Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I didn’t breastfeed

When I was pregnant, I was often asked “are you going to breastfeed your child?”  It’s a perfectly valid question in some cases (like when my doctor asked, or the pre-registration people at the hospital asked, or even when my mother-in-law asked since she would be watching Jack when I went back to work).  When other people asked, I often times wanted to tell them that it was none of their business. 

I decided long before I was even pregnant that breastfeeding was not something I would do.  The whole concept is just weird to me.  Yes, I completely understand that it is natural and that our bodies are built for it.  But, to me, there is something unnatural about the whole process.  I knew that it would be horrible for me, and in turn, horrible for the baby.  I have the absolute, utmost respect for women that breastfeed.  I don’t have the patience for it.  It takes a lot of work! 

Once I was pregnant, I watched two family members attempt to breastfeed their children.  One ended in a severely infected nipple (ewwww…) and the other ended with both mother and baby so frustrated after two weeks they both spent entire days in tears (even after appointments with lactation consultants).  Let’s just say that didn’t amplify my desire to give it the old college try! 

In the end, I decided that Jack would be bottle fed from the get go.  I was bottle fed, my sister was bottle fed, my husband was bottle fed…and none of us are any worse for the wear because of it.  Jack took a bottle very easily and I do not feel like I missed out on bonding him with him.  I still held him close to me when he ate…still looked into his eyes and sang to him and talked to him while he ate. 

I get very annoyed when people judge me for my decision.  I don’t judge you for your decision to breastfeed, so don’t judge me for mine!  It is a personal decision for each family.

Now, I will tell you, that I do judge the women that continue to breastfeed their children until they are 4, or 5, or 6.  I was watching a report on the Today Show the other day and this woman was literally breastfeeding a 6 year old.  I think that is completely wrong!  When the child can walk up to you and talk and say “mom, I want to drink from the left one” you have a problem! 

So, to end, I will say again that I have the utmost respect for all of you that breastfeed that that stuck it out for the long haul!  It just wasn’t a good option for me! 

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