Then you don’t have to. It really is as simple as that.
Over the last few years the push to get back to breastfeeding and increase the rates of long term breastfeeding has increased at a steady pace. We all know why it’s important, we all know the science, but there are many many reasons why someone would choose NOT to breastfeed and I’m here to tell you something.
You don’t have to.
Your reasons really don’t matter, and are no one’s business but your own.
The choice in how you feed your baby is yours, and yours alone.
So in a breast is best world, how to you make this choice without dealing with judgment and scrutiny?
Support is paramount. When you choose to bottle feed, having people around you who support your decisions, and can help you make transitions or prepare yourself as needed is one of the most important things you can do.
If you plan to bottle feed from the beginning, make sure that you have your preferred formula on hand and at the hospital, as many baby friendly hospitals do not have it readily available. Unless you want do, don’t skip the golden hour. Skin to skin with both parents is very important in bonding and whether your baby will be latching or not, it is completely acceptable and understandable that you may still want to delay newborn procedures, or give your baby the first bath yourself. Put your wishes into your birth blueprint so that your care providers and doula are prepared to support you in your decision.
If you are switching from breast to bottle, get help from a lactation consultant who can give you tips on ways to dry up your milk quickly and safely. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet and going about this in the wrong way can cause quite a bit of discomfort.
If you are planning to bottle and breastfeed, a postpartum doula can help you come up with a system to slowly switch and help you find ways to avoid nipple confusion.
Whatever your plans for feeding your new baby, do it with confidence, knowing that you are doing what’s best for both of you. Enjoy your new little person. You are going to rock this parenting thing!