This week’s #bottlefeedingstories comes from one of my absolute favourite bloggers – the lovely Kelly-Anne over at MimiRose and Me
Hi, my name is Kelly-Anne, I’m a 28 year old mother to one, my cheeky little lady Amelia. I am also a wife to my lovely Tony and we have set up our forever home in the beautiful countryside of Norfolk. I first launched Mimi Rose & Me back as a way to keep my brain from turning to complete mush whilst on maternity leave. Becoming a mother has changed my life and along with the blog my life is more fulfilling than I ever imagined. I hope to continue this new love for blogging whilst being the best wife and mother I can be. My blog is a UK family, beauty and lifestyle blog where I write about my life with my beautiful family who are always following the fun, living life inspired.
When I first became pregnant I did think a lot about breastfeeding. I read all the books I could, googled like a maniac and ask some of my friends who were mothers. I started to think that maybe this was the journey for my new baby and I told the midwife, which I regret. From that moment on that is all the midwives would talk about and I felt as if they were trying to pressure me into breastfeeding. Not in a way that was so obvious, but with comments they made I thought that maybe that breastfeeding was the only way and I started to panic. Damn you horror stories on google. After months of feeling the pressure when I actually had my daughter I decided to give her a bottle straightaway, but later that day when we were on our own I did try and I just couldn’t do it. Over the next week or so I kept trying but she didn’t latch and I did feel like a failure. But then I had a good talking to from my mother and I began to think, well as long as my baby is fed, what does it matter if it’s breast or bottle. There began our bottle journey and I don’t regret that decision.
Had you given much thought to breastfeeding before/while you were pregnant?
I read all the books you could imagine, googled like a maniac and ask some of my friends who were mothers bout breastfeeding. Then the midwives asked me my plans and I told them that I was ‘thinking’ of breastfeeding, a comment that I later regretted. From that moment on that is all midwives would talk about during our antenatal appointments and I felt a pressure.
What was your opinion of bottle feeding?
As long as a baby is fed, what does it matter which way they are fed. My mum bottle fed us, and sister bottle fed her little girl.
Were you offered any classes on breastfeeding by your healthcare team/midwives? Did you take any classes of your own ie. NCT?
Yes after I spoke t the midwife about breastfeeding she offered me some classes on breastfeeding and told me about a group I could go to after I had my baby.
What support did you receive to start and continue breastfeeding? What support would you have liked?
Initially when I did speak to the midwife they were encouraging and I had all the information I could have possibly asked for. Leaflets, classes, groups and so much experience from the midwives and their own children. But after a few months, I did feel a pressure to breastfeed my baby. In hindsight I know they did mean well but I think that as healthcare professionals some could ease up on the pressure a little, but aside from that aspect I was very equipped with the amount of support to start breastfeeding, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Did you have a personal breastfeeding goal?
Not really, I just kept thinking that I would try to breastfeed my daughter and go with the flow…
What triggered your move to bottle feeding? Would you consider it a choice or a necessity?
Breastfeeding is hard and it hurts. I think I made a mistake in giving my daughter a bottle for her first feed and we also used a dummy so I think that this did hinder the whole breastfeeding thing. But we did try, she wouldn’t latch and so we decided to exclusively bottle feed her. So it was a mixture of the two.
How did moving to bottle feeding make you feel?
It didn’t make me feel any different if I’m honest, as long as I fed my baby, what did it matter if it was breast or bottle.
Did you experience any backlash for bottle feeding?
I wouldn’t say any backlash. But when I went to baby classes etc other mums would say ‘oh you bottle feed’ like it was a big NO NO. I use to get really put out by comments, but towards the end of our bottle feeding journey I just shrugged it off.
Do you have any advice for other new mums in your situation?
If any mother or father to be asks me what to do. I will always tell them that each baby is different and they all have needs that are different from the next. Do what you think is best for you, your baby and your family. Whether that’s breastfeeding, bottle feeding or a combination of the two. There’s no right or wrong way to a parent a child. Trust your instincts.
I think a lot of parents share this sentiment that there’s a lot of pressure to breastfeed, which seems to only make it harder to seek help for parents who are struggling. Massive thanks to Kelly-Anne for sharing her #bottlefeedingstory. You can check out her amazing blog here, and don’t forget to give her some love on social media too!
Do you have a story you’d like to share? Please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org