Written by Natalie Mott | The Waitress
Why is it that no matter what we decide to do as parents, there is always somebody who has to stick their nose in and give you their opinion?
I bottle fed both my daughters as that is what worked for me and them. I didn’t want to breast feed and that is my choice…. Yes you heard me, my choice, my decision not yours. My health visitors and midwives were constantly telling me breast is best and that by not breastfeeding I wasn’t giving my baby the best start in life. I remember leaving one of my appointments and actually crying to my mum because I had been made to feel like an awful mum before my baby had even arrived. However after having a good talk with my mum, I came to the conclusion that it was up to me and I didn’t need to answer to anybody. It certainly wasn’t up for discussion with those mums at the baby groups, who would see me making a bottle up and give me the disgusted look. The little tuts, the whispering in the corner as all of them stared at me. At 20 when I had my first daughter I found it rather upsetting to see other mums judging me and the choice I had made, rather than them being supportive like I imagined motherhood to be.
I really did think that I would have this amazing little group of mums and their babies, who I would meet up with regularly and have coffee mornings and play dates.
How very wrong was I! Instead I was met with cliques of women, who if you didn’t conform to their standards would snub you at every given opportunity. I was being made to feel like I was doing something wrong, like I was feeding my baby the worst thing imaginable.
When I was 25 and had my second daughter, I said from the start that I would breast feed her and had everything ready. It got to about 5 weeks before she was born and I once again decided to bottle feed. This time was different though, nobody seemed to be bothered about the choice I had made. The midwife and health visitors asked why I wanted to bottle feed, I told them that I had done that with my eldest and it just worked for us as a family. They didn’t pressure me into breastfeeding, they just took what I said and were happy. I felt a lot more confident when we went out, getting a bottle from the changing bag I didn’t feel like I had to be in the corner somewhere so nobody could see. Nobody scowled at me at baby groups, no mums muttering under their breath or staring at me.
Maybe it’s because I was older so I didn’t take any notice of people as much as I did before, maybe it’s because over the years bottle feeding had become more acceptable. Whatever the reasons it made bottle feeding more enjoyable for me. Obviously I know that we are all told breast is best and I’m not looking to try and cause any arguments, I just wish that when it comes down to the age old debate of what is the best way to feed babies, we just accepted that everybody is going to do it differently for whatever reasons. As mothers we should stand together instead of bashing one another just because we have done something a different way in which you would do it.
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