How to Deal with the Guilt of not Breastfeeding

SOS-momIn typical Indian societies, every pregnant women or a new mom is made to endure unsolicited counsel from almost everyone around her. Yes, from total strangers too! While, it is easy to disregard some of these unsolicited advices, some may erode a woman’s confidence at a vulnerable time.

People say breastfeeding the baby is best! Or any article on breastfeeding, strongly recommends breast milk for a baby. All this may fill a mother with immense guilt if she is unable to breastfeed her newborn baby. No matter how carefully the words are chosen, no matter how positive the intention behind the advice is, a new mom is likely to feel offended if she has issues breastfeeding her child.

Just like a newborn baby, a new mom too is a very sensitive creature. Especially, when it is something related to her baby.

But, as mommies, we need to steer clear of this guilt. We need to understand that it is imperative to focus on what we can do rather than dwelling on what we cannot. Guilt is a negative emotion and it should be nipped in the bud. There are many other important things that a mother can render her baby with. Fill him with affection, give him sweet hugs, spend as much time as possible with him, give him the best care and the list is endless.

So all the mommies out there, if you are formula feeding your baby you need to come out of that guilt and be extra happy! Let us see what message our SOS moms have for you:

Shabnam Desai says, “You don’t have to feel guilty. Everyone knows it is difficult for some mother to breastfeed their babies. You must always stay relaxed while feeding your baby. Forget all the things around you and concentrate only on feeding. Before you start, always massage and keep hot water soaked napkins on your breasts. This eases the process and reduces the pain. Also, ensure that the baby is latched properly to the breast. Moreover, you can always carry your baby in your arms close to your breast while feeding her the formula milk to give her the same feeling”.

Reet Relhan says, “You can pump the breastmilk and feed it to your baby with a bottle.”

Nisha Lohani shares her experience and says, “Don’t worry, I was also not able to breastfeed my baby and went through the same emotional guilt but now my kid will soon turn 5 and I don’t see any issue in his development. In fact, from formula milk kids get all the required nutrients which may lack in breast milk as it depends on a mother’s diet”.

Shraddha Kotwal says, “Breastfeeding your baby as long as it is required for the baby, is the most ideal situation, but don’t forget that you too are a human being. It is okay if you feel like switching to formula if you feel the process is painful. Breastfeeding is not the ONLY thing that you do for your little one, it’s just one of the many things”.

Lastly, the ultimate thing that you need to ensure is that your baby is happy and healthy. Remember, all that your baby needs is your time, immense love, undivided attention, care and support. So, even if breastfeeding seems impossible, do all the other things that you can and make your baby feel special.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:

Shabnam Desai, Reet Relhan, Nisha Lohani, Riya Bhanji, Iffat Alia, Shraddha Kotwal and Anusha Patil.

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