Ok, so you’re a new mother, you’ve just gone through probably the most jaw-dropping, painful and heart-warming experience you’re possibly going to go through in your life. Now you’ve got this amazing beautiful bundle of joy in your arms that you want to protect, love and give the whole world – it’s an unreal and life-changing experience. Now you’ve got to rest, look after yourself but most importantly look after your baby. Which includes endless changing of nappies and feeding the majority of the day!
Breastfeeding is probably one of the most talked about subjects in pregnancy and postpartum. Health professional, doctors, midwives and just about everyone recommend breastfeeding a baby exclusively (this means only breast milk nothing else) for at least six months. It has excellent benefits for mother and baby but it DOESN’T mean that if you have problems breastfeeding or struggle with it you are any less of a mother.
Every woman wants the best for their baby and society has created a stigma in making new mothers feel inadequate, and judging them when they make certain choices. Just because a woman chooses to bottle feed her child, does not mean she isn’t doing the best by her baby and she shouldn’t feel embarrassed or be judged by her choices.
I had my son in 2010 when I was 17 and it was a real big step to become a mother at such a young and tender age. I felt like I was a walking stereotype and the midwives who were around during my birth didn’t treat my like the typical first-time mum. Their snide comments, remarks and unnecessary 100 questions made me feel inferior and I then started to feel like I wouldn’t care for my baby the way a ‘normal’ mum would.
When I told them I was going to breastfeed the midwives said,
“Really? I thought you would prefer bottle-feeding, but ok if you think that’s best. But be sure to remember that not everyone CAN breastfeed so you might HAVE to bottle feed -ok.”
At this point I almost made it my mission to prove this woman wrong. I struggled with breastfeeding for the first two to three days, but fortunately I was able to exclusively breastfeed my son for 8 months while studying and working.
There have been mums sharing their breastfeeding experiences and unfortunately some are quite heartbreaking. More than once a baby has died because of starvation due to lack of milk, issue latching on and dehydration. Mothers have shared their story and said they didn’t know their baby wasn’t getting enough milk. This is heartbreaking and some wish they could turn back the hands of time and just given their baby formula.
Baby formula isn’t poison but society shuns it as if it is. If you’re a first-time mother or mother to a brood, I advise you to use your own judgement and do what YOU think is best for YOUR baby. Whichever route you wish it take, just know your baby loves you and your trying your best. Seek information and correct advice from health professionals, breastfeeding and nutrition experts as they can offer you great and helpful tips and advice.
But remember the choice is ultimately down to YOU. Do what you think is best and fill their rumbly tummies with milk in any form!
Peace and love Mum’s Pride Team (Nafi) xoxo