Mommyish Poll: Why Did You Choose To Breastfeed?

Here at Mommyish, we’re interested in the realities of childrearing, not the theories we’re asked to trust. So once a week, we’re going to poll moms on what they’re actually doing.

Breastfeeding is a controversial topic because it’s brimming with so many individual circumstances. A lady’s job, finances, time availability, and health all need to be taken into consideration when forfeiting formula. So we chatted with a few mothers to learn their reasons for going natural.

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  • melanie

    I decided I was going to give it a try for my daughter’s health. If it didn’t go well I wasn’t going to make myself crazy over it. But my daughter was a natural. It was literally no trouble at all, and we are going on 16 weeks now.

  • Jennifer Miller

    I did it for three months. It was hard. My son had a shallow latch, and was impatient for the milk to let down. So much that he would kick me in my other breast and I would see stars. For weeks I felt as if I was breastfeeding nonstop, and I still had to supplement with formula. I just was not enough for him. Getting over that emotional hurdle and accepting that fact that my baby needed formula was more difficult than giving birth to my beautiful boy, due in part to societal pressure, bullying from lactation experts and the added financial expense. I finally stopped breastfeeding when my son was three months old, because not only was he drinking more formula than breast milk every day, but I was starting to get depressed at all the weight I was gaining as a result of trying all the tips and tricks people shared with me to help me increase my milk supply.

  • Natasha Dantzig

    I breastfed for 12 months, started supplementing at around 8 months because I couldn’t keep my giant baby full and I was getting to the point where I just didn’t want my tits out 24/7. Breastfeeding is great, but i am so ready to be rid of the whole “Breast id Best” slogan. Best is far too subjective a term to be applied to something so personal. I know some amazing moms who haven’t breastfed for a variety of reasons, and I think the implication that they’re somehow providing their children with something less the the best is pretty shitty.

  • Stokely

    I agree with Natasha, sort of. I really think everyone should give it a try…but yeah, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Moms have enough to worry about and don’t need to be bullied or guilt-tripped over that.

    My experience was pretty rough at first, but in the end I worked through breastfeeding exclusively, to alternating with formula, to introducing solids etc and finally… OMG, so embarassing…nursing as a comfort until my child was almost 3 years old! That was never my plan, but she was very determined…

    I feel like I should be wearing Birkinstocks and munching granola as I type this. Wow–She finally weaned about one month before her 3rd birthday…

  • Mariko

    When I was pregnant with my first son, I read up on breastfeeding because I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I decided I would definitely give breastfeeding a try, and have carried through with it, nursing each of my boys for “2 years and beyond” (the standard mantra) not just because it was the most convenient and cost-effective option, but primarily because I wanted to give my sons a developmental “edge”. Dr. Jack Newman, a highly respected pediatrician, author, and breastfeeding advocate, notes that formulas are “inexact” copies of breastmilk since they contain no antibodies, no living cells, no enzymes, and no hormones, and their proteins and fats are designed for baby cows, not baby humans. Moreover, according to the latest research, breastfeeding actually makes kids smarter (it boosts IQ and later academic performance), formula-fed babies have a greater risk of acute and chronic illness, allergies, and obesity, and increasing duration of breastfeeding has been shown to decrease a mother’s chance of developing triple negative breast cancer. In addition to all of the health benefits, we travel quite often, and there’s nothing more convenient than having a ready supply of milk available on demand with no formula to prepare, no bottles to wash, and no heating source required. Other fringe benefits of nursing that I’ve particularly enjoyed include the hormonal “rush” that induces a feeling of relaxation and connection, and being able to quickly and easily lose all of the weight that I gained during pregnancy (plus a few extra pounds). And, of course, it’s significantly less wasteful – no formula tins or plastic bottles to dispose of, and no risk of any toxic chemicals (such as BPA or phthalates) leeching out of the plastic and into my baby. Bottom line: I chose to breastfeed because it was best for my babies, best for me, and best for the environment.

  • Christina

    I breastfeed because it’s normal. It has been easier with my second baby, but I breastfed my first until twenty-two months, despite the difficulties. I haven’t had any problems the second time around.

  • Emily Gray

    It is so good for all concerned. I have loved breast feeding myson who had a great latch. He weaned at 13 months with a little prompting, but not much. We have both benefited greatly. I am also a public breast feeder. I don’t swing my boobs around willy nilly, but other people just need to get over it. However, even though I am a BIG proponent of it and will do it again with my next, I think no Mums should be vilified for not being able to…for whatever reason. If it doesn’t work, your baby will be loved and nurtured by you just the same. Guilt is a wasted emotion in this arena.