Diary of a New Mama

Breastfeeding Envy

Breastfeeding envy. I didn’t know this was a feeling until I was consumed by it. It started off as a dull ache, as I would watch other moms easily breastfeeding their babies, and it gradually grew to an overwhelming emotion as my son weaned himself at two-and-a-half months. 

As a dietitian, with a Masters in Public Health, there was also a feeling of embarrassment. My studies and my profession constantly touted the ample benefits of breast milk. And here I was, at two-and-a-half months, barely being able to sustain this nutrition for my baby. The ‘mom guilt’ was in full force by now, and I started racking my brain as to how this happened. My first thought was I had introduced a bottle too soon.

Overcoming ‘mom guilt’ is necessary to maintaining a healthy mom-child relationship

My next thought was that I hadn’t breastfed in public enough (I had only breastfed at the hospital, when our son was born, and at doctors’ offices). I hadn’t built up the confidence yet to breastfeed outside of my home, and suddenly felt that if only I had been more comfortable, things would have been different. 

The ‘mom guilt’ was in full force by now, and I started racking my brain as to how this happened. My first thought was I had introduced a bottle too soon. My next thought was that I hadn’t breastfed in public enough…

We met with a lactation consultant to see if our son would be able to get back on the breast. I spent three weeks trying to get him to breastfeed again. Sometimes he would, for a very short amount of time. The first time he latched again, I cried as he fed. Tears poured down my face, as I felt that indescribable bond with my baby. However, this wasn’t sustainable, as it became evident he was happier with the bottle. Ultimately, I realised the fact that our son chose to feed the way that he wanted.

The first time he latched again, I cried as he fed. Tears poured down my face, as I felt that indescribable bond with my baby.

I can tell you, it’s taken me some time to mourn the loss of his feeds. It’s also taken me some time to get over the judgement (and self-judgement), when people learn that he weaned himself so early, and drinks from a bottle (formula and pumped breast milk).  Finding the lesson in all of this has been the greatest teacher. Do what works best for you and your child. 

Whether you can breastfeed or not, being there for your child is the most important nourishment you can give them.

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