This post was inspired by the 80/20 mom‘s “Evolution of a Formula-Feeding Mom“.
I had an awful experience that led me to finally bottle feed. I wanted to breast-feed at first.
Wait. That’s a lie. I actually didn’t want to breast-feed at all. I was never breast-fed and I always felt uncomfortable with the idea of breast-feeding. I didn’t like my nipples being nibbled during intimate moments let alone someone sucking hard enough to pull milk out! Reading all the pregnancy books and blogs that promoted breast-feeding and spoke of bottle feeders like they were abusive parents deserving of a CYS call made me certain I didn’t want to join their judgmental hoard. As if all this anti-bottle propaganda wasn’t enough, my fiancé was also pressuring me to breast-feed. We had actually gotten into arguments several times in which he said I was robbing our son of being potentially smarter. Some people claim breast milk makes babies smarter. But don’t believe that shiz because I’ve met some pretty stupid people who were breast-fed.
What really turned me off of breast-feeding and solidified my decision to bottle feed was how the nurses in the hospital handled the getting-started process of breast-feeding. They would come in every two hours and wake up my newborn, even in the middle of the night, and force him to breast-feed. I was dead exhausted from not sleeping at all the first 48 hours after my son’s birth and his sucking on my nipples hurt soooo bad, he was screaming because he just wanted to sleep, and all the nurses were judging me and telling me I was not doing right by my son by not waking him up to feed him. They were treating me as if I was neglecting him. Top this all off with the fact that I had a c-section and was denied pain medicine, so I was in writhing pain and couldn’t even stand or hold him on my own. In the end, I flipped out on all the nurses and everyone in my room who was pressuring me to breast-feed and told them my son would be bottle fed and I wanted them to RESPECT me and my decision. After that, they left me alone. But, in what seemed like retaliation, they waited over four hours to bring us a 2 ounce bottle even after we requested twice and my son was crying and crying for food.
In the USA, there is a huge bottle vs. breast discussion going on among moms and in the media. Much of our culture supports bottle feeding, it seems. The only people who speak ill of bottle feeders are die-hard breast feeders and government agencies and medical specialists (like the American Academy of Pediatrics). I think we, as a culture, are starting to accept bottle feeding as the norm. However, there are some people out there who want to make bottle feeding mothers feel shamed. In New York, they even wanted to ban bottles in hospitals so mothers would be FORCED to breast feed. That law never went through, though, and I don’t think it ever will.
Breast vs. Bottle? by One Change in a Lifetime