Notes from Motherhood: Breast or Bottle? Is it really anyone else’s business?

Back in December I wrote a Notes from Motherhood post on my experience of breast feeding, Breast is best, except when it’s not after being inspired by another post called Bottlefeeding from the blog

The latter highlights the difficulties and controversies faced by a mum when she makes the decision to bottle feed, and what was also very interesting to me was the long list of enormously supportive comments that were added to the post.

I’m blogging about this again because it is such an emotive issue and I wanted to share some things that I have learned recently.

Firstly, during the course of my networking on Twitter I have become aware of a group of women who are pro-breastfeeding to the absolute extreme. My feeling is that of course, given the right circumstances, breastfeeding is the best choice for your baby, but the reality is that sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Secondly, I have discovered, to my delight, that there are a lot of mums out there, many of them breastfeeding mums like me, who feel very strongly, that all mothers deserve support and advice no matter what their chosen feeding method is.

Finally, two more of the mummy bloggers that I follow have recently picked up on the Breast vs Bottle debate and have independently collated some of the related posts that are currently in the blogosphere.

Many thanks to and to LivingWithKids  I know there are many more like minded mums out there but these two posts in particular are the reason for me picking up on this subject again. They each illustrate perfectly how much we have to learn from each other and how ultimately, every mum deserves to make her own choice based on her own experience.

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.

Paulo Coelho

Please feel free to add your own comments, I have a feeling this debate will go on and on and on….

5 Responses to “Notes from Motherhood: Breast or Bottle? Is it really anyone else’s business?”

  1. 1 monica February 11, 2010 at 08:25

    hi, I am pro breastfeeding but not every one can even if it’s the most natural thing in the world. My experience was that after an emergency c-section (after 30 hours of labor) my daughter wouldn’t take to it. Nurses took turn to help, etc. She wanted a bottle (which was what she was given during the night after my section).
    So my opinion is that even if it’s natural it’s not always possible. That is when the bottles come in. I had no option, but I didn’t mind it either. I’m not anti bottle at all. If you can go natural good for you, if you can’t, well you can’t. Nobody should be judged, it’s what suits you and the baby. As long as mum and baby are healthy and happy. I completely agree with you. Support is what we need to give mums, whatever they choose, not be judgmental. I don’t know if I’m a rare case but if anyone finds themselves in my situation (still feel bad about it after 3 years) their not on their own.

  2. 2 Emma February 11, 2010 at 08:30

    It will be a topic which will be talked about over & over until the end of our days!

    It came up in our Mother & Baby group , and I was quick to tell my story. But half of me wanted to tell them it because they’ve seen me empty the powder into Oli’s bottle , I still get embarrassed and feel ashamed of myself when people see me do this in public because it shows that I don’t breastfeed. 9 Month’s on and I’m still feeling guilty about not being able to breastfeed.

    Great Post! 🙂 xx

    • 3 monica February 11, 2010 at 09:54

      I had a similar experience at the local baby group I used to go to. In fact one of them took it so far as to ask an expert that came to talk about it to our group, she asked about c-sections and not being able to feed (hinting at me) and the expert replied “excuses… no reason why someone shouldn’t be able to breastfeed”. I don’t know what I felt, anger, shock, ridiculed, pointed at. Needless to say never went back, and they were meant to be friends! I have enough to deal with my own guilt about the whole thing without need to be pointed at. Glad I’m not alone, I felt a failure as I haven’t come across anyone that hasn’t been able to breast feed, and I know other mums that had sections and were able to feed.

  3. 4 babybornfreebottles February 11, 2010 at 09:49

    Monica, thank you, you are proof that it is possible to be pro-breastfeeding and understanding of the need to bottle feed at the same time.
    It’s lovely to hear a mum say “I don’t mind” because all too oftem mums are vilified for bottlefeeding their babies.

    Emma I am so sorry that you feel guilty and driven to justify yourself even now. It’s a common porblem amongst mums and I have to admit that even though I nursed my kids until 6 months, 11 months and 10 months I STILL felt guilty when I stopped!

    • 5 babybornfreebottles February 11, 2010 at 10:14

      Monica, I think I must have been writing my last comment just as you were posting yours!
      I’m so sorry you had to go through that awful experience. We go to Mother and Baby groups for support and company, not to feel victimised ( I feel another blog post coming on…).

      It’s such a shame that no matter how hard we try to make the right decisions for our babies and ourselves, mums will always feel enormous pressure. Either because of our own guilt, or because of the judgementalism of others.

      Thank you for sharing your story.
      Anne x

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