It’s amazing that women not only bring life into this world but can also feed our children directly from our bodies. Happy World Breastfeeding Week where we celebrate mothers around the planet!
Although breastfeeding is normal, it’s not always easy. What may come naturally to one woman may be extremely difficult for another. Every mother’s feeding experience with their child is unique. Though the “bottle versus breast” debate is common, women should feel empowered to make the best choice for their child without being judged. In short: mom shaming needs to stop.
I breastfed my three children. The first for 6 months, the second for 4 months, and the youngest for 2 months. I also made the decision to supplement with a bottle of formula every single day starting from birth because a speech therapist (whose job is to assist in feeding issues) taught me that there is no such thing as nipple confusion. I felt empowered with my decision as it allowed me to have much needed “me time” away from my children. It also meant I could share the feeding experience with my husband, allowing him to have bonding time with our babies, too. When it was time to finish breastfeeding, I felt confident and assured that my babies would seamlessly transition to the bottle, and I could take ownership of my body again.
There are many other reasons why some mothers simply choose not to breastfeed, all as equally valid as each other. For example, the act of breastfeeding may be too difficult or stressful on a mom, her baby may have difficulty latching, or mom may return back to work with no flexibility to pump, and therefore lose her supply.
GIT Mom teaches “FED IS BEST.” This means that as long as the baby is growing and thriving, the way in which he is being fed (breast or bottle) is irrelevant. It’s a personal choice for the mother to make. We need to start empowering mothers in their feeding choices. Here is how friends and family can help:
Ask your friends and family to educate themselves on the issue of infant feeding before formulating any strict views. The World Health Organization tell us it’s now more important than ever to breastfeed our babies – for their immunity and protection against viruses, colds and cancer. However, bottle-fed babies can thrive too.
Once your inner circle have some knowledge under their belt, they can also participate in those awkward and embarrassing conversations about engorgement, milk supply, and nipples. It’s such a natural and normal process. Encourage them to be flexible and supportive of your individual experiences and needs!
It all begins with mom’s health! Ask friends and family to look after basic needs for you, such as making sure you are fed and hydrated. You need to be in good physical shape to tend to your newborn. They can also help out with the mundane tasks of laundry, grocery shopping, etc. so you can spend quality time feeding your baby.
Sleep deprivation and hormonal changes play havoc on the brain and body. Ask friends and family to watch baby while you have nap breaks so you can be in optimal shape for feeding.
Getting rid of “Mom Guilt” starts with surrounding yourself with like-minded mommy friends. Encourage other moms in your life to hang out together. Encourage them to be free from negative nellies! Building a community of like-minded individuals will empower you.
Most moms need to know that they have someone on their side that will listen to them when they need it the most. It’s a simple solution to a complex problem. Be quiet, and listen up friends!
Everyone has their reasons for choosing how to feed their newborn, and often the best laid plans fall apart for reasons out of our control. At GIT Mom we put the mom’s needs first, because a happy, confident woman will be a much better mother. Breastfeeding is undoubtedly amazing, but the decision is yours. How you feed your baby is no one else’s business! Own it, Mammas!
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