Feeling good about how we feed our babies

Feelings about feeding babies

Shannon felt unsupported when she was mixed feeding:

“As I was topping up her feeds with a bottle of formula I did not feel I would be welcome at any other groups relating to breastfeeding. I felt embarrassed about bottle feeding – and unhappy because bottle feeding was taking over more and more as day passed.”

Mary felt judged and misunderstood when feeding expressed breastmilk:

“I often felt the need to justify my actions when I pulled out the bottle. I found breast feeding too painful and after 4 days I had to switch to pumping, which I did full time for 6 months. But of course no one can tell that when you are bottle feeding your baby. I found the health professionals generally understanding and accepting but it was the other mothers who were the biggest source of guilt.”

Sam felt like she was unable to tell people that she was breastfeeding when her children grew older.

“My daughter nursed until her 4th birthday, when I cut her off. My son is headed toward the same. I really believe I’m doing something that is positive for my children’s health, and perhaps even mine. At the same time, I have found myself embarrassed to talk about it with other people, including healthcare professionals who should know better. I was willing to nurse my babies just about anywhere, but have felt social pressures to hide the nursing of my older children.”

*Names have been changed and stock photos used to protect anonymity. Some stories have been edited.

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