It’s accepted far and wide that ‘breast is best’, but what’s the appropriate course of action to take when you physically can’t make it work? You just move on to the next alternative, of course.
This is what Australian mum and blogger Jules Coffey had to do when breastfeeding just wouldn’t work for her – but she admits the stigma attached to formula-feeding made her feel like ‘a failure’.
Now, she wants to reiterate that there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula-feeding, and the important thing is making sure your baby is full and healthy.
In a candid post posted to her Instagram page, Jules shared a photo of baby Emmi drinking from a bottle. She went on to say that while she has always ascribed to the concept that ‘breast is best’, this wasn’t the case for her or her baby.
“What about when your baby is losing weight, you have no milk, your baby is up all through the night starving? Is it still best? When your baby is dehydrated and you have absolutely nothing left to give?” she wrote.
Like many other mums in her situation, Jules felt terrible over not being able to nurse. However, she was left in anguish over what to do – because the opinions of others had left the impression that ‘formula is the devil’.
Guess what?? STILL SPECIAL. Is breast best? 100% without a doubt. But what about when your baby is losing weight, you have no milk, your baby is up all through the night starving? Is it still best? When your baby is dehydrated & you have absolutely nothing left to give.You try everything under the sun to feed your baby but it screams & screams & can't understand why it isn't getting a full tummy from the person that is responsible for giving it one. Is it still best? Having struggles breastfeeding makes you feel shit enough as it is but to be shamed and made to feel like formula is the devil is disgusting & I'm calling it out. I fought for nearly 8 months to give my baby breastmilk & I became obsessed with her getting my milk. So much so that I would get angry at her for not taking the boob.When do you draw the line on breastfeeding & not being so selfish that your child suffers? Does is matter when they are 30? I pumped & pumped to ensure she had my milk, I saw every specialist under the sun, I tried EVERYTHING but at around 4 months I wasn't making enough no matter what I did & she would not take my boob. She screamed at the site of it. Am I supposed to call mothers group at 2am & ask someone to pop over & bring me some milk?? I started one formula bottle a day & at the time I felt like I had failed as a mother. But when I look back I actually think the opposite. I loved my baby enough, to put my needs aside & FEED HER.To give her a full tummy.To make sure she knew that no matter how I would never make her feel like she is going without.I loved her that much.Everyone needs to be happy with their own choices & this is not a pro formula post. If I could have breastfed easily up until now maybe I wouldn't feel this way but I have seen first hand myself & my close friends struggle & there needs to be an understanding for those who struggle.Before I had Emmi & even in the early days battling mastitis I still couldn't understand why people ever used formula & 'gave up' on breastfeeding but until you have hit rock bottom & your baby isn't thriving then you have no idea. I love nothing more then seeing pictures & people successfully breastfeeding CONT'D IN COMMENTS.
After eight months of struggling, visiting specialists and failing to get Emmi to ‘take the boob’, Jules figured she had no other option but to formula-feed.
Despite feeling as though she had ‘failed as a mother’, Jules was amazed and relieved to find that Emmi took to the bottle totally naturally. Her baby was now full and nourished, and feeding was no longer an issue.
Now, Jules is keen to spread her story and break any lingering taboos surrounding formula-feeding.
“Everyone needs to be happy with their own choices…until you have hit rock bottom and your baby isn’t thriving, then you have no idea,” she added.