The Pregnancy Diaries: Week 31 – To Breast Or Not To Breast…
Will I breastfeed?
There it is in black and white, the question that I really thought I’d have an answer for by now.
However, with just weeks to go, I know it’s something that I should really start taking seriously and a question I’d like to have an answer to. That’s not to suggest that I’m being pushed in any direction. In fact, not one health care professional has raised it with me so far and thankfully my hubby is content to leave this one to me.
No more than finding out the sex of your baby, most parents have a view on breastfeeding. To some, it’s the most natural thing in the world while to others, it’s simply not an option. Everyone can give advice but only I will have the final word and I’m really struggling to make the choice.
In recent years, the HSE has really pushed the notion that ‘breast is best’ and we’re fast becoming more familiar with breastfeeding mothers during day-to-day life. Most of us are unfazed at the sight of a woman breastfeeding in public and I’ve often sat and chatted with friends as they nurse their babies. We’re told that breastmilk is nature’s perfect food for a baby and in reality, our bodies are designed to meet this need.
And while I’m an advocate for all of the above, there are things that worry me about this option. For some mothers, it can take weeks to establish a feeding technique. It can take up to 45 minutes to deliver a feed. You also face cracked and sore nipples, mastitis, and ultimately you’re responsible for all of the feeds so bye bye independence until you’re able to express.
However, bottles are not necessarily an easier option. I’ve never done this before so there’s the planning ahead, the need to sterilize and ensure the feed is at the correct temperature, and ultimately not being able to comfort a hungry baby on demand. It’s also added cost when you consider the baby formula and appropriate bottle sizes at different stages of development. Also, you can't just head out the door, you need to plan feeds and have them ready.
So, the jury is still out. I’m going to speak with as many people as I can over the next few weeks about breastfeeding and then try to make the most informed decision I can for our baby boy.
Stay with us every week for more from 'Big Belly' as she continues her pregnancy adventure.