“If you breastfeed your baby will be smarter”
“If you breastfeed your baby will be healthier”
“If you breastfeed you will lose the baby weight quicker” – this one is actually true
“If you breastfeed you will be healthier and the risks of getting breast cancer are smaller” –
And so on and on and on. It is all I read about during my pregnancy and I swore I will breastfeed my child for as long as possible. Little did I know that breastfeeding comes with its baggage like any other stage in your life. Little did I know about what it does to you and how much horse shit is hidden behind every one of those sentences I kept reading while expecting for my baby.
Proud of my decision I told everyone I am game. I will do it and it will be a piece of cake. Despite of what other mums told me. I was brave and ready for the challenge.
I went for breastfeeding classes right before I gave birth and they thought us how to make the milk come slowly slowly so that when the baby arrives we will be able to feed him/her right away. For every pregnant woman I recommend these classes. You learn how to actually feed your baby, all good and bad positions for you and the little bundle of joy you got in your arms, they teach you how to be positive about the entire breastfeeding process and of course how to avoid having bleeding and painful nipples. In theory everything is so easy and stress free. Plus, when you are so clueless and have no idea what to expect you thinking: what can be so hard? Put the boob in baby’s mouth, baby feeds. Job done until next meal. Whereas with bottle feeding things change. There come so many other extra activities you would think you have no time for: clean and sterilise bottles, not forgetting to buy milk, change tits regularly and obviously before everything else the never ending process of finding the right bottles, tits and milk. The ones that suit your baby best. All these cost money.
Breastfeeding is free – maybe £10 for the nipple cream but that’s it.
Bottle feeding cost? – £60 steriliser; £15 for three bottles but you will need about 6-8; £5.25 for two tits; £10.25 for a box of milk that lasts you about a week.
Being on maternity leave doesn’t give you with much choice. Money are less and less so you blindly choose what you think it’s the best option between the two.
In the ultimate fight: 1 point for the boob and 0 for the scoop.
Last month of pregnancy lasts forever so you start getting ready for the arrival of that tiny human who will change your life forever. You remember all antenatal classes with the advice and obviously you will go through the breastfeeding theory a million times more so you make sure you know what you doing when you have to feed the little one for the first time.
Easy. You are ready. Now all you need to do is wait and wait and count days, hours and minutes until the D day.
When you finally hold your baby for the first time there are so many emotions and so much adrenaline that everything else is a blur. You won’t remember a thing about what you learned. But no worries. The midwives are there to show you exactly what to do. And you feed your baby in their first hour outside the womb. And it is magic and you think you can do it forever. The milk is there, baby grabbed your nipple properly and he/she is sucking and eating like there is no tomorrow. The happiness cannot be described and again the boob wins in front of the scoop. In the hospital and about a week or two after birth it’s all about the munchkin and you don’t feel anything else but joy. Until one day when hormones are going their way and this wears off and you wake up more tired than you ever thought you could be. You look in the mirror for the first time and you don’t recognise that person staring at you. It’s a woman with black marks around her eyes and you never had those, her hair is a mess and it needs proper taking care of and there is no color on her cheeks. She is so pale you’d think she is dead for a while already. She is a ghost and not the person you were expecting to see. But it is you. It’s you, the one who hasn’t slept in a week or more, the one who is feeding on demand, the one who can’t sleep cause the milk is coming and the pain is excruciating; the one who can’t sleep cause the baby is attached to her; the one who doesn’t remember when she had a shower last and she can’t even feel if she smells or not. You are that one. You are wearing a stupid nursing top and tracksuit bottoms like they are the only clothes in the world and you literally forget make up was invented. You also forget there is someone else next to you who needs attention as much as your baby. It’s your partner who will not understand you unless you communicate with him. If you don’t he will just stare at you and think that that is not the person he fell in love with in the first place. He won’t say it in your face but one has it’s patience. And once it runs out you are screwed. Many ended up as single mums and couldn’t understand why.
So ultimate battle you kind of take a point off from the boob and start thinking that maybe bottles are a good idea after all. But you don’t say anything. You keep shoving the boob in your baby’s mouth thinking that every time they cry they need to eat. You have no idea how much they eat every time and if you have a baby like mine they will end up being attached to your boob just for comfort and that is the moment when you are literally f….d. Good bye life! The zombie you seen in the mirror looked really alive comparing to this one. The one you see now is whiter like there is no blood running through her veins and the circles around her eyes are so black you swear they were painted there. And she is crying constantly cause she has no idea what she’s doing and if this will ever get any easier. She holds her baby and finds a spot on the wall she can stare at and cry again and again until she’ll wonder if she’s got any more tears left in her. This is depression. This is that time when you hit a brick wall and from here you got two choices: continue what you are doing with a bravery you never knew you had in you or make the change. Go for the bottles and see hot that works. I chose the second one and the minute changed my life. Daddy could feed Ruby so I can shower in peace, sleep for two hours straight and have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine so I can feel alive.
Ultimate fight: boob 0 scoop 1 point.
And here I am bottle feeding my baby and telling you there is no shame in doing it like there is no shame in breastfeeding either. I admire those women who can do it for a long time. And in the same time I admire those ones who chose what they think it’s best for both them and their baby. Your child won’t be any less smarter or any less healthier or a complete antisocial if you chose one or the other. Your child ends up the way you raise him/her.
In my battle scoop wins by far. I found myself again and I feel happier and more satisfied. And we all know that if mummy is happy baby is happy as well.
What is your score?
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