Everyone’s breastfeeding experience is different. My sister was not able to breastfeed her first child. A combination of his inability to latch and immense nipple pain meant that he had a formula filled first year. Her second she breastfed for three months before again, switching to bottle-feeding. With the pressure I felt from the ‘breast is best’ movement, I was scared that I would not be able to breastfeed. Even though my sister’s children were (and are) happy, healthy and very intelligent, the thought of not being able to breastfeed gave me mother’s guilt before the baby was even born. No matter what I was told about feeding my baby, it was easy to fall into the rabbit-hole that is Google in search of information for and against every option.
Luckily, my feeding experience was fairly uneventful. When my son was born, he latched almost immediately and ate quickly. Our feeding sessions were 5-10 minutes before he was full and often asleep. Yes, my nipples hurt initially, but that seemed inevitable as I had a baby attached to them for 12 hours a day. My nipples didn’t crack or bleed as I heard they might do. Before my body was able to regulate how much milk my baby needed, they would engorge and cause me pain but it was nothing a warm shower and some massage couldn’t fix. But I was lucky.
Not everyone has this same great experience and that is okay: Babies and mommies are all so different. With a formula fed baby, one doesn’t need to find a place that is ‘appropriate’ to breastfeed (although I know this is an entirely different argument in itself) and breast milk is free unlike formula. There is no right or wrong answer. Feeding, as with child rearing in general, is a very personal experience. Instead of assuming ‘Mother guilt,’ I am learning (trying) to celebrate the ways in which my baby is different.
Natalie Preddie is a Ddrops guest blogger. She is also a freelance writer who lives with her husband and dog in Toronto. They just had their first baby and couldn’t be happier! Natalie has been published in the Toronto Star, Star Touch Magazine, PAX Magazine, Vv Magazine,The Baby Post and her popular travel blog, The Adventures of Natty P. Natalie believes that travel is the best education possible and encourages family and friends to explore, discover and learn in order to grow. Natalie also believes in finding deeper solutions in mind/body instead of just treating symptoms. In 2014, Natalie won the Canadian Public Relations Society: Young PR Pro of the Year Award. This year, Natalie won Travel Writer of the Year 2015 for her series on Ontario’s Norfolk County.