Stop Asking Me If I Am Breast Or Bottle Feeding
Yeah, I said it.
Now that I am on baby number three, there is something that I have noticed over my tenure of motherhood. People always seem to ask the question …
Are you Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding?
See, for some, the question may seem pretty straightforward. But for me, it’s complicated … and this is why.
When I first became a mother in 2011, I had high hopes of my baby latching on and feeding with no problems. What I didn’t know at the time that my dreams of that becoming a reality would never happen. You see, it was hard for my baby to latch on because I have what they call “inverted nipples.”
After many attempts, fighting with those damn nipple shields and consulting with lactation specialists, I realized that I would not be that mom that would be able to pop out her boob and nurse her child on demand. Looking back, I am thankful for companies that manufacture breast pumps from moms like myself.
I would be that mom that would have to use a breast pump. I knew all along that I wanted my baby to have breast milk over formula. There is nothing wrong with giving your little one formula. Trust me, there have been many days that I had to supplement with formula but, with the stress of not being able to breastfeed, breast pumping was the next best thing for me.
What I don’t understand is why there isn’t more inclusion for moms like me that have to exclusively pump. Yes, it is “bottle feeding” in a way but in my mind, my baby is “breastfed” just with a bottle.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but why does bottle feeding instantly mean “formula-fed”? It really irritates me because when a medical professional asks me the question…
“So, is your baby breast- or bottle-fed?” I look at them like a deer in headlights.
Then, I respond, “I am breast pumping.” It’s funny because I really don’t know if that is even a thing to most people, but it is for me. If I could breastfeed, I would. I know there is a difference between a baby actually latching on to feed versus pumping milk into a bottle. But to me, there is not enough talk about those of us that have no choice, but still want to provide breastmilk for our babies.
Hell, to be honest, having to pump every 2-3 hours is more work anyway (in my opinion). Either way, moms that exclusively have to pump should be included in the array of questions that medical professionals and others ask. For example, they could ask …
Are you breastfeeding, bottle feeding or pumping?
Or do you think that bottle feeding is just that … bottle feeding no matter if it is a formula or breast milk? I am curious to see what other people think of the subject. Call me crazy, but I just firmly believe that there should be some other options besides what most people think.
It may not seem like a big deal, but for moms like me, it is a HUGE deal. Before you ask a new mom how she is feeding her little one, show her a little grace and know that we all have our preference and at the end of the day we are doing what we think is best for our baby.
I would love to know your thoughts on this. Let me know what you think in the comments.
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