So I was still beating myself about the fact that I choose to breast-pump full time instead of breastfeeding. Every lactation group and even the paediatrician made me feel like a failure, a bad mom. I’m down to 51 kilos ( I was 54 when I got pregnant). Even though I was able to feed my baby breast-milk full time I was becoming more and more unhealthy and more and more fragile. I was not sleeping, and failing to take care of myself. It was getting so extreme I was barely playing with my baby. I was rushing to help him fall asleep as fast as possible so that I could breast-pump in time for the next feeding. I was convinced that if I stopped or if I gave my baby even a little bit of formula, I would be without doubt, a bad mom. That was the message I was getting from every angle.
When my baby was hospitalised, I fell ill too. The first night I was unable to stay with the baby. My body was failing me; How could that be? And even then when I was finally able to stay with him at the hospital, I kept breast-pumping.
After that week at the hospital I started to realise that every breastfeeding case is different. Every mom is different, every baby is different, every circumstance is different… I live on a whole different Continent than my family and my boyfriend has to come and go and travel a lot for work, a lot. So I spent (still do) most of the time by myself. This meant that some meals equaled chocolate or anything that could keep me from fathing. There’s nothing more I wanted than to continue to feed my baby breast-milk but I realised that the baby also needed me, he needed his mom, a healthy mom. I was skipping meals and I developed anxiety from thinking I would not have time between feedings to breast-pump…..
I am not writing this post as a justification nor to make myself feel better about my decision in from of the eyes of other breastfeeding mothers. I am writing this so that moms who are going thru the same dilemma know that they are not alone. That they are good women, good moms. And for judgemental moms who do breastfeeds to please be kind. You don’t know the struggle that other mother is going thru. You don’t know her story. You don’t know if she has support or if she’s by herself. You don’t know her heartache, you don’t know her sadness, her sleepless nights, her decision to not eat in order to feed her baby.
If I have learned something from this experience it’s to be kind to other mothers and above all, to not judge them. To not make them feel like they are failing. But to support one them even in on our differences, our fears,our believes.
We all love our children and we are all doing our best to raise healthy, happy kids. Please be kind. Treat other mommies with the same kindness you would want to received from them. The same kindness you would want to be shared amongst our children.
Even thought I have suffered, I’ve been judged and looked down on I still cherish the weeks I was able to breastfeed my baby and the months I was able to feed my baby breast-milk. And if you would ask me: ” Would you try to breastfeed again?” My answer would be: “yes”. But this time I would not let anyone bully me. I would take control. And above all I would chose our wellbeing before a judgemental eye.