Once pregnant, you are greeted by a world of advice. I discovered quickly to learn to nod, smile, appreciate that this advice was coming from a good place but to filter out a lot of what was being said. Every parent has the right to choose what they believe is best for their child. Well, that’s what people kept telling me. Sadly, in reality it’s not true, well for me anyway. Once having my baby, there was support but also a lot of “advice”. Why the double captions because a lot of the “advice” became statements and one’s filter goes out the window when you’ve got this bundle of joy that is leaving you sleep deprived, hormonal, and completely turns your world upside down.

Firstly, we all know the saying ‘Breast is best’ however some people can, some people can’t, Some do, some don’t. This is not a debate on how one feeds their child. It’s just my story so please don’t be offended in anyway.

I was never sure if I wanted to breastfeed but when I got pregnant I joined the ABA, I read the books, I was all ready to give it a go. Yes, I was able to breastfeed my baby. I was lucky, it came quite easy however as time progressed I struggled and there were a number of issues that arose. I won’t go into those details but needless to say it left me questioning whether or not to stop. I talked with my husband, I cried non stop, I felt every emotion as I tried to rationalise my ‘choice’.

My most emotional and memorable moment occurred in one of the places I considered a place of support; the Maternal Health Nurse checkup. A simple question with a simple answer – “You are breastfeeding,?’. ‘No, I have stopped’. My choice, right? Wrong…. A lecture followed about how breast is best, that’s why she has gained so much weight (or it could be growth spurt), and the straw the broke the camel’s back as they say …. ‘well, we know that babies that are breastfed develop better’…..EXCUSE ME!!

Me: ‘Are you telling me that my healthy and happy baby that is scoring perfectly on all developmental milestones and ahead in some is NOT PERFECT!’ . I then stormed out of the room with my baby and I didn’t see that particular nurse again.

That nurse had no idea what I had been going through. Okay, the ability hadn’t been taken away from me, no one was making me stop or continue for that matter but I had taken weeks before finally coming to the realisation, to stop was best for both myself and my baby.

That day I learnt a valuable lesson, It really was my choice and what others thought, didn’t matter. I finally stopped crying and feeling guilty. I learnt to believe in myself and trust my decisions as a mother.

Finally, I was content and my baby had thrived as a result.

Posted anonymously, 1st June 2014

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  • That’s so very brave of you. Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it helps other mothers in that situation to not feel so bad. Breast is best, so they say, but the reality is, FOOD is best! It shouldn’t matter in which form it is delivered… It is food, and your baby is fed. Good for you! :D


  • Bottle feeding was never an option for me, I didn’t even consider it, and thankfully it was successful for me. The health nurse seemed a bit rude though, no wonder you walked out. I’m shocked she spoke to you like that


  • Good on you for standing your ground. It is your choice. Well done


  • the story is exellent


  • Wonderful story and good on you for standing your ground. Happy mum = happy bub. Advice is given but one must take in and act on what they feel is right.


  • It is such a sensitive topic, I could not do it with my first, my second and third ate well from the beginning, but we swapped after a few weeks as I was not coping… Luckily, I have never copped anything, but I hear other stories and I feel like punching whoever judges them, as they do not know. Great on you for sticking up to yourself – well done mummy!


  • Congratulations for standing up for yourself. I had a mini-meltdown in hospital as my milk came in late and despite multiple questions about Bubs dehydration, I was told that his weight was too low less than 24 hours before we were due to leave and it was implied that we would not necessarily be leaving unless he put on a certain amount. With my milk only starting to occur that day, I was told to express and they couldn’t understand why I had doubts about doing this. A considerate night nurse thankfully agreed to our request for some formula, and we were cleared to leave the following morning. I wish I had said something earlier and good on you for sticking to your guns.


  • My niece had a stand-up argument with her Maternal Nurse over a very similar issue. Yes, advice is good, but it’s also not what you say, but how you say it. Advice is often welcome, but when it’s said as a criticism, then you can hardly be blamed for getting upset. In my niece’s case, it turned out that the nurse had never had children, and had no personal experience of giving birth, breast-feeding, or the thousand other things that Mums have to do. She was giving her opinion, based on what she had been taught. You do what’s right for you and your child, and if other people don’t agree with it, it’s their problem and not yours.


  • I’m sure your have made the right decision for you and your baby. Others can be quick to judge. I couldn’t breast feed my babies due to medication I was on, yet funnily enough, was still judged for it. Mainly by other mothers in mother’s group. Didn’t last long there as a result. Ironically, same breastfeeding mums thought it was ok to start off mother’s group at 10 in the morning with champagne. Don’t mean to judge, but really!!! Champagne verus me feeding my babies formula. Anyway, happy to say, my kids are healthy, clever and well adjusted. Their mum is healthier too!


  • I went through a similar breast feeding thing and got fed up with the breast is best thing. I was told all about the developmental thing etc. My grandma turned around, seeing me drained trying my heart out to express and bottle feed with formula and said “You know what, what’s best for the mother, is what’s best for the baby.” At the end of the day I think what that message is all about is that a happy and healthy mother is best for baby. I jus wonder how many parents who adopted children, who are intellectually very bright would be happy with the statement made by that nurse. It’s terrible that people feel they should enforce their opinions upon others. Good on!


  • Unfortunately there are a lot of mums out there with a similar experience. You think you are in a place of support ad understanding, and you end up in tears and feeling judged for an off the cuff remark that they haven’t though twice about.


  • Good for you, I think it is so wrong to make new Mum’s feel guilty for not persevering with breast feeding especially when they have tried but their milk doesn’t come in. The positive side for them is at least they know how much formula their bub is getting & often they are more content in those first few months & thrive.


  • How do these people get to assume that they have the last word on everything? You had a good reason for your decision and are not required to explain anything to a person who does not pay your bills!


  • I’m glad you decided to do what you felt is right for you & your baby.


  • That is good to hear that you stopped feeling guilty! sometimes guilt can get the better of us and we shouldn’t let it…


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