Betcha read this title twice thinking you had read it wrong.
I never imagined that I would regret breastfeeding but feared in the depths of my soul that I would regret NOT breastfeeding.
Going into all three of my pregnancies, I felt an extreme desire and pressure to breastfeed. I deeply wanted to be a champ. I deeply wanted that connection with my baby. I prayed about it before I was ever a mom. I know people say things like, “fed is best” but I genuinely believed, and pretty much still believe, that people say that just keep the mamas from losing it. I hear those words as “breast is best — but if you cannot pour every ounce of yourself into your baby by breastfeeding, please still feed your baby…” Y’all don’t come at me. You know you either feel that way or can see how I would feel that way.
I won’t go over the details of my breastfeeding journeys as linked the previous articles I have written belaboring this topic above.
I just want to admit it to myself and the rest of the world that I wish I had done things differently.
We recently had a friend give birth to her second baby. And to be honest, I do not know her breastfeeding story with her first babe. I recall some conversation about it, so I think she breastfed for a bit but it did not last long if at all. With her second, though, she is unapologetically NOT breastfeeding. There has been formula and only formula since day 1.
And I will admit — this friend is much more laid back than I am. But as I look at all of her pictures from their first couple of months, I cannot help but see the peace on her face. And I have experienced this peace in real life on at least one occasion since the second baby was born.
I know she has a super supportive husband and family, but I have to attribute a little but of the bliss to the fact that she is not breastfeeding.
And it causes me to reflect. I wish I could go back and take the pressure off of myself to breastfeed. I wish I could make me feel like enough without being a successful breastfeeder. I wish I could not feel less than for failing. I wish I did not see it as failing.
I regret breastfeeding.
If I could go back and if I ever go down that path again — hear me — I WILL NOT BREASTFEED. I will be one of the people that some of the nurses try to talk into breastfeeding pointing to the bonding and health benefits. Nope. I will not.
Breastfeeding stole my joy and I am still trying to get it back. Isn’t one of the first steps admitting the problem?
Well here I am admitting and healing. And saying as loud as I can that breastfeeding is not everything. Don’t be like me. Be like my blissful friend. Amen.