Guest Blogger: Jayne From Mum’s The Word. To Breastfeed Or Not To Breastfeed, That Is The Question.

*I’m still sick so Jayne from Mum’s the Word offered to guest post for me. I am so grateful to her for doing this and would give her big hugs if I could.

But then I might get her sick and she wouldn’t be able to write on her amazing blog and that would just suck. So I will say thank you so much for helping me out and send virtual hugs her way. And one big virtual kiss that has been sanitized through cyberspace. Mwah!

I like that her post gives another side to breastfeeding. It’s one that not everyone might agree with but I love that she’s so honest when it comes to sharing her thoughts about it. Again, thank you Jayne.

Reading through Elle’s blog, I find it astonishing how many experiences we’ve shared, despite never having met. We both have daughters who ended up in the NICU, unable to regulate their blood sugars, we both went through the wrenching agony of leaving our babies in the hospital and going home empty handed and we both were unable to breastfeed.

However, while Elle suffered the trials of trying to get her baby to latch on, I knew right from the beginning of my pregnancy that I would not breastfeed my baby, and it’s only here, on a relative stranger’s blog, that I feel I’m able to be honest about it.

When we discovered I was pregnant, I was hit with the usual barrage of questions from family, friends and healthcare professionals; would I prefer a girl or a boy? Would we be going for a natural birth? Did we have any names in mind? The one question which came up every time was “will you be breastfeeding?” and for a while, I would answer as honestly as possible and say I hadn’t decided.

But the more I thought about it, the more the thought (and I don’t say this lightly) repulsed me. Now, if you don’t read my blog, you won’t know me. But let me assure you, I’m not one of these too-posh-to-push-pass-my-kid-off-to-a-nanny types. I have spent almost every second of every day since my daughter was born caring for her, I’ve never spent more than a couple of hours away from her, she shares my bed and often my dinner, I do all the stuff that mums do and more. But not breastfeeding.

I wish it wasn’t this way, and I’ve never been able to sufficiently explain why I have such a strong aversion to it. I know it’s better for her, I know it’s a beautiful bonding experience. I have no problem with others doing it and happily sit with my best friend while she feeds her son. I just can’t bring myself to do it. And it’s like a guilty secret, hanging over my head.

The only explanation I can come up with is that I have a love/hate relationship with my breasts. I developed ridiculously early and ever since, they’ve been a burden, a weight on my shoulders, if you’ll pardon the pun.

When Sausage was born and rushed off to the NICU, I was still unconscious from the C-Section, so by the time I came around they’d already put her on formula, and then my breast milk just never showed up, which I can only assume was a side effect from being unable to hold my baby.

But since then, when people have asked why I didn’t breastfeed, I always omit the part about the conscious decision not to, and skip straight to the part where I say I couldn’t. I have to say, I kind of resent the fact that I have to do this, in order to escape judgement from the Mummy Mafia. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? There are those out there who are so quick to judge.

I don’t know, maybe I deserve to be judged, I know in some ways I judge myself. But I also know, my daughter is healthy, happy and wonderfully bright. And isn’t that all that matters? Shouldn’t us mums try and stick together? I know I’ll be reserving judgement next time someone tells me that they do things a bit differently.

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9 Responses to Guest Blogger: Jayne From Mum’s The Word. To Breastfeed Or Not To Breastfeed, That Is The Question.

  1. Michelle December 6, 2010 at 05:08 #

    Thank you for this!
    I don’t breastfeed either. I didn’t want to – it just seems weird to me. I have no opinion on others nursing their kids – I don’t say I’m ok with it, because they don’t need my permission. Do what you do, mama. My daughter never latched, and I spent 3 weeks with angry lactation consultants, wasting over 3 hours a day pumping when I could have been just taking care of my daughter. Then a raging bout of mastitis hit and I spent a day in the hospital. That was it for me – bought a bottle, went home, and fed my baby. If we have another we’ll go straight to the bottle. It works for us! 🙂

    • Elle December 7, 2010 at 00:52 #

      I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. I’m glad you found something that works for *you*. I know it’s Jayne’s post but I hear you on the time spent pumping.

      I’m glad I did it but I put way too much stress and pressure on myself because of it and I missed so much time that could have been spent focused on my daughter. I’m not at all against breastfeeding but it’s not always so easy for everyone.

  2. Mandi December 6, 2010 at 10:40 #

    Breastfeed or no breastfeed, I agree – we need to stick together and quit focusing on what everyone else is doing cause really, who cares? There are way too many out there way too quick to judge 🙂

    • Elle December 7, 2010 at 00:53 #

      You said it perfectly! 😉

  3. Loraine Barrett December 7, 2010 at 01:31 #

    Hi Jayne, Mum here.
    When I had you I breastfed for the first week. In those days they kept you in hospital for a week with the first child, and on day 6 the nurses informed me that you had lost too much of your birthweight and said that my milk was obviously not good enough and that you would now be bottle fed. I remember closing the curtains around our beds and spending the rest of the day crying and feeling like a total failure. No-one told me that I could try breast milk topped up with formula , but this experience put me off of ever breastfeeding again so your sister didnt even get the first week of my milk. I was terrified that my baby would become undernourished. However you both grew into healthy young women in spite of having the dreaded formula.


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