Guilt seems to walk hand in hand with motherhood. Whether it is about staying at work when the baby is with a caregiver, or attending that party you so badly wanted to while the baby is craving for your presence. Not breastfeeding your child, owing to personal or medical reasons, also renders many a mothers to guilt. Breastfeeding is beautiful and ideal. Is life ideal? Hard fact: NO.
A new mom may just pine to breastfeed her baby but can’t because of different reasons. She may be a breast cancer survivor with double mastectomy. Perhaps, her body is fighting hard against infection in the blood. Probably, she is on medication that is hazardous if the baby receives it via breast milk. Sometimes, the breasts simply do not lactate.
You want so deeply to feel like the Virgin Mary, but Alas! Your body is not permitting. Listen to yourself. Listen to your body’s natural intuition. It is definitely better to rely on formula milk for infants when practical reasons stop you from nursing your baby. Don’t blame yourself please. It happens. Take it in your stride. You are still the Mary, nursing a little angel! About formula milk, it was invented in the 19th century as an effort to combat high infant mortality rates. So, it’s not bad.
Obviously, nothing ever can replace the magic of (healthy) breast milk, but again science is the process of replicating nature in the labs. It may not create the perfect replacement, but formula milk is nonetheless a great choice. The focus should not be on you incapability or choice on breastfeeding, but on nourishing the baby and on her well being. Breast or bottle, feed your baby, and it is okay not to breastfeed.
For all you who are of the opinion that breastfeeding and baby bonding are mutually exclusive, do take a look around for people who bond beautifully with adopted babies or fathers who bond lovingly with children without using their bodies. There is love beyond the breast and the bottle, a breast doesn’t really add upto love.
Relying on formula milk is not a bad choice, and no one is blaming you for ‘not trying enough’. Infact, studies prove that no major differences were observed in babies who were bottle-fed than those who were breastfed. Read about the source here
Nevertheless, you should do your reality checks as well. Unfortunately, these days, ethics are topsy-turvy in the business world. Very sadly, many companies do not actually care whether their edible or drinkable products are actually healthy. As a result, products do come up with ingredients that can be hazardous. You can buy from any good brand, but make sure to verify whether the ingredient list is GMO free. Genetically modified products are riddles with toxins that can affect the genes negatively.
You can also try other natural alternatives such as goat milk or cow milk. The former option is actually very good and recommended by specialists. Milk from goat consists of less allergic proteins, less lactose, and is more digestible than cow milk. Here again, before buying make sure that the milk is free from antibiotics and bovine growth hormones. Make sure that your baby is safe.
Handling the emotional aspect of breastfeeding inability is also vital. If you have a medical reason (such as HIV, herpes, TB, hepatitis, etc.), do know that it’s better that you are not nursing. Take care and heal. It is a miracle that you have a baby despite the ailment. Miracles happen, but it may have valid conditions. That much is totally worth it for seeing the joy of a healthy growing baby.
In case, your breast is not lactating sufficiently, don’t try too hard. Try and relax instead. The body has mysterious ways, still largely unknown to modern science. Whatever the reason is, it should be for good, because why your body would want bad of you! Cancer survivors deserve a standing applause on this. You have been through hell, and now you came out creating an angel in you! You are the bad ass superhero of winning the most difficult fight. Don’t be sad or let guilt get you down.
Also, go slow on smoking and drinking when you nurse. About smokers, make sure you are lighting up last at least two hours before you nurse (in case, you don’t want to quit- which would be ideal). About drinks, keep it limited to one/two glasses a day, or even less.