Monday, 7 May 2012

Breast is Best ... Perhaps but the breast doesn't always work.

I caught up with a work friend for lunch today, I entered the office and said hello to all the women I once worked with, as we were leaving to go to lunch, one of the women stopped me and did the normal ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at Sophie and ‘wow, she is so big’. I get this from every person I see, she is in the 97th percentile for her age, she isn’t completely off the charts, she is healthy and plus chubba bubbas are sooo much cuter.

Then came the question … ‘Are you still breastfeeding?’

Why do people feel the need to ask this question? Why do they feel it to be an important topic to raise when asking how everything is going as a new parent?

My answer … ‘No!’

The response … ‘Oh, that’s OK.’

I know it is … but thank you for feeling as though I needed your reassurance.

I always feel as though I have to then explain myself. I can never answer this question with just a no.

I couldn’t keep up with the demand

I always had problems with my supply

I fed and expressed to boost my supply but nothing helped

I breastfed until 8 weeks

I understand that breast is best but unfortunately not all women are able to provide this method of feeding to their newborns. Too much pressure is put on new Mums, I know from my own situation I completely beat myself up and believed that I was a failure when I finally dropped that last breastfeed.

This wasn’t fair on me or Sophie.

I am now 100% OK with feeding Sophie formula … out of a bottle. At first I was hesitant to pull the bottle out of her nappy bag whilst in public, worried about all of the gleaming eyes as I dared to place a bottle inside my 8 week olds mouth.

So for all of the women out there who feel it their right to ask me whether I am breastfeeding Sophie or not, please know that I do not appreciate your question and next time you may not appreciate my answer. Sophie sleeps through the night, goes down without hassle for day sleeps, has rolled over, is beginning to love nursery rhymes, smiles up at her Mummy with loving eyes, loves bath time and is an amazing addition to my life.

Those aspects of being a new Mum … I would LOVE to share with you.


  1. Theres so many of the same questions I got asked when I was pregnant through to now motherhood, that annoyed me and i then felt bad for most likely asking those same questions myself. I think its just one of those questions that people ask without thinking but really when you do think about it, there is really no need to ask it.

  2. You tell them Jane. My answer was "no as you can see from the bald patches on my head I had to stop". The look on their face was priceless and I felt so much better with the true explaination. Let it all go over your head............................. Fiona

    1. Just not a question everyone is happy to answer is it !!! I swear she has asked me each time she has seen me as well!

  3. It never ceases to amaze me what people think is appropriate to say. Stuff them all!

    1. I agree Kate ... stuff them!! ha ha

  4. It is such an impersonal question, I agree. And really, it's nobody's concern, but the Mama involved.
    I had massive breast feeding issues first time around, but learnt a lot from it. I had no qualms about feeding my boys a comp bottle for every alternate breast feed... because they were HUGE and just needed the extra nourishment.
    I fed them both to 6 months, but would have liked to go longer. I used to feel guilty at my mother's group when some Mum's were feeding their bubs still at 12 months!
    But hindsight is a wonderful thing and now... I just couldn't care either way. If it's a happy, healthy bubs, it doesn't matter where the milk is coming from xo

  5. Oh that made me so mad.... I can really sympathise... your post brought back so many memories..
    I couldn't breast feed Darby ... he had issues with his neck and was impatient as anything.. and i had other complications.. I tried the best I could.. but I had to make the call when he was 6 weeks old that enough was enough.. I had tried my best.. but it was amazing how guilty I felt getting the bottle out in those first few months... i totally beat myself up about it.... but at the end of the day.. I had a happy baby ... i was just worried what everyone else thought!! I soon realised that who cares!!!
    So glad that you have got to the point where you don't care.. other people should not worry about there own business so much... and in the scheme of things it isn't a big deal.. Sophie has a mummy and daddy that love her very much and at the end of the day that is all that matters!!!

  6. Oh I can totally sympathise with the shame of pulling the bottle out in public! I didnt go to my Mothers Group for months because I was terrified of having to feed Evie in front of 10 breast feeding woman. I would still go and sit in the car with my baby and her bottle when we were out and about. It is absolutely ludacris!

    Power to you for doing the right thing for you and Sophie! xx