Not only that, I only lasted 6 weeks with each babe. From 7 weeks to one-year-old my kids drank formula from a bottle. And I have no regrets. But the guilt was layered on thick. Yes, I know "breast is best." I also know what is best for me. I lasted as long as I could. Really I did.
What I find amazing about all the "You must breastfeed your babies" information, is that it rarely stipulates how long you must breastfeed in order to get the majority of the benefits. A month? 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? 18 months? And -- don't bother asking a
So, I went with my gut. And my sanity. After 6 weeks, I was DONE. Exhausted, frustrated, exasperated, in pain. DONE. I hope my baby got all that good breast milk stuff, cuz I'm done.
All the pro-breastfeeding people make it sound like I'm crazy -- I should love breastfeeding -- right? ALL women love breastfeeding because it is natural. Right?
Let's go down the list of benefits I somehow missed out on...
- Endorphin effect -- Breastfeeding makes you feel good! Really? That sounds great! Where do I get some of that? Clearly, my body forgot to take the breastfeeding lessons in biochemistry.
- Relaxation while breastfeeding -- Time to relax? The last thing I would call breastfeeding is relaxing. Stressful, tiring, frustrating. But not relaxing.
- Quick weight loss -- HA! That would have been nice. But, maybe I didn't last long enough.
- "Super-plus!" mother-child bonding -- I love my babies, and not because I breastfed them. My babies love me -- I doubt because I breastfed them.
- Breastfed babies know their moms and will never confuse them with a sitter. -- OK. That's just rude. My babies were never confused. They were obsessed with momma.
- More convenient -- I don't think so. My hubby did half the feedings with formula. I suppose he could have done that if I pumped -- but that means I would have to pump. Hmmm... breastfeeding without even getting to hold my adorable babe? Not my cup of tea.
- Breastfeeding requires the use of only one arm, so you can multitask! -- Wow. These are some talented breastfeeding moms. I always felt like I could use an extra arm.
- You can nurse while sleeping -- True. But I could also formula feed while sleeping! OK, maybe I shouldn't advertise that...
And I really tried to like it. I tried to convince myself I enjoyed it. But, I didn't.
So, after 6 weeks of "breast is best," I had to go with "mom's sanity is best."