I didn’t watch it but have read lots about Jamelia appearing on Loose Women this week and saying that mums who choose not to breastfeed are selfish, and that it should be compulsory.
Guess what Jamelia? I’ve made a very ‘selfish’ decision. Baby number three will be formula fed.
I am an absolute avid proponent of breastfeeding. I think that everyone should at least give it a go, even if it is just for the first couple of feeds (which I will give to baby before moving on to bottles). The health benefits for both mum and baby cannot be denied. Do I think breast is best? In most cases, absolutely. I’ve breastfed Alex now for almost 21 months, after only intending to do it for a couple of months, which shows how passionate I feel about it.
Harrison was formula fed. I tried to feed him, but he didn’t take to it very easily. If I’d persevered, I’m sure we would have got there. But do you know what? I didn’t want to keep trying. I’d just spent over four hours in incredible pain. I wanted to enjoy those first few hours with my first baby, not worry about getting him to feed. He was bought up on formula and is now a healthy happy and intelligent three year old.
We have ummed and ahhed about how we were going to feed this baby, before coming to the mutual agreement that after a couple of initial feeds (if he/she latches well!) we will use formula.
To be honest, the main reason is for ease. I will have three kids under four. Breastfed babies tend to feed more often than formula fed babies as the milk is digested more quickly. Breastfed babies also cluster feed, and if he/she is like Alex, my entire evening would be spent in the sofa feeding. Not great when you have two other young kids to sort out. Bottle feeding means Graham can take over the feeding and let me carry on with our routine of getting the boys settled into bed.
I also need sleep. Breastfed babies wake up more often in the night usually. Alex is 21 months and has only started sleeping through in the last month after several weeks of night weaning. Even now he still wakes up at 5.30 and feeds until 7/8. I can’t go through another two years or so of broken sleep, especially looking after three kids and having to get up for nursery runs. Of course, there is no guarantee that baby will sleep longer even with formula,but it is more likely. It also means Graham can do the odd night shift as well!
I want the boys to be involved as possible with their new brother or sister, and buy helping give bottles they can feel like they are doing something. Yes, I could express but that just creates more work and with Alex I was never much good at expressing.
Possibly the most selfish reason is that I want my body back. Three pregnancies in four years, and breastfeeding for almost two has meant my body hasn’t really felt like my own for a long time. I’m determined to lose some weight (yes I know breastfeeding can help!)and get fit. I also want to be able to buy and wear pretty bras with underwiring again, rather than frumpy unflattering nursing bras. I want to be able to wear the half of my wardrobe that is left abandoned as they’re nor breastfeeding friendly or I don’t have a suitable bra. I never thought I’d miss things like this, but I do.
I want to be able to go out and have a drink and not worry about the alcohol levels in my milk. I want to be able to go out full stop! I can’t leave Alex for more than a few hours at a time as he still feeds so often. I’m not on about crazy nights out (those days have truly past!) but just to the hairdressers, or for a drink.
I absolutely loved breastfeeding Alex up until he was about 12 months old. Since then, I have to admit I’ve struggled and not really enjoyed it. I don’t want to do it again. Is that selfish? Maybe. Do I feel guilty? A little. But do you know what, for us, all of us, it will be the right decision.
What are your thoughts on what Jamelia said?