For as long as I can remember I knew that when I had a baby I wouldn't breastfeed. It's just something that would be very uncomfortable for me. I knew that I would take a lot of heat for this, but people always say, "Happy mommy = happy baby."
When I had my first child, I fed her formula and I think it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Now that I'm pregnant with my second, I'm excited to not breastfeed AND I'm excited that I have no anxiety about it whatsoever.
It really is shocking how many people pressure women to breastfeed. People act as if it's cruel and selfish to give your baby formula.
There's little discussion about the fact most people my age weren't breastfed and don't seem to have any problems with allergies, immunity, or mother bonding. Also, few mention how this completely keeps the fathers from sharing in responsibilities of taking care of the baby. Also, it keeps women at home longer, keeps them away from their "normal" life, and it's much more difficult to measure how much food your baby is getting. Many women find it very difficult to breastfeed. It doesn't come naturally to them. It adds an added stress to the most stressful time in life.
I believe there are many women who don't actually want to breastfeed, but are pressured by peers and society to do so. Think about it. Are adopted children less loved by their mothers because they cannot breastfeed? What about fathers? I feel perfectly bonded to my daughter. And, my husband does as well. In fact, by sharing in her feedings when she was a newborn, our family became closer as a unit. She is also just as healthy as her breastfed friends.
It's such a relief to not have to worry about what others think of me this time. I know what works for me and my family and I hope other people will figure this out for themselves as well and not let others decide for them.
Image via Nerissa's Ring/Flickr