Bottle vs breastfeeding seems to be a controversial subject and I firmly believe in a mothers right to choose. As a mother of a formula fed baby I feel like I’m constantly being punished for not doing what’s considered ‘best’ for my baby. There are so many reasons why mothers choose bottle over breast and I fully believe that it’s down to the individual to choose what is best for them. My story is that I breastfed my baby for the first week, unfortunately I suffered a haemorrhage due to breastfeeding whilst on blood thinners I was taking due to a blood clot I developed in my pregnancy. Basically the breastfeeding contracted the uterus excessively and caused a bleed. I was then in hospital for five days and was advised that I couldn’t continue to breastfeed.
Whilst I felt upset that the decision had been taken away from me, switching to bottle feeding actually made my life so much easier, I was able to develop a routine with my baby and I knew how much milk he was getting at each feed. During the time I did breastfeed he had lost 9% of his body weight and after switching to bottle he started to gain weight as he should. I never at any point felt that I had less of a bond with my baby, if anything I felt more relaxed and able to enjoy feeding him more.
However at every midwife appointment or baby clinic that I went to I was made to feel less than adequate because I wasn’t breastfeeding and felt that I had to keep explaining the reasons why this was. I would be met with questions of ‘You’re breastfeeding yes? I would obviously reply no, ‘Well you know breast is best.’ Yes so I’ve heard, would it not be more appropriate to ask ‘How are you feeding your baby?’ I feel like if I hear the phrase ‘Breast is best’ one more time I’m going to punch someone.(Take a deep breath and channel Grace Kelly, I’m a mother and shouldn’t be having violent thoughts)
Not only do I feel constantly put down by health professionals but also on social media for not breastfeeding, I’m well and truly paying for it – literally out of my purse. Formula is so expensive at £10 per box which I currently buy about every 5 days. There is no option to bulk buy for a discount and Boots don’t even let you accrue loyalty points as due to the government legislation mothers should be breastfeeding and retailers can’t be seen to be promoting formula feeding. Well to the government legislation and Boots – fuck you!
I find it disgusting that I am being made to pay so much to feed my baby what he needs to survive. I think the government and Boots need to consider the reasons why mothers formula feed; whether it’s medical, or they just don’t have enough milk to meet baby’s demands or that they literally cannot cope with the stress of breastfeeding. This is meant to be the happiest time of your life and I think all new mothers should be supporting each other and be getting support from health professionals, not feeling like we have to constantly justify our decision to bottle feed.
My baby is perfectly healthy, we have a solid mother – baby bond that couldn’t be any stronger and he has not missed out on anything by being bottle fed. I would like to finish by addressing all of those people who feel the need to push their breastfeeding opinions on others to stop and consider that there maybe reasons why someone is bottle feeding their baby and that it is also none of your business. So bite your tongue and keep your opinions to yourself because at the end of the day for a lot of people breast is NOT always best!