So, this blog is not for everyone. The La Leche League and pushy breastfeeding mothers will probably have an aneurysm if they read on. This is for those women who tried their best at breastfeeding and failed, and it is for the women who chose bottle feeding from the get go.
I tried breastfeeding my first. After a traumatic emergency c-section and a milk supply that decided not to show up until 10 days later, I failed miserably. Sylvia would only drink from a bottle, so I pumped like a mad woman for 8 weeks before throwing in the towel. I beat myself up over it, and swore the next time I would do more to succeed.
Well, here is next time. I took the breastfeeding class before I had the baby. I read the books. I prepared myself mentally for the struggle that might ensue. I was ready. I went into labor at 32 and 35 weeks (both were able to be stopped). I ended up having my sweet son right at 37 weeks. The c-section was definitely not traumatic, but it was still major surgery. When I finally got ready to start this breastfeeding adventure, little Elisha (m. Biblical name E-lie-sha not aleesha) did not have a strong suck reflex. Not to mention he is super lazy. I was still determined, but once again I failed. So here is why I hate breastfeeding...
1. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you do it in public, it is offensive and disgusting to others around you. I'm pretty sure I have shirts that show more boob than I show with a proper nursing tank and little man covering up the rest of my boob anyway, but whatever, I'm used to offending people. If you give your baby a bottle, you have also committed a cardinal sin. Any older woman or judgmental breastfeeder will tell you how terrible the poison is that you are feeding your child. (Note: The hospital pediatrician assured me that when I was supplementing that there is really nothing wrong with formula.)
2. I still can't eat or drink whatever I want. One night during my breastfeeding adventure I had lasagna with hot sauce on it and garlic bread. Holy mistake. That was poisoning my baby. He screamed and cried all night, and he doesn't scream. It was a bad call on my part, but it sounded so good after months of heartburn after eating everything for months. Then add in, still no booze. Well, no more than a glass of wine a night. I rarely drink anymore, but if I want to have a second glass of wine I think I deserve it after all the crap I went through during pregnancy. I would never, and if I did I would pump and dump. Guilt is a hell of a drug.
3. Pain, blocked ducts and mastitis. I suffered through these when I was pumping for Sylvia. They were actually the reason I stopped pumping. It hurt, and I was miserable and sick. Well, it turns out a weak and lazy feeder is just as bad for your boobies as pumping incorrectly. I was nursing Eli with the lights off in the middle of the night. When I woke up there was blood all over his onsie, the sheets, my shirt, and the burp rag. It turns out I fed him a belly full of bloody milk. Then, I pumped out blood the whole next morning. (Pretty much my last straw. I know the bloody milk wouldn't hurt him, but I still thought it sounded more like poison than formula.)
4. SOME lactation consultants. The lactation consultant I had as my night nurse in the hospital was a terror!!! I almost punched her in the face on several occasions. She was the main reason I pushed to come home after just one night. I wasn't sure if we would make it through the night again (definitely over dramatized although I may have hit her). She kept grabbing and pulling on me, and she refused to get us the donor milk until Eli was hysterical. I did have a good experience with the lactation consultant at the pediatrician. She gave me a nipple shield which helped little man latch and feed much better. She also wasn't pushy about breastfeeding, and she made me very comfortable.
5. Finally, the guilt. I hate that I gave up after the mastitis. I hate that I actually want to breastfeed, and I hate that I am beating myself up over it once again even though it is what is best for us. I hate that I see "the breast is best" on everything. No shit, Sherlock. For the record, Sylvia was formula fed after 8 weeks. I highly doubt she is going to have a low IQ because of what I fed her. I'm pretty sure that is genetic. She also has been sick a lot less than her friends. She only got sick once before she started preschool. All preschoolers get sick, breast or formula fed.
So, there it is. Those are the main reasons I hate breastfeeding. I'm sticking by formula being what is right for us. I won't judge, and I will support you when you pull out your boob to feed in public. I am hoping that you do the same for me when I pull out my bottle.