Bottle vs breast – which is best

I do not enjoy breastfeeding. I find the whole concept weird and when I express I feel like a cow being milked. But you are told as soon as you get pregnant that breast feeding is the best thing for baby and so as a mummy who always feels like I’m failing, even before the little ones arrived, I made the decision to try breast feeding. Now whilst I don’t enjoy it, I find it very easy. I’m incredibly lucky that I have an abundance of milk (one midwife made the comment that I had enough milk to feed the village) and rarely have to feed for longer than 15 min on a single side and I can express about 9ozs a day on to of the regular feeds. So for me breast feeding was and is the easiest choice. But there are times I envy the bottle feeders. Yes you have to wash and sterilise everything and make up a bottle and warm it up, but partners can help with night time feeds, you can have a rest without worrying that the little one will demand food within 10 min of you lying down and you can go out. Now I know I could express a bottle and leave H with child B, but if he’s too tired he won’t take it and child A refused the bottle completely no matter which brand we tried! So I do at times envy the bottle and think I could stop feeding and switch. But then I would be a failure in my eyes which is utterly ridiculous because I do think in certain situations bottle is best. I have a few friends who have had the disadvantage of little or no milk and have therefore not had a choice and I’ve had other friends who after various lengths of time have stopped breast feeding and switched to bottles. For some of my friends I’ve actually advised them to move to bottle feeding in order to relieve the pressure on them and to have some rest but they have all felt guilty about it. “Breast is best” has become a saying that is churned out again and again to any new mum or expectant parent but I was even told that I would have to give child B vitamin supplements because I’m breast feeding and not bottle feeding. So if breast is best, why do they need supplements. I was purely breast fed and H was purely bottle fed and yet we both achieved the identical degree from the same university so is there any advantage to either route? A very wise friend of mine once said “happy mummy, happy baby” and I agree whole heartedly with that. So I believe that the choice of breast vs bottle should not be down to what is expected but for all the information to be given and for people to be able to make their choice based on what is right for the family and their situation and not to be made to feel guilty about that choice. By anyone.

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