I’ve recently learned for myself that health professionals attempt to shame women into breastfeeding immediately after the infant is born into this world. It’s been a month since having my second child and I was plagued with guilt over my decision to formula feed my baby just once in the hospital.
After a long night of breastfeeding and attending to a screaming infant, I decided that I would give myself a break and allow my mother to formula feed my infant while I got some much needed slumber. That extra help was a God send…that was until my doctor visited me the next morning. She took one look at the empty formula bottle and questioned why I fed my child formula instead of breastfeeding. Now if I wasn’t in a good mood I would have stated, “that’s my damn business ” and left it at that; however, I felt ashamed under her judgement of me as a mother for not sticking it out throughout the night. I planned on breast feeding for at least the first couple of months, but just that one slip up in the hospital made me feel like a damn failure. Yes, using the word failure when addressing breast feeding may seem to be an overreaction, but that was how I felt due to the hormones and lack of sleep. Now that I feel stronger and sane, I would like to send a shout out to all those health professionals who assault mothers with that judgmental glare and screw you with a long spiked stick.
There are some women who choose not to breast feed and it is their prerogative to make that decision. I know first hand that breast feeding isn’t the beautiful process that some lactation specialists would like you to believe. My nipples feel like burnt tire rubber after my newborn chomps down. As I type now my nipples are throbbing in pain from the devouring of milk every hour and a half. Its hard being a mother, the last thing we need is judgment.