Being a mum of 2 and surrounded by other mums whether its in public places or on social media, I hear the phrase ‘breast is best’ ona daily basis.
I dont dispute that breastfeeding is the natural way that a mother should feed their baby and that most of the time breast milk is the most nutritious form of food. However, I am so painfully sick of the phrase and the negative stigma that it is gives bottle and formula feeding.
Not every mum is able to breast feed and I would be here all day listing reasons why it isn’t always possible, these are just a few – milk doesnt come in, latching issues, tongue tie and allergies.
Personally, with my first, I breast fed for a few weeks…and it made me sick. I couldnt keep up with her demands as I didn’t have the time or the stomach to eat much. For the same reason I couldn’t express long term. So after weeks of hints and tips and advice and pressure from all direction, I decided breast was not best for Alex and I. She thrived and put on more weight and was generally happier when we switched to bottle feeding and formula. We were all happier.
And then of course there is Emily. She wasnt breast fed or bottle fed for the first 15 weeks of her life. She was fed through an NG tube, and sometimes not fed at all and had a long line going through her veins giving her nutrition. I was extremely lucky that I was able to express a ridiculous amount of milk for Emily, but I met many mums who couldn’t. I have also met many mums whos children went home with an NG tube or even a PEG and some of them go months and even past their first birthday being fed through these means for medical reasons.
When it came to trying to breast feed Emily the pressure was too much, on me and her, it would just result in frustration. So we decided to go with the bottle so we could get her used to it and get her home as soon possible. And we decided that once the gallons of expressed milk we had frozen ran out that we would switch to formula. I expressed for nearly 4 months and it ruled my life, I was determined to enjoy every second of Emily being home with her family and not be attached to a machine for any of it.
The most important thing for Emily and for many other premature or sick children is being fed and gaining weight. And obviously the same goes for term and well babies, they need food whether it is from breast, bottle, tube or other means.
Fed is best.