My decision to stop breastfeeding
Breast vs bottle is by far our most popular parenting topic, we (TMC) know this because every time we mention it the response is nuts, our phones go into a bit of a meltdown. Of course we love that and want you guys to talk and debate about this and many other topics but it did spark a curiosity in me before I had a baby, and now i'm on the flip side I know why.
You see breastfeeding is 'NICE' and no I don't mean a pleasantry term i am talking 'National Institute for Health and Care Excellence'. We are constantly guided throughout our pregnancy that breast is best. And no I am not here to write a blog on why that is TOTAL nonsense, as you've all made it clear you know this already. I wanted to share my own experience.
I spoke about this briefly in our feed on week 10 once I had decided to give up breastfeeding, now at week 21 I haven't looked back.
To be perfectly honest I did'nt think too much about it whilst I was pregnant. I went with the 'I'll give it a go, and if it doesn't work then whatever' attitude. I knew I wanted to try it, but for no other reason than my mum did it with all 3 of us, and my sister had done it with both her children so i didn't give it much more thought. Turns out I was pretty good at it. She latched on the minute she popped out- well was dragged out- more about that here. My flow was hefty, I have implants so I was always worried if they would impact me, it turns out they had no impact whatsoever!
My decision to stop breastfeeding came from a few things really. Firstly, Ronnie is a hungry baby and although my flow was a lot she was still feeding every 2 hours at LEAST! I don't care what anyone says if you get to a point in your life where you can't be alone for longer than 2 hours it can wear a human down. Even from the one thing I hated to be without.There is this very strange sense when you breastfeed, its nice to be wanted and providing for your child is just the best feeling ever but then the total dependence on you is overwhelming. The 'feed on demand' was, as it states demanding!
Next my husband was really restricted to how he could settle Ronnie, which didn't sit right with him. He wanted to be able to help more but since I had the goods it pushed him to the side. When I was completely exhausted he still could only release me for a few hours to sleep before she needed me again.
Truth be told it just got me down. I felt physically and mentally exhausted. I'd had an extremely traumatic birth my body was a wreck. I was completely drained of all nutrients. Having no family near me and a husband who has no paternity leave meant it all fell on me and I couldn't quite keep up with it. Maybe if i'd had a different birth my relationship with breastfeeding might have been different. I don't dwel on this for too long as I am still very happy with my decision to stop when I did.
I once read an article that questioned the 'fed is best' rule. It stated that if that were true we'd all feel happy giving our children maccy D's for every meal and that it is about the quality of what you are giving them not filling a hole. It struck a cord with me. You see it's totally missed the point. Of course we want our children to have the best, the best of everything. We want them to be cared for, loved, nurtured like they should be. However if you are not in a physical or mentally stable position to do that THAT has the biggest effect on their well being not formula. It's comparison to macdonalds is both irresponsible and unjust.
For those that wanted to know I went cold turkey one day. Combining for me was a whole other mine field, so i just stopped andswitched to bottle. My boobs hurt for 2 days. I found it tough to start with, the guilt came and my husband has to stop me on the odd occasion from whipping the girls out. I expressed a little in the shower enough to ease the pressure but not too much that my boobs would think I'd fed and refill! I took pain killers and kept an eye on them then one morning I woke up and the pressure was gone.
Don't get me wrong I am pleased I breastfed for 10 weeks, but I also am so pleased I stoped when I did. There is a huge pressure to continue to do so no matter how you are feeling, to 'push on' my advise is do what YOU want to do. Screw the books. There is only one you and you know what is best for yourself and your baby.