Being a mom is full of guilt-ridden choices. It’s hard to do what is “right” for you and your baby when there are so many expectations of new moms and not enough community support.
One of my first was “giving up” breastfeeding and making the choice to bottle feed my first born. I was so embarrassed to admit that I had made that choice. I (sometimes) would exaggerate how long I had nursed him. I would rationalize to people by telling them how ineffective of a pumper I was when I returned to work, how he was dairy intolerant and I couldn’t eat any of my favorite foods, how difficult it was to find places to nurse in public (I hadn’t yet reached my nursing comfort zone). I had a whole host of reasons why it didn’t work for us.
I used these as rapid fire ammunition when people asked me if I was nursing. “No, not anymore because (insert reason 1 here), (reason 2), and (reason 3).”
The real reason I stopped: it was the right decision for me and my family. I had a hard time transitioning to being a mother, I was lonely and had little breastfeeding support to draw from, my anxiety was in full force, and I was chronically sleep deprived (baby 1 was a horrible sleeper).
But, I shouldn’t have had to validate my reason to anyone.
I was still loving my baby, providing for him the best way I knew how.
Don’t rationalize your decision to bottle feed. Making the choice not to breastfeed DOES NOT diminish your awesome-ness as a mom.
Anyone who says otherwise should NOT be. Karma will get them, don’t you worry.
Let me say this again: what is “right” is what feels good for you and your family. End. Of. Story.
Here’s what truly matters: a loving, present, healthy mother.