Inspired by 2blue1pink and this breastfeeding post I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and complete the questionnaire too both to record my journey as well as give a little insight if any new mama’s out there are struggling. It doesn’t stay hard forever, I promise!
1) Please state your age = 33
2) How old were you when you had your child/ren? = 32
3) Please state whether you breastfed and how long you breastfed for (in months) = 12 weeks of primarily breastfeeding, then a further 5 weeks up until she was 17 weeks old of combination feeding as we transitioned to bottle and just short of 5 months when we had our last feed.
4) If you did breastfeed, please state your reasons for stopping = I was returning to work part time when the bear was 6 months old (2 days per week) and then full time once she was 7 months old and I got it into my head that I didn’t want her to lose both me and the boob at the same time in case she found it upsetting. Therefore I thought a slow transition to bottle would be best but she took to it so well and before long had completely gone to the bottle.
5) If you did breastfeed please state your reasons for doing so = a combination of the bond you get from the experience, the fact that is what my body is designed to do and the cost and convenience of it. I did not have my heart set on breastfeeding as if it did not work for us I would have happily given her the bottle from birth but I wanted to at least try and do this for her. I hate the expression ‘breast is best’ as there are more factors to take into consideration other than nutritional value such as mothers ability and emotional wellbeing! Us mama’s need to do what is best for our family, but I do recognise the value in breast milk for the baby.
6) If you chose not to breastfeed please state your reasons for not doing so = I combi-fed so one feed a day from around 3 weeks old was a bottle. This gave me a little sleep in the evening as my hubby would give the last feed of the night so I could go get a bath and an early night to get a head start before the night shift!! This was a god-send as it made me feel more human and ready to face the night. Also I wanted Daddy to be able to get involved. Feeding a baby, whether it be by bottle or boob is a bonding experience and I wanted her Daddy to be able to experience that too.
7) Did your midwife encourage you to breastfeed and inform you of the benefits? = Yes, I was well informed but I was lucky in that my midwives asked me what my choices were and therefore I never felt pressured.
8) What do you consider to be the benefits of breastfeeding? = (1) health benefits for the baby, (2) the bond you get from it – there’s nothing like snuggles on the sofa! (3) cost saving – no expensive formula and bottles, (4) convenience – no sterilising and available on the go at any time!
9) What do you consider to be the benefits of bottle feeding? = (1) more sleep! Babies burn through breast milk quicker therefore require more frequent feeds. (2) more routine as it’s easier to get a ff baby into a routine. (3) knowing how much they are taking – with breastfeeding you have no idea! (4) more steady weight gain – see point 1 and 2 for this one! (5) other people are able to feed the baby giving mama a break and (6) less hormones….if you think pregnancy hormones were bad – they had nothing on breastfeeding hormones.
10) Do you feel that you were supported and helped by your midwife when you were breastfeeding? = Yes, the help was there if you asked for it. However, none was volunteered – you had to ask the questions.
11) Did you feel comfortable breastfeeding in public? = Yes, if my child was hungry she was getting fed! However she was a nosey child therefore I did use a muslin as a cover to stop her having a look around whilst eating. Turning her head whilst latched….ouch!!
12) If you had another child would you consider breastfeeding? Please state your reasons for your answer = Yes, 100%. Breastfeeding for us was a positive experience and there is no reason not to do the same again. However, I would also combi-feed again so one feed a day will be via bottle using expressed breast milk.
This has been nice to complete as I often feel like I’ve ‘failed’ for stopping so early rather than celebrating the fact we got to (almost!) 5 months. It was a lovely experience – even if my poor hubby did have to suffer through the emotional side effects!! – and one I would not hesitate to do again. In hindsight we were so lucky we took to it so easy and I wish that we had carried on. Unfortunately hindsight is 20/20 and I just didn’t realise how easily she would take to the bottle and being left.
For those people considering breastfeeding I would recommend giving it a try, if it doesn’t work that’s fine too as I truly think the reason we found it so easy was the lack of pressure I put on myself. Each time it got hard I concentrated on getting to 1 week, then 2 weeks, and then 1 month. By the time we got to 6 weeks it was second nature and we were both enjoying it.
I feel blessed for this as I have so many friends who struggled and were unable to do it.