Although I exclusively breastfed both my girls and fully intend to do the same for my son, I truly believe it is every mother’s choice. I’m in the minority among my friends, around 80% of them either didn’t feed at all or didn’t feed for longer than three months, but I genuinely do not think any less of them for it. Neither do I feel that they are bad mothers, or that I must love my kids more than they love theirs. They just made a different choice to me, as had decided that was the right thing to do for their little family. It’s not the same choice as the one I made, but hey wouldn’t life be boring if we all did exactly the same stuff as each other? If you have made the decision to formula feed your baby, then you should be happy with that decision. Don’t feel you have justify it to all and sundry, because quite frankly it’s no-one else’s business.
It would appear that poor understanding of what to expect coupled with unreasonable expectations of self are usually to blame for not being able to feed. I would imagine these same reasons end up leading to feelings of guilt, and lets face it us mothers have enough of that to contend with already. One of the soundest pieces of advice I received halfway through my first pregnancy was to research breastfeeding. Up until that point I had naively assumed that I’d give birth and my baby would find it’s way to my boob and latch on. I would urge any mum-to-be that wants to breastfeed her baby to do the same. Properly knowing what you’re up against will help you immensely. This detailed post by BabyCentre explains the whys and wherefores, common pitfalls and offers solutions and support.
This all ties in to a post I wrote a while back about the pressure we put upon our own shoulders. I strongly believe that you should do whatever works for your family, and don’t get too caught up in thinking that everyone else is judging you for it. If they are raising families of their own I can almost guarantee they aren’t. And If they have nothing better to do with their day than judge you and your decisions, then you should feel sad for them and not waste your own precious energy caring.