golubovy/Fotolia

8 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Quitting Breastfeeding "Early"

Ad failed to load

What is it about breasts that make them so fascinating to other people? It doesn't matter if someone views them sexually or watches them feed another human being, either. For reasons unknown, it's always this "big deal" and, as mothers, we're constantly pressured to make the "right choice." From breastfeeding in the first place to feeding in public to nursing for the "right" amount of time, it feels as though we just can't win. Well, I'm here to say that I won’t apologize for quitting breastfeeding early, whatever the hell "early" even means. In the end, as the person with lactating breasts, I'm the one who calls the nursing shots.

I was under the impression my boobs would magically fill up with a ton of milk as soon as my son was born. I fantasized about that first feed going beautifully and effortlessly. Instead, my milk came in while I was in a hotel room near my son’s hospital, two days after I’d given birth. I still hadn’t even had a chance to hold him yet, because he’d been rushed to a far off NICU the moment he came into the world. It didn't take me long to realize that what I envisioned my nursing experience to be was, well, never going to happen.

So, it's safe to say that my struggle to breastfeed was a long one. I worked with several lactation consultants, took as many galactogogues as I could, pumped round the clock, and got damn near nothing in return. In fact, it was less than an ounce. Eventually, I gave it up. In the end, breastfeeding wasn’t right for me, it wasn’t right for my family, and I have no intention or desire to apologize for it.

Ad failed to load

Because I Shouldn’t Have To Apologize For How I Use My Body

Giphy

"My body, my choice" isn’t a saying that only pertains to abortion. It has to do with bodily autonomy. As women, we shouldn’t have to apologizing for using our bodies as we see fit.

Because I Tried Really, Really Hard

Giphy

Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I tried my damnedest to breastfeed my son. But between his NICU stay and my likelihood of having insufficient glandular tissue, it just wasn’t working out. Geez, I thought our generation was supposed to get participation trophies for everything. Guess we’ve all been misinformed...

... (or maybe millennials don't get participation trophies for everything, people).

Because It Was Driving Me Beyond The Point Of Reason

Giphy

While I was in the depths of trying really, really hard to breastfeed, I wore myself ragged. I was already exhausted, but I literally never slept more than three hours at a time, no matter what. Either a pump or a small human was attached to me at all hours of the day and night, and when they weren't I was cleaning the pump parts, spending time with my son while he was awake, and passing out again. After a few months of this unforgiving schedule, I’d had enough.

Ad failed to load

Because I Had Already Gone Through Enough

Giphy

I had a high-risk pregnancy with my son, which was tiring and terrifying all at once. I lost my first child, so I was already a big ball of nerves, and I had to have an emergency cerclage to make sure he also didn’t come early. Isn’t it enough I did everything I could to have a healthy baby? I also have to apologize for my breast’s shortcomings? Yeah, no thank you.

Because I'm Not Going To Put My Son In Danger

Giphy

Sorry, but I have heard way too many horror stories about moms who wound up accidentally starving their babies because they didn't want to use bottles or formula. Maybe some people are able to finally boost their supply enough to feed their child, my baby was in the hospital for months already. There was no way I was going to gamble with his health.

Because Formula-Feeding Shaming Is A Thing

Giphy

There’s absolutely no reason to shame moms who use formula. Some use it as a supplement, and that supplement can actually aid moms in reaching their nursing goals. But even if a mom makes the switch and uses 100 percent formula, and even if a mom never tried to breastfeed, it doesn't matter. Fed is best, and moms are capable of making their own decisions for their babies, their bodies, and their families. I stand with all the other bottle-feeding mamas in not apologizing for our choice.

Ad failed to load

Because I Admire The Hell Out Of Breastfeeding Moms

Giphy

Some people want to portray bottle-feeding moms as hates who look down at breastfeeding moms. But I, personally, have nothing but love and respect for moms who breastfeed, especially when they do it for long periods of time. I wanted to be that extended breastfeeding mama, too. It didn’t happen for me, and it’s not a bad thing that I quit “early.” I can still appreciate the act of nursing, even if I don’t participate myself.

Because I Support All Mothers In Choosing How Long (Or Little) They Want To Breastfeed

Giphy

At the end of the day, we all need to support one another’s choices in regards to parenting. Whether they’re fed by breast or formula, all babies have a shot at a healthy life so long as they’re fed. There’s no special number of days, weeks, months, or years that a mom has to feed her child one way or the other.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}