Breast is best. This is a common motto stated, because nutritionally breast milk is better for babies. It offers a mom’s immunities before vaccinations are available, and has the majority of vitamins and minerals a baby needs.
But breastfeeding isn’t an option for all moms. Some mothers simply cannot breastfeed; and some babies struggle to latch on to the point it becomes mentally difficult to keep trying; that’s why bottle-feeding can be the better option for some mothers.
My Choice of Feeding
I’m going to state right now that I believe methods of feeding have their benefits. I’ve also tried both.
With my first daughter, I started out breastfeeding and it was the worst month of my life. I hated every minute of it, and couldn’t build a bond with my daughter. I honestly tried my hardest, but my mental health was starting to suffer, along with my relationships with my daughter and my husband. After a month, my husband and I talked about switching to bottle-feeding. As much as I felt bad for not giving my daughter the “best start in life,” I soon realized that bottle-feeding would be better for her.
When it came to my second daughter, I made it very clear to my husband that I wasn’t even going to give breastfeeding a chance. He wasn’t bothered either way, and said he’d support me if I wanted to give it a go, but I’d decided very early on that bottle-feeding was a better choice for us. I wouldn’t go through the first month of hell and would be in a better frame of mind from the start. Honestly, this last month has been a joy. There have been difficult moments, but I was able to bond with my daughter right away. Feeding isn’t something I dread.
Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-Feeding: The Benefits
So, is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding better? Nutritiously, breast milk may be better. While formula does have added vitamins and minerals, it’s not a true replacement for breast milk. However, if it was really that bad for babies, it wouldn’t be around. Mothers would continue to push through pain, negative feelings and difficulties to breastfeed.
I don’t think issues with breastfeeding in public have really helped matters, either. Some mothers may feel like they are stuck inside all the time if they breastfeed, because there are still people against breastfeeding in public. This can lead to other negative emotions, as some can almost resent their children or other people because of the negative connotations.
It’s not just about nutrition. Building a positive experience during the early weeks is important. This is when postnatal depression is more likely going to occur, and a negative experience like struggling to breastfeeding could be that tipping point. I think it nearly was for me, but my husband saw the signs early on. Poor mental health in the mother can lead to future problems.
Really, as a mother, you need to do what is best for you and your baby. This is a personal choice. I begrudge mothers who judge others because they’re not doing what they would do. I had mothers tell me that I should be breastfeeding, and I politely informed them that bottle-feeding was my choice and better for me and my daughter. It seems that bottle-feeding is become more acceptable now because I haven’t had anyone say anything negative to me about it this time.
I’ve stopped listening to the negativity spouted by mothers. If they judge someone for their choice, it really says more about them. Yes, they can have opinions and I will happily debate, but that doesn’t mean judgment. I have plenty of friends who don’t agree with my opinions and vice verse; we agree to disagree and move on. It really is as simple as that. We don’t make each other feel bad for their views.
Do what is best for you when it comes to feeding your child: both mentally and physically for you and baby.
I'm Alexandria Ingham, and am a work at home mommy and full-time freelance writer. Writing has always been a passion from a young age, but it was only in 2009 that I decided to use it to make money online. Since then, I've managed to make a career out of it and don't regret it. While history and weight loss are two of my favorite topics, I love writing about absolutely anything and even have fictional pieces in the works.