What a wonderful sight it is to see a mother suckling her baby on her breast. The bonding between Mother and baby during breast-feeding cannot be equalled by anything.
Yes, O.K. blah,blah,blah! We know all of that so why do we feel so guilty if we cannot "or" choose not to breast-feed. There is nothing wrong with a bottle of good old s-26 formula. And hey, isn't it our choice and our right to bring up our babies in the way we feel is best for not only the baby but for ourselves as well?
I believe that in today's hospitals and in particular the Nursing Mothers Association (N.M.A) have far too much to say and influence in the care and decisions made with regards to the feeding of our babies.
The Healthcare network provides an invaluable service in all aspects of infant and childcare. But, do they have the right to pressure new mums into breastfeeding? That is exactly what is happening.
Of course we all want the very best for our little bundles of joy and there is no argument, breast milk is the very best. But what happens when we cannot physically give them breast milk?
Well from first hand experience, I can tell you that I felt inadequate and often guilty for 'failing' with my breast feeding. The same scenario was played out with all three of my babe's. Grazed and bleeding nipples incredible pain and the dread of the next feed. With my third little one Daniel, things got so bad that he was vomiting blood from my own breast and after I persisted with feeding determined to be a real mum, my nipple was not only grazed and cracked but was lifting off.
In the end my husband talked some sense into me and we put Daniel straight onto the bottle and never looked back. He is incredibly healthy and has not suffered at all. Don't get me wrong, I would have preferred to breast feed and have that extra closeness. Instead of washing and sterilizing bottles, boiling the water, measuring formula (and always running out) storing, reheating, Oh, yeah that's lots of fun with a hungry baby screaming in your arms. Ooh and not to mention the added expense of the formula, plus all of the extras that go with it. I would much rather have popped the boob out for a no hassle free, fast food.
The point is that I tried very hard with all of my children to breast feed and with each pregnancy, was left with an incredible feeling of guilt for not living up to the expectations that others had put on to me.
And, Hey! Who is the Nursing Mothers Association anyway?? Why does the N.M.A now have their 'seal of approval' on anything from jump suits to prams? Their logo on a jumpsuit does not help you feed any better. Who asked them anyway! We get all the information and assistance we need and more from our healthcare network. This exclusive group in particular with there advertising and product endorsement has helped put the pressure on mums like myself to butcher and torture themselves all in the name of the all powerful breast feed. Well if you can't or won't it's O.K. Who cares, join my club..... I think I'II call it 'What's best for me is what is best for my babe'.
- Sue Jones