The relationship between babies and their mom are unfathomable. It is beyond beautiful and surreal. Nature has its ways of caring for life. And it is natural for mammals to feed their babies breast milk, like humans. However, not all mothers can nurse their babies for various reasons – one of which is not lactating enough to do so – which is pretty natural and not an excuse like Manu humans (incredibly nosy aunties) think it is!
Well, there are numerous thoughts and comments about how different babies that are boob-fed and bottle-fed are! And here are my thoughts, being a new mom myself and not being able to breastfeed my baby for more than two months after his birth.
To begin with, my journey has been very different from that of many moms. I was unprepared to be a mom and thrust to take on this role unexpectedly. Having PCOD all my life, I was not even a girly girl who knew what an intense period felt like! But, blessed to be a mom today, I watched myself transform and be the best version of myself for my little munchkin.
Not having a smooth and “expected” pregnancy might have affected the way I perceived breastfeeding – maybe even the fact that I was not prepared to even after the baby’s arrival – something many people would not relate to – it is entirely natural and nothing to be awestruck – had an impact on my nursing techniques and ideologies.
I was unsure how to touch or hold my son when he was brought to me after birth! I did feed him for a while when people around me started having inhibitions of whether the baby had enough milk to feed on since he cried his lungs out during the night – which again is natural – but the guilt of not having enough inside me to feed my baby worsened the situation and my confidence to nurse him appropriately.
Giving him formula relieved me of that anxiousness about whether he had enough milk. Giving him formula made me question something different, however. I was scared that he would be as attached to me as other breastfed babies are to their moms!
Breastfed or bottle-fed, it does not make any difference! Skin-to-skin need not always come with feeding the baby. I have had skin-to-skin sessions with my boy for hours together – we have fallen asleep like that, and those moments have been so special for him and me alike! I am sure he feels warmth and security with me being beside him and feeding him from a bottle just fine. It has made me realize what a special bond we share outside the norm.
Today, many women face this issue and feel guilty for not being able to feed their babies their milk. However, there is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. The bond between a mom and her baby does not have to be defined by whether or not they feed them from their breasts!
Bottle-feeding my son has helped me personally in several ways. Looking at the brighter side of the story, I can spend quality time alone, do my things and not feel my boobs will burst anytime, and go to the office in peace and not worry about leaks or stains and so on. I have a life of my own (which many moms forget they do) and cope and survive this new phase. I encourage and help women and my friends who are new moms to realize and understand that the bond with their babies is unique and does not matter what others say. What makes us comfortable is to be practiced.
Hugging him to sleep, caressing his soft skin and hair while he drinks from his favourite feeding bottle, watching his little fingers hold mine, and staring into his starry eyes, are all ways I bond with my angel boy. He is almost one now, and the time has flown, and there are so many different things I need to focus on rather than worrying about whether or not he will love me enough because he is not breastfed! He does not go to sleep at night without me. So there was my answer – he has no reason to bond less with me – he is outstanding and healthy. It is all in the new mom’s head!
I want to repeat that bottle feeding is acceptable; and just fine. Anything that gives you peace, calm, confidence, and mental stability IS JUST FINE.
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