and mentally (and physically) it was taking its toll on me.
Some horrible people say had I persevered it would have got easier, maybe so. I did what was best for me and my baby and to this day I don’t regret my decision.
Breastfeeding is easy for some, it’s also really tough for others. Mothers who do it with ease often don’t understand how hard it can be for others, to see you feeding and wishing we could have done it. If you are successfully breastfeeding, I take my hat off to you. You’re amazing. I couldn’t do it.
I dreaded nosy people asking ‘are you breastfeeding?’ not only is it none of your business, but it’s also fucking rude. You have no idea the circumstances or struggles they’ve been through. Anywhere I went I was questioned about how my child was fed, plunket, the doctors, even total randoms. I felt hesitant to tell them he was bottle-fed and I really wish that I (and others) were not made to feel this way.
I don’t post this to justify ‘why’ I stopped. I post it so others in the same boat don’t go through the pain and struggle that I did, so they know that it’s okay, it will get easier and it’s true what they say – happy mum = happy baby.
Fed is best.
ALSO READ: How I feed my children.