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