Why I won't stop sharing my Breastfeeding Journey

A quick back story: I fell pregnant with my first at the age of sixteen and gave birth to her at the age of seventeen. I was asked once if I wanted to breastfeed and I instantly said no. It's not a decision I regret either. I'm glad I formula fed my daughter. My second was also formula fed. I kind of regretted my decision a couple of weeks after she was born, however, I suffered from depression through my pregnancy with her and suffered from severe depression further down the line again. Again, I don't regret my decision to formula feed both girls. This is coming from a current breastfeeding Mum.

When I was found out I was pregnant with Freddie, I instantly knew I wanted to breastfeed. Formula didn't come to my mind, only as a back up as I knew there was a chance I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. However, I was lucky from the first feed and was able to breastfeed even with Freddie having tongue-tie. 13 months down the line and he's still breastfed, not as often but we're still going. Being a formula fed Mum twice and now a breastfeeding Mum, I have noticed the difference between the two, and that is feeling achievement with breastfeeding.

The first few weeks of breastfeeding is hard, but it does get easier. There are pains and discomfort in the first few weeks. You'll probably be leaking through your breast pads, having to change your clothes, sore boobs and hoping you won't get an infection. But, not only that, the biggest thing I struggled with through my breastfeeding journey is sleep deprivation. Having to do it all by myself, every single feed and night feeds, knowing no one else could feed him, it exhausted me. Especially that he has always been a rubbish sleeper (up until recently) by waking up every half hour, every hour or two hours. Then having to wake up to the girls in the morning, even if Freddie fell back to sleep and me wishing I could too. You do somehow get used to it.

There are so many things that people say that have annoyed me through the 13 months of breastfeeding Freddie, but they're only things that people don't realise, even though I wish they would. The biggest thing I hate is judgement. I still don't understand to this day, why do breastfeeding mums get so much judgement? I am not talking about judging with the way we feed our babies, I am speaking about the backlash we can get if we post a photo of our baby feeding or even us posting something saying we've been breastfeeding for ## many months.

If you have followed my blog for the past year, you will have noticed that I have written a lot of posts about breastfeeding and my breastfeeding journey. I have even included them in Freddie's monthly updates. I don't talk about my breastfeeding journey to brag or try and make myself better than anyone else. That's not mine or many other breastfeeding Mums intentions at all, and I wish people would understand that.

You see, breastfeeding can be hard at times. I came to a point where I hated breastfeeding. It put me in a very low place (along with a few other things too), but I'm back to enjoying the experience again. I am proud that I carried on and that I didn't stop. I am proud that I have achieved over 12 whole months of breastfeeding, I'm still even proud that I started to breastfeed. I am in no way trying to make myself better than anyone else.

I am just proud of my personal achievement.

As so is many other breastfeeding Mums.

We are the generation that has to learn our younger generation that breastfeeding is normal. Especially normalize breastfeeding in public. It saddens me that there are still many mums, dads, grandparents and other people that find breastfeeding wrong. It puzzles me.

But the main point to this post is when you see a breastfeeding photo - that Mum is just sharing the special bonding feeding time between her and her baby. Just like you do with bottle feeding.

When you see that Mum writing a post about her breastfeeding for so many months - she's not trying to gain up one over you or judging a formula feeding mum. She is proud of herself for reaching that personal milestone. She is happy and why not share it? If you had a personal achievement and you achieved it, I'm sure you'd want to share it somewhere or to someone.

The last point of this post is a quick thing about breastfeeding week which was not so long ago. A number of negative comments I saw about this shocked me. As a formula feeding Mum to both my girls and a current breastfeeding Mum, I'm in no way offended that there isn't a formula feeding week. Why? Because I honestly don't see the point in a formula feeding week. Breastfeeding hasn't completely normalized yet, whereas formula feeding has. Too many formula feeding Mums get offended over the littlest things. It was so lovely seeing all the breastfeeding mums sharing their posts about the ups and downs of their journey. If I had read them when I was pregnant with Freddie or in the early months of breastfeeding Freddie, it would have boosted my confidence up, a lot.

So, next time you see a breastfeeding post about how long they have fed and their experience, etc.acheieved, don't get all offensive. She is not trying to make out she is better than you. Try and think she may just be so proud of herself that she has achieved that goal of feeding. There's a chance that she could of had a tough experience at the beginning or even half way through. You don't know someones story.

Speaking for most breastfeeding mums - "We are not judging you Mums who forumla feed. We are on our journey and you are on yours. Our babies are fed. End of."

As a quote I read that inspired me to write this post: "Celebrating breastfeeding is like celebrating weight loss... It's about celebrating personal achievemnts, not critisising anoyone else's journey."

I asked some fellow bloggers to share some of their honest breastfeeding and formula/bottle feeding posts, here are few:
Alex from Lamb and Bear wrote: Breast vs Formula - Bottles come with both
Hannah from HiBaby! wrote: I'm embarrassed to admit I Breastfeed
Amber from Meet The Wildes wrote: Medela Freestyle
Emily from Twin Mummy and Daddy wrote: Stop the Breastfeeding Guilt Trip
Georgina from GeeGardner wrote: Why I dislike #fedisbest and #breastisbest
Another post from Georgina: Breastfeeding Week 5 and Why 5 things I hate being a breastfeeding Mum
Emma from Emma Reed wrote: Why all the controversy?
Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine wrote: What NCT Neglect to tell you
Lucy from Hello Beautiful Bear wrote: Breastfeeding Journey that wasn't

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