August 7, 2015

Why Breast Isn't Always Best

No babies here yet, but I have already decided that I will not breast feed. I plan to exclusively pump, at least for a few weeks, if it doesn't work out, then we will switch to formula.

Now this decision didn't just happen in the past week, I was set on this since probably high school or at the very least college, which was about three years ago, though at the time I had not heard of breast pumps, so I was set on formula, now that I know about breast pumps, I am open to exclusive pumping.

So why do I not want to actually breast feed? For me it is just inconvenient, forces all the work on the mother, doesn't sound pleasant, and it just, overall, does not appeal to me. I like the idea of my husband being able to feed the child so he can bound with the baby and he likes that idea too. From what I have heard and read from others, it is pretty hard for a dad to bond to a baby when it is either sleeping or attached to mom's bosom. By using a bottle, they get a chance to hold and feed baby. I also don't want to deal with the pain and sore, cracked, bleeding nipples. I don't want to have a baby stuck on me 24/7. It is just not my idea of fair or fun.

Also after reading "Babyproofing Your Marriage" it seems breast feeding would be problematic. The book mentions splitting up the chores fairly, taking turns sleeping instead of both being up, etc, all of which is hard if the woman is stuck with being the sole milk provider.

I don't like the idea of not getting eight hours of sleep, I need my sleep in order to be a sane person. By bottle feeding, my husband and I can split up baby watching and sleeping, at least while he is on paternity leave. He gets the night and I plan on splitting mine so four hours before he goes to bed and then when he wakes up, I get four more hours (since I plan on pumping, I can't really sleep eight hours straight anyway because I would have to get up in the middle of the night to pump). This way when he goes back to work, his sleep schedule isn't completely out of whack and we both get a decent amount of sleep for a few weeks.

Now this is assuming I am able to produce a decent supply of breast milk and that pumping works for us, if not, we will use formula and I won't feel guilty. I was a formula fed baby, my sister was a formula fed baby, and we both turned out just fine (my mother couldn't produce enough breast milk, so she had to use formula).

Breast feeding is great and all, but it angers me how many women out there who breast feed judge women who use formula or think it is the end of the world when they find out they can't breast feed, like all of a sudden they are the worst mother on planet earth!

Breast feeding is not for everyone and not everyone can breast feed. Some babies are born with tongue ties and other issues and can't be breast fed, some women have medical conditions, like breast cancer, and can't breast feed, some just can't produce enough milk, and some plain just don't want to and that is their decision.

Sure breast milk has all sorts of great benefits and I won't deny that it is better, but if formula was so bad, wouldn't a lot of those babies be dead by now? If formula is so bad, why am I still alive and well? Formula may not be better, but it is the next best thing, and I'm living proof that you can still be healthy even if you were formula fed.

Women need to stop judging and start supporting each other. We all need to focus on our own children and stop worrying about how someone else is raising theirs, at least to a certain extent. Breast versus formula, in my opinion, is not something to fret about.