When I had my first child, I was feeling a large amount of anxiety about a lot of things, but a large amount of this anxiety was about the idea of breast feeding. I had a complicated few days in the hospital and was on a lot of drugs. While I was trying to learn to nurse my son I realized very quickly this was much more difficult than anyone had ever let on. I began dreading when they would bring my newborn into the room to nurse. That was NOT okay. You should not dread seeing nurses walk in with your new child. It was then that my husband and I made the decision to give up on breastfeeding.
Do I feel guilt over giving up so soon? Absolutely. Do I wish I had tried harder and longer to make it happen? Yes! Do I feel like I’ve been mom-judged a little bit when people found out? Sure! Was my son better off for it – who knows? Was I selfish in making this decision? YES! I made a selfish decision – it was a decision my husband was supportive of and we are living with. Guess what? My son is healthy and happy!
To those mom’s that are feeling extreme guilt over not-breastfeeding your child or are having trouble breastfeeding your child – it is OKAY to not breastfeed your child. There is no reason to feel guilty! The role of a new mom is hard enough without throwing guilt over breastfeeding on top of it! To those of you beating yourself up for struggling with breastfeeding – it is a HARD thing to do and not for everyone.
If breastfeeding makes you super uncomfortable, hurts, or is just plain too hard to do to, and it is affecting your mood, attitude, or even well-being – it is perfectly okay to STOP! Your baby needs a mom that is emotionally there for them and if this issue with physically being able to provide for them is causing you emotional problems – stop it. Get some formula and be there emotionally for your baby.
Does this mean I am anti-breastfeeding? Absolutely not! I am pro doing what is best for you and your marriage and your child. I am pro doing what you need to in order to survive the infant years!
To the moms, you’ve got this! You are NOT alone! Do what you can as long as you can and when you are tired or had enough, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice! I guarantee you that someone out there has gone through or is going through similar things as you and could be a support group for you! Just seek it out!
Were you not able to breastfeed for some reason? Did you just choose not to? Share your story below to encourage those mommas.