Right from the start of my pregnancy, I wanted to be able to breastfeed. As I've said in my previous blogs, I wanted to breastfeed because of its so many advantages and benefits not only for my baby but for myself as well. I even attended a seminar on breastfeeding because that is how much I was determined to breastfeed.
But I failed.
I admit that when my son turned one month, I started giving him formula already. It was half hearted. At the back of my mind, I was hesitant to do it. I did not want to give up breastfeeding but I had to.I had no problem with milk supply, (one of the reasons why I was half hearted to stop) but was suffering from plugged ducts and blisters. It was too painful. I was even at the point of rejecting my baby because of too much pain. They said breastfeeding did not have to be painful so I knew that something isn't right with what me and my baby were doing. I tried, I would say I really tried. I read everything I could put my hands on about breastfeeding, tried all sorts of solutions, but nothing seem to work. The pain was getting worse and worse.
That one morning I decided to give my son formula, is the day that I failed him. I felt guilty, knowing that he would have been better with breast milk. I was guilty because it would mean a huge part of our budget would go to buying milk. But more than guilt, I felt weak. I felt I was not strong enough to endure the pain for my child.
I felt like a failure. It was as if I could not take the inconveniences or pain of what could have brought more benefit for my son, and that I was not worthy to be called Mom.
Then, after feeling like a big fat failure, I came across an article online (which I couldn't find now) that talked about giving up on breastfeeding and that mothers who formula feed their children are not bad parents. Whew! I knew that parents who formula fed aren't bad parents, but that was what I felt about me. The article validated my feeling of guilt but also affirmed what I have done for my kid for 1 month. What truly caught my attention in that article is that every mother who breastfed or breastfeed their children are a success. Regardless of how short or long it is as long as one breastfeeds is an achievement. It said that mothers should not be too hard on themselves, what with all the responsibilities they have. I realized its indeed true, I had my reason for giving up on breastfeeding but it does not make me a bad parent. Being a parent is more than just breastfeeding.
Though, I still feel a little disappointed for not having breastfeed my son, I promise that if blessed with another child, I would be more prepared and ready to breastfeed.