For many women, successfully breast feeding their baby is a truly wonderful experience but for others it feels anything but the most natural thing in the world.
And for mums wanting to switch from breast to bottle, feeding can sometimes come with feelings of guilt and anxiety. We are constantly told that breast is best and that instinctively breast feeding your baby is the right thing to do.
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 the mother’s well-being and mental health suffers due to feeding issues and these combined feelings of guilt, failure and sleep deprivation can have serious consequences often causing low self-esteem and anxiety, especially if they have friends who seem to be coping much better with the emotional rollercoaster in the first few weeks.
I believe that women are at liberty to feed their baby as they wish without pressure and prejudice and as healthcare professionals it is our responsibility to offer support, advice and guidance.
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.