The Stereotype of Bottle Feeding MomsCasey Mullins
I just spent the last ten minutes in a hotel bathroom scrubbing the five baby bottles I had to bring with me to survive a flight from Indianapolis to San Diego with a three month old. Meaning that not only did I have to bring bottles, I brought a bottle brush, bottle soap, powdered formula and 11 pounds of premixed formula since I wasn’t sure how much access I’d have to filtered water.
You know what one of my favorite stereotypes of bottlefeeding moms is? That they’re selfish and lazy. I could have been asleep awhile ago, but the bottles, they’re not going to wash themselves, no? I came out on my blog yesterday and admitted that I cannot breastfeed. Not that I didn’t want to or try. Because oh hell almighty I tried for eight weeks. Eight weeks that flew by in a haze of supplements, SNS tubes and a pump that got more action in two months than my husband got in ten years.
I have the parts. Oh do I have the parts. I have two glorious boobs with two perfectly suited nipples and one amazing baby with a latch so good the heavens sing and angels weep upon connection. But something behind the scenes doesn’t work right. I don’t make enough milk. Period. I barely make any milk. It has always been that way. But I kept on hoping that tomorrow! Tomorrow would be the day the lactation flood gates would open! The day domperidone, goat’s rue and fenugreek worked in perfect harmony to produce flowing streams of my very own milk to feed my sweet wonderful baby with.
That day never came. And it never would have come. Period.
We all have at least one friend who has all the parts to make a baby, house a baby and birth a baby, and yet she cannot make babies. I have all the parts to nourish a baby but they just don’t work. For whatever reason.
I wanted to nurse more than you can ever imagine. Which is why I spent eight weeks latched to either a baby or a pump day and night, night and day. Do I regret it? Not one bit. Do I wish it would have worked? You betcha. Am I selfish and lazy for exclusively formula feeding my baby? Not one tiny bit. I love that little nugget of love asleep next to me more than you can ever imagine. My boobs may not work for their God given purpose, but my heart does. And it belongs to her.
I got one comment on my post that made my heart sing. “I will never look at a bottle feeding mom the same again.”
Chances are behind that bottle is a mom who loves her baby more than life itself.
And isn’t that all that really matters?