I was 21 years old only when I had my eldest daughter Luka. I thought I was an adult, but, honestly, I wasn’t. Looking back, I can confidently say – I was then a child having a child. Therefore my views on having a baby (or raising a child) where totally different from what they are today. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons, why I found parenting so complicated back then.
After Luka was born, I did try to breastfeed her. But It didn’t even last a week. I was finding breastfeeding extremely inconvenient, painful and on the top of that, I ended up with a terrible mastitis. I soon gave up. I believe it was also lack of information and also support. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding was no longer in question for me. I decided to go with the easiest option – I quit nursing and started formulas instead.
It didn’t seem to make my life any easier though. Waking up at night, getting formula ready, while baby is already screaming with hungriness. And then feeding from the bottle (trying to hold it properly while my own body is switching off as tiredness is taking over), etc.
Nine years later, Daniella was born. I was, of course, then 9 years older and 9 years wiser perhaps, compared to how I was with my first baby – Luka. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding was question raised again. This time I said to myself, that I need to be strong and go ahead with breastfeeding. Whatever it takes.
So I did.
Ah, it wasn’t easy at all. The pain during those first weeks was unbearable! I was so scared of every feeding approaching! I wanted to shout, cry, scream, I wanted to quit and go with the bottle feeding instead. It was really really bad.
But I did it! Extracting the milk and nipple shields helped me to survive it. So I successfully continued breastfeeding Daniella.
As soon as nursing stopped hurting (couple of weeks on), that’s when I saw main benefits of breastfeeding.
I am not talking about baby here. Call me selfish, but I found breastfeeding beneficial to ME! During the first days/ weeks, when baby is still so tiny and when I was not yet fully recovered from giving birth, the little lie in, while baby was nursing, was a true life saver for me. Knowing myself, otherwise, I would have handed a bottle to Edward or Luka, so I could get on with my cleaning or cooking or doing other (not) so-important work in the house. Believe me, house chores can wait. That half an hour of peace while baby is breastfeeding, is very important. Probably more important, than I ever thought it would be. Not only for baby, but for mummy especially. It does help to regain lost energy, improves the mood and life doesn’t look as complicated after all! 🙂
Another reason for applauding breastfeeding is when Daniella used to wake up at night. Not having to make formula worked out so well and, again, gave me the so much needed few more minutes of rest. I used to take Daniella in our bed and she would be nursing while I was carrying on with my sleep. I came to the point, that I wouldn’t even remember waking up at night, I only knew, as I was waking up with my baby next to me.
And I am not even talking here about sterilising baby bottles, extra expenses while buying formula, having to warm up baby’s food, etc. I personally just found so much more easier not having to do all this.
When I got pregnant with Harry i knew I would breast feed.
So breastfeeding or bottle feeding?
Just to make it clear, I have never been against formula feeding. I am sure they are just as good as the breastmilk these days. Even though I was breastfeeding Daniella and Harry, I used to always have formula at home in case we go out (I’m not the kind of person to breastfeed in public) or in case I don’t have enough milk that day. But if I have another baby, I would 100% go for breastfeeding again. But not necessarily to benefit my baby, but also for myself.
My youngest, Harry, has now turned one and I am done with nursing him. However, most of the time he still wakes up once at night for his milk and I now have to make my way to the kitchen in the middle of the night to prepare him milk. I find this extremely difficult and I wake up so tired in the morning. I really don’t know how mums do it – breastfeeding is so much easier…
And I will miss my boobies too…
Breastfeeding or bottle feeding – what are your thoughts on this? 🙂