Breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing in the world.
I guess that statement is as true as saying that red roses are the most beautiful flowers there is in the world. Subjective? Exactly my point! And I don’t like red roses.
Don’t get me wrong – I am, above all a big, fat advocate of breastfeeding and I am completely sold on the benefits of feeding your baby breast milk – but I do think that the actual act of having to breastfeed a baby is purely functional and therefore over rated.
So, this second time round, I am only too happy to trade my boobs for the bottle with pumped breast milk when Squirt was 6 weeks old. At Squirt’s 5.5 months mark, I am feeling oh-so-ready to give up nursing. And unlike with my first, I had no issues whatsoever if Squirt decides that he was going to reject my breasts.
Maybe I’m weird, but I am one of those who can’t seem to correlate a baby stuck to my boobs as bonding. I don’t even find it enjoyable, and I see no reason to go all crazy googoo-gaagaa over the act of breastfeeding a helpless baby. To me, the baby needs to eat (or wants some comfort) and he/she needs a source – the source need not necessarily be just from the boob.
If that makes me a terrible mother by not wanting to nurse anymore, so be it. But there’s an upside to not nursing:
Oh hell yes!! Feeding becomes quicker with a bottle. What used to be a half an hour or 45 minutes sessions which rendered me immobile several times a day, now takes me less than 10 minutes. I realized that as time goes by, I don’t have the patience to sit through a 15 minutes to half an hour nursing session per time.
With the bottle, the baby is assured of a very even and smooth flow of the milk. With the breasts, Squirt tends to fuss a lot more at my breasts as he tries to navigate the let downs – too fast and he chokes then get upset, too slow and he starts tugging and then get more upset.
With my breasts on the line and subject to rigorous tugging and changing of sides every 5 seconds just to get him to feed, the entire experience do get extremely frustrating for the both of us. Most of the time, he fusses so much that I might as well just stay topless; because when you start changing sides every 5 seconds, there really was no point to cover the exposed side again.
(Slightly) more dignity
I don’t have to accidentally flash my boob in public under a breastfeeding cover no more just to feed and be subjected to uncomfortable stares all around! I don’t have to subject myself to embarrassing situation of being caught with both sides of my nursing bras down because Squirt was fussing so much between the left and the right in public places.
With a bottle, I don’t have to be discreet.
Most often than not, I am always doing something else while I was nursing. When he feels relaxed, he usually tends to close his eyes and I’ll either be catching some zzzzs, or blogging on my laptop or meddling with my phone.
Besides, other people – especially his Papa and his grandparents – can spend quality time with him by having the chance to feed him too.
With nursing, I have no clue of his milk intake, and sometimes there has been a tendency for him to “snack”. I don;t quite like the idea of being a snack bar. With pumping and bottle feeding, I have an idea of how much he needs and how much he feeds per feeding session.
With a bottle, I can SEE when the milk in the bottle is diminishing. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
No problem here. He can’t even remember being breastfed and that is a good thing. For me personally, I cannot imagine having a one year old still stuck to my boobs. After 6 months, my pair of boobs is no longer a shared property.
So there! I get that breastfeeding is the absolution of goodness all around, but really, enough with romanticizing breast feeding, because with me, all that beautiful, gushing feelings about breastfeeding and bonding didn’t happen at all. There was no serenity – only fussing and probably 5 minutes of calmness.
In my case, I felt that it was good while it lasted. It was necessary in the initial stages and it was, above all functional. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not nursing, nothing wrong with bottle feeding and absolutely nothing wrong with a child not being dependent on the boob at all. We bond in various other ways.
And yes! I do want to wear a regular bra again once this pumping milk shit is over.