I’m bracing myself for a kicking here, but how we feed our babies seems to always turn into a particularly nasty kind of mud-slinging.
When I had The Kid, she took to the breast like a fucking pro. At an hour old, she crocodiled up and suckled my tits, much to my absolute disgust. It was a breeze, so I went along with it while I could, while it was easy. Then it became hard. My boobs started bleeding, they looked like massive rocks and hurt like fuck. I hated it.
Then the second one came along, and I found out not all babies suck well. She was lazy, couldn’t be bothered to feed and wasn’t interested at all. I was pissed off, frustrated and lost. How the fuck was I going to feed my baby?
So I expressed, and let me tell you now what a fucking joke that was. With an almost two-year-old yanking the wire and the baby screaming at the top of her lungs, I almost killed the Hub when he mildly mentioned that twenty mils wasn’t going to be enough.
And don’t get me started on when your father in law just ‘pops in for a chat’ mid pump. Like I don’t feel like a fucking milk cow already.
Let’s just say I breastfed the baby for as long as I could and she self weaned at 11 months. Properly because I was slipping her a bottle of formula and an extra slice of toast.
Did it effect my bond with the baby?
If anything I think I loved her a tiny bit more. I got to chill. I got to leave her with the family more, got more sleep and generally became a better me.
Are bottle feeding mums failures? Sure, if breastfeeding mothers are too.
How you feed your baby doesn’t matter. Shouldn’t matter. Matriarchs don’t fail. They change their mind, then change it back again, they pump all night for little reward, full asleep against the sterilizer and some have their own god dam choices taken away. But are they failures? No, and NO ONE should be made to feel that way.
So let’s make a pact here and now. Let’s stop the Us vs Them, let’s stop the bitching and the finger pointing and just say this:
Do you feed your baby?
Then you’re fucking fantastic in my book!