This may be one of the harder posts for me to write. For one main reason-judgement.
We have all heard the line – breast is best. We know it. We get it. There is a lot surrounding a woman and her choice to breastfeed her child.
I’ve said it a million times before in this blog and I will say it yet again, you have to find what works best for you and your family, not what society says is best. And what is best for us is to formula feed my baby. I know, the horror. I will also say that this has been given a lot of thought. It wasn’t a quick decision but it is one that I am 100% comfortable with, one that I feel educated about, one that I have researched and one that I do not feel guilty about.
We have many reasons. Realistic reasons and I won’t lie, some selfish. I am honestly not going to list them all out here though. Being pregnant people ask a lot of questions and share their advice but I can honestly say I was not ready for the amount of people who would ask if I was going to breastfeed and follow it up with some serious judgement when I answered no. They would try to make me feel guilty for not even trying because perhaps they tried with their child and were unable to. Therefore I had to somehow make up for that? I have been given the side eye, been told stats and all the pros, and even been told horror stories of not breastfeeding my child. Basically how I am the worst parent ever, already. So just mail me that award now.
Other people have nodded their head in complete agreement with my choice and I’m so grateful for that. They have shared their stories on why breastfeeding was maybe not the best choice for them, how they could not breastfeed for multiple reasons, how they may do it differently the next time around, how they made the same choice as me, how their child is thriving just fine and they could still have a chance to get into Harvard one day despite having had formula their first year. Basically there have been plenty to not judge and those are the ones that have helped me work through this decision.
It was also part of the reason I was dreading finding a pediatrician, I didn’t want a lecture or judgement. I wanted someone to understand my feelings and where I was coming from on breastfeeding. Once the conversation started with this woman, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. She understood, did not make me feel guilty and most importantly, we moved beyond the fact that I was not going to breastfeed and opened up the conversation on formula feeding and you know, everything else about my child that we should be discussing.
What I’m trying to say is everyone is different and makes different choices. Parenting is a slippery slope and the choice to breastfeed or not seems to be an incredibly slippery slope. The thing is, there are going to be a million choices I have to make for this nugget. Some will be the right ones and some will be the wrong ones but we learn as we go and we do what is best. So do what is best for your kid, no matter what your MIL, society or the neighbors dog says.