Why I Didn’t Breastfeed My Daughter

Perspectives in Parenting: Why I Didn't Breastfeed My Daughter

This is part of a new series at MKE Moms Blog called Perspectives in Parenting, where we get to hear about different approaches to universal parenting issues. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, private school vs. public, cloth diapering vs. disposable, and so much more. The goal is to share how we all find different ways to handle parenting challenges that work for our families that may be completely different from how others do it. And that is OKAY. Got a topic you would like to see us tackle? Let us know!

I didn’t breastfeed my daughter mostly because I didn’t have time.

Would I have saved a lot of money by breastfeeding? Yes.
But would I have been able to work and graduate high school in a timely fashion? No.

I became pregnant my senior year of high school and while balancing pregnancy and motherhood preparations, I had two jobs — finishing high school and working a “grown up job.” When Yara was born, even though I had walked with my graduating class, I still had two courses to complete before getting my degree. So, when the labor and delivery nurse asked me if I wanted to see a lactation specialist to learn how to breastfeed. I said no.

“You don’t even want to try?”
I didn’t.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to or that I didn’t believe in it; it was that I knew that I wouldn’t have time to breastfeed.

A few days after Yara was born, our neighbors stopped by with frozen breakfast burritos and good conversation. A recent mom herself, the neighbor asked if I was breastfeeding Yara. When I told her that I wasn’t, she asked if my milk supply had dried up yet. It hadn’t. “It’s not too late to start!” she encouraged me.
Bless her. I loved her support and her encouragement, but I simply told her that I had decided to use formula. At that time, it was hard to find the words to explain that I still hadn’t even graduated from high school and that I needed to finish while holding down a job. Bottle feeding quickly became my saving grace because other people were able to feed my daughter while I showered, caught up on homework, or took a nap.

“Are you at least pumping?” came the next question.

No, I didn’t pump either. Pumping between exams in the high school bathroom was just not going to happen.

You know that commercial where all the parents are at the park and they are in their cliques: the stay-at-home moms, the breastfeeding moms, the working moms. Clearly, none of the cliques are going to get along. But when the stroller with a baby in it starts rolling down a hill towards traffic, everyone runs after it to keep that little one safe.

That’s my take on breastfeeding and bottle feeding — do what is best for you and your child. Yes, there will always be other perspectives, but do your thing. In the end, we are all moms in this thing called motherhood together.

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