When Nursing Your Baby Isn’t An Option

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Dear “And You Will Have Kids”:

I recently had a baby.  Due to some health issues I have, and medications I need to take, I will not be able to nurse our baby.

This makes me sad, but I think I could get over this disappointment eventually.  What really surprises me though is the lack of support I’m getting from friends and family who are very judgemental of the fact that I am bottle feeding my infant.

Any tips on how to handle these folks? It’s depressing and frustrating at the same time.

New Momma

 

Dear New Momma,

First of all, congratulations on the birth of your child.  I hope this finds you and your baby doing well!

The issue of “breast vs bottle” is a very emotionally charged issue for many people.  Most folks I’ve met have strong feelings for either one side or the other, and they aren’t shy about voicing those opinions either.

Try to ignore the comments from your family and friends who seek to judge you for a choice that really was already made for you: you have very good reasons as to why you aren’t nursing your child.  Frankly, I think it’s admirable that you were able to look beyond the harsh comments and keep your focus on what is best for your baby.  Kudos to you!

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn as a parent is this: not everyone will agree with my parenting decisions.  Some folks will be very vocal about the fact that they disagree with my parenting decisions, and some folks won’t.  The fact is that they are entitled to their opinions, but my job as a parent is to do the best for my child irregardless of what others say and/or do.

My oldest child is now almost 16 years old! I remember when she was a baby and my friends and I were so caught up in who delivered without pain medications and who was nursing and who was bottle feeding.  I can assure you that while these things were important 16 years ago, they no longer are important and I can’t remember who did or didn’t do what all those years ago.

Try to limit your contact with certain friends and family if they are not supportive at this time.  You also might want to ask your child’s doctor about some support groups for other women who are in the same situation as you are. 

Good luck and congratulations again!

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