For many women wanting to switch from breast to bottle feeding can sometimes come with feelings of guilt and anxiety. For many women instinctively breast feeding your baby is the right thing to do? Breast is best? Isn’t that the message that every woman receives during pregnancy? So what happens if you can’t breast feed? Or maybe you don’t really want to? This can be a very emotional decision to make especially in the midst of hormones and the emotions of becoming a mum.
In extreme circumstances women who find breast feeding difficult can feel that they are somehow denying their baby and feelings of failure can occur. After all breast feeding should be part of the bonding process? Sadly in some cases at what cost to the mother’s well-being and mental health? These combined feelings of guilt, failure and sleep deprivation can have serious consequences often causing low self-esteem, anxiety and feeling like they are a bad mum, especially if they have friends who seem to be coping with the emotional roller coaster in those early few weeks.
I believe that women are at liberty to feed their baby as they wish without pressure and prejudice. It is our responsibility as health care professionals to offer support, advice and guidance. For many women successfully breastfeeding their baby is truly wonderful but for others it feels anything but the most natural thing in the world? It’s important to remember it’s your decision whether you continue breastfeeding or to switch to bottle feeding your baby, the right time is when you feel confident and ready to do so and therefore meeting the needs of both you and your baby. In my experience a happy mummy equals a very happy baby.