Wednesday, August 28, 2013

B for breast or bottle?

It's an old debate. What's the best way to feed your child? I've written a little about my experience here; so I won't go into it again.

What I will say is that there is no right answer. As long as mama is happy and baby is thriving then it's no one else's business. I will staunchly defend the right of women to feed the way they please. In the location and manner they please.

Having said that, like the scouts, the motto "be prepared" comes to mind. Pre-birth I was convinced I'd breast feed until my child weaned itself. I was therefore a little shocked when at my baby shower I was given a bottle cleaner and a bottle. "Just in case," said my friend (the only friend there who'd actually had a baby). I have to say, her bag of essential baby goodies was a lifesaver. I didn't think to stock up on all the things she included. But I was sure glad at the time to have those supplies. I also learnt that regardless of whether you'll breast or formula feed, bottles come in darn handy for storing expressed milk. And letting someone else feed bub so you can get some sleep (much needed sleep!).

There's a lot of judgement out there. It seems to start as soon as people find out you're pregnant and start offering stories and advice. Then when you have your baby, more advice comes pouring in, welcome or not. I sometimes think fellow mothers are our own worst enemy. Instead of unconditional support for each other there is a lot of judgement for other parenting styles. Being a mum is the hardest job in the world, and sometimes it feels like the least appreciated. What we need is support for whatever choices we make, as long as mama and baby well being is central to those decisions. I always remind myself that Ellie won't remember how she was fed. What she will remember is that she was loved and raised in a healthy and safe environment.

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