My daughter is a teenager now, and I still feel awful about not breastfeeding her when she was a baby.
There’s a post on my blog (Breast is Not Always Best, And we Need To Stop Telling Women That It Is) a friend wrote about how breastfeeding just isn’t in the cards for some women, and we need to stop shaming them.
Most moms that read it write to me saying thank you for a post that means so much to them, but others write in to say horrible, nasty things about moms that couldn’t breastfeed.
They call us quitters, losers, and bad people.
It’s so hard to read.
It’s so hard to know that there are people out there so concerned with the thing in my life that plagues and haunts me the most as my failure of being a good mom.
I usually stand up to them, I usually write that they need to get over it, to leave those women alone, etc.
But the truth is, I still feel like not breastfeeding my daughter means I did something wrong.
It’s not that I didn’t try. I tried and I tried.
She wouldn’t latch on, she wasn’t getting the food she needed, she was losing weight fast, ended up jaundiced, and the pediatrician had to convince me, through my tears, that she needed to be fed.
In order for her to be safe and happy and healthy, she needed a bottle.
When I say it like that, it makes me MAD. Mad those women make me feel such guilt about doing what was best for my child. Mad people insist on being so much up in my business.
And mad at myself for listening to them.
I suffered from postpartum depression, and I know that a lot of why stemmed from my guilt, and from being unable to breastfeed. I actually spent the first few months of my daughter’s life pumping milk and giving her breastmilk in a bottle.
It eventually dried up, and I wasn’t able to pump anymore, but I did it as long as I could.
If I can say anything to new moms right now, it would be to listen to your heart.
Do what you know is best for your babies. NOT everyone else tells you to do. Listen to your doctor. Not an online forum.
You got this, mama. You’re great already.