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You Don't Need To Breastfeed To Be A Good Mom

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When I first became pregnant with Emma over 15 years ago, the benefits of breastfeeding were in every parenting book and magazine. Throughout my pregnancy, I'd hear things on TV shows, see them online, and read about them in magazines reinforcing the benefits of breastfeeding. From the moment you find out you're pregnant until the day you give birth, you'll be inundated with a wealth of information. Some of it can be overwhelming, and it's often difficult to determine what's best for you and your baby when you haven't even had the baby yet.

Yes, breastfeeding is good for your baby. But there are often other factors that determine whether it's right for you and how successful you and your baby will be at achieving the perfect breastfeeding rhythm.

For me, breastfeeding was always my intention. But once Emma was born, she wasn't on board, and it made it increasingly difficult and incredibly frustrating to try to get her to do something she had no interest in doing.

Here are a few other things to think about when considering to breastfeed:

Your baby won't hate you if you don't breastfeed.
As a mother, when we don't breastfeed, whether it's due to the baby not latching on, the pain is too much to bear, or you're not providing any milk, we often feel as though we have failed. On the contrary, we haven't failed. We tried our best, yet we go through a ton of guilt, which can even lead to postpartum depression. Our babies don't care about what's going in their mouth, as long as they're fed, they're happy. Your child isn't going to grow up neglecting you because you weren't able to breastfeed.

You will bond with your baby regardless of how you're feeding them.
Don't believe that the only way you bond with your baby, is through the process of breastfeeding. That just isn't the case. You bond with your baby by spending time with them, regardless of what you're doing together. You can bond with your little one while cleaning out their dirty diaper. So don't worry about not having the breastfeeding experience with them. There are so many other opportunities for bonding.

Properly designed baby bottles don't harm your baby.
Bottles are the perfect alternative to breastfeeding. Or if you have decided to stop, there are bottles for breastfed babies that mimic the exact same form as what your baby is used to, along with the flow of the milk. Glass bottles are the new thing on the market if you are concerned about any of the various plastics being used. Because of the glass, it won't interfere with the taste or purity of the milk your baby is getting.

You won't have red, raw, burning nips every day!
Surely the experience of childbirth is enough, but then we're supposed to breastfeed for however long they tell us nowadays! It. Really. Hurts. It's not your fault it hurts. It's not your baby's fault that it hurts. It just hurts. And if you don't want that kind of pain every day, throughout the day, choosing not to breastfeed is your option. 

Your baby will not be affected mentally, or physically, if you do not breastfeed. So don't even think consider it an issue It's irrelevant. If breastfeeding happens, it happens. If it doesn't, thats's perfectly fine too. It makes no difference to them if they’re feeding from your breast or a bottle. They just want to be nourished and loved.

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