Monday, 27 August 2012

So the other day, Max was drinking some AIDs

Without scaring you with too much information, I'll just say, my Breastfeeding experience was crap. At no point during the gazillion ante-natal checkups, do I remember ever feeling like I had the choice to bottle-feed. 'Breast is Best' so they say and I doubt anyone would argue that from a nutritional perspective. However, there's an infinite number of reasons why Breast isn't necessarily best but not many people are brave enough to talk about it.

I'll admit a dirty little secret here.....I never wanted to Breastfeed. Shocking yes? Selfish, yes? Child abuser yes? The thing is, I'm a bit of a prude sometimes and I never felt comfortable with the thought of my boobs hanging out in front of people. Every time I heard someone say "flop out a boob", I literally felt sick from the anxiety. Everyone told me, once you've given birth, you don't care who see's your body. For me, it was the opposite. After childbirth, I became fiercely protective of my privacy......fiercely. I was also in a lot of pain from a pretty traumatic birth and having nightmares/flashbacks from said traumatic birth. All in all, I wasn't in the best emotional state I was a blubbering mess.

The thing about pregnancy, I loathed most was the body sharing part. What can I say? I like my space. If I could've rented someone else's uterus, I would've. In my last trimester, the only thing I could eat, was icy poles. My beloved coffee, made me spew. My even more beloved Pepsi Max made my esophagus burn. Everyone told me to 'make the most' of being pregnant but not once have I wanted to put him back inside.

Despite all of that, I tried to Breastfeed and failed dismally. There wasn't one simple problem, there were several. The lactation consultants at the hospital couldn't see me for 2 weeks. 2 weeks is an eternity when your baby is screaming and your nipples are falling off.

I remember typing into Google 'will my son become a serial killer if he is bottle fed?'. I seriously worried about that. I was angry that everyone else was able to love and adore Max, whilst I was an emotional mess. I went through so much to bring him into this world, how was that fair?

It was Rob who made Max his first bottle late one Sunday night. I'm glad he took control of the situation because I felt like a demon mother for even considering it. Hearing him skull that bottle and the sigh of satisfaction at the end, was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. My baby had a full tummy for the first time ever and it was the first feed, I didn't cry through.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association, have been slammed in recent days following allegations, that one of their presenters told parents to be, "formula is like AIDs". Benign comments like these, made by 'lactivists' infuriate me. If I'd continued with Breastfeeding, I have no doubt, I would've been another Postnatal depression statistic. How is that 'best' for my child??

The A.B.A. have since stood down that person, pending an investigation. They are no doubt, saying things like "this persons view do not reflect the opinion of this organization, blah blah blah". But, such extreme statements are not that unusual and many of my friends have said they felt bullied to Breastfeed, by a well intended Breastfeeding Nazi.

It needs to stop, now. Breast may be 'best' but it may not be 'best' for everyone. It's time the lactivist's allowed woman to make an informed decision rather than a co-erced one. It's time woman's online forums quit stirring the pot with contentious articles, intended only to entice readers into a slagfest. Back the f*** off people and mind your own breasts....I mean, business.


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  2. (Can't spell, try again...) I never once felt that maternal instinct to breastfeed. In fact, I felt the opposite. The thought of it made me feel queasy. I just knew I wouldn't cope with having a kid attached to me 24/7. So I chose not to breastfeed. My bubs, who is about to turn 1 in a couple of days, has been on formula since his very first feed. He has been a contented little bloke for the most part because he has never gone hungry. He is also a lot healthier that a lot of breastfed kids I know (who continually seem to have colds and tummy bugs) so I don't buy into the breast is best mantra. And my husband was able to help out with night feeds so I didn't go totally insane. No one has ever said anything to my face about not breastfeeding - one nurse in the maternity ward asked why I wasn't, but that's it really. And if they did, well my response would have been pretty similar to yours.

  3. Oh Marnie, I'm so jealous. I wish I'd be ballsy enough to just straight-out refuse. The shared feeding option is nice too- though admittedly, I still did most of the bottle feeds, it was nice to have the choice not to. I also didn't like my boob being my sons dummy!! My sister is a midwife and she says, you can't look at the kids in the playground and tell who was BF. At the en of the day, whatever choice people make has to suit the mother as well. Too often, the mothers feelings aren't given any consideration and that is wrong.

  4. EXACTLY! I didn't like sharing my body with anyone either. Absolutely hated it and actually proposed the idea that scientists create crock pots in which we can grow babies. I argued it would be even better because we'd be able to actually SEE the babies growing and changing through the clear, glass top. I did not want to breastfeed and DIDN'T. *GASP* Screw that. If it's not your thing, it's not your thing. Kids aren't going to grow up with three eyes because a mother didn't breastfeed. Breast milk might be the most nutritious, but formula certainly isn't AIDS. For God's sake. These breastfeeding nuts are lunatics. Yeah, I said it. I'm with you. Mind your own friggin business and worry about your own titties and totties. I can handle my own saggy sisters and what I choose to do and not do with them myself.

  5. I'm so sick how the whole breastfeeding/bottle feeding issue is so black and white! Each baby is different and each mom is different as well. I think what's "best" for the baby is whatever it takes to help the baby thrive and feel loved. I breastfed and supplemented with formula for 14 months (*gasp* oh the nipple confusion!), I rocked my baby to sleep (oh no! You are spoiling that baby), and I even let my baby suck his thumb when that is what he clearly preferred over a pacifier ("You can take away a binkie, but you can't take away a thumb"). Guess what? My 2 year old is very healthy, he sleeps like a champ, isn't clingy and doesn't suck his thumb. I chose to ignore all the books, theories and random internet articles that pointed out all the ways I could screw up my child and instead chose to listen to my "mother's intuition" and decided for myself what was best for my baby. So good for you! It sounds like you are truly doing what is "best" for your son! :o)