Friday, February 4, 2011


What is it about being a mom that makes us feel the need to breast feed? I've had issues with both my children and both times I've felt guilty at introducing formula. I feel pressure by the professionals to keep nursing, and I want to keep it up to some degree, but how to get the balance right?
Just a few thoughts on my struggle.
What are your thoughts or opinions or suggestions on the matter?
I'm all ears (and a few tears today)



MC said...

Two things come to mind when it comes to breastfeeding (and especially those early days): lack of support and high expectations. I think in days past, and in certain cultures still up until this day, the first few weeks of a newborn's life, the mother's job was to feed and bond with the baby. Grandparents/friends/the village would come to pitch in around the house, so that the mother could focus on this (at times daunting) task. It takes a while to develop the right rhythm, and for both mother and baby to learn about each other in that intricate dance of breastfeeding. Doing so without a support group and while trying to still keep a house clean, and everyone else fed and clothed can certainly be quite a challenge. Which is where the high expectations come in - we tend to feel like we should be able to do it all, and do it all well (after all, that's what the books/health professionals/other mothers seem to imply and accomplish), and the different hurdles that often come with breastfeeding seem unexpected and demoralizing.

Have you thought about contacting La Leche League? They have some really nice leaders in the Ottawa West chapter. Some people there can sometimes appear a bit militant, but they have lots of good information and resources.

I remember well the breastfeeding frustrations that happened pretty much continuously for the first 3 months of Lucy's life (there were lots of tears for sure). I was glad my friends had told me "it gets better at 3 months". I stuck to my guns, and even despite the early teething at 4 months (ouch!), we kept at it - until she self weaned at around 29 months :O

Hang on in there - those first few weeks can be hard emotionally, so take it easy on yourself. You certainly don't need any guilt - just look how wonderfully Bekkah turned out!

Katarina said...

Try your best and then do what is best for you (your sanity) and baby
There is no need to feel guilty if you have to stop (although that is easier said then done!!). I started resenting Anthony every time he wanted to feed because it just wasn't working to nurse him. so swtiching to formula was the best possible soloution, mommy was happy, baby was fed (and as a result, happy!)

you can try everything and it still might not be enough. there's formula for a reason, and it's to provide proper nutrition for babies when their mommies just can't (for whatever reason)

it's alright!

LauraC said...

I think what matters MOST is a happy mom. A happy mom is a good mom and that goes so so so much farther than what you put in their bodies.

I ended up having to pump with my boys and couldn't keep that up, so they had a mix of formula and breastmilk but mostly formula. I felt guilty when they were tiny but now... DANG I wish I had gone to formula earlier rather than resent that time when they were so tiny.

Hugs to you!