Boobs Glorious Boobs

This isn’t a smutty magazine article about boobs, it’s about the much discussed and much debated topic of breastfeeding and newborn feeding. Obviously I don’t have breasts but I do have a baby and thought a Dads perspective on the topic might be of interest.

I feel I should say from the onset that Effy has been exclusively formula fed from day 1….we’ve had a lot of arsey responses to this, but before anyone judges, stops reading or sends me a breastfeeding leaflet….read on.
Breastfeeding has never really been something I’ve thought about. I rarely notice women doing it in Cafés/restaurants and to be totally honest, I don’t really care. I don’t even know if I was breastfed, I’d phone my Mam to ask but she’ll likely want me to do a job for her and I can’t be bothered. Around about last February time (2015), we found out my OH was pregnant. From the day we started having contact with health professionals, the topic of breastfeeding was thrust into my face. I vividly remember the midwife’s waiting room; the walls were covered with posters proclaiming the unbelievable health benefits of breastfeeding. I don’t doubt a lot of research has been done on the topic and millions of pounds spent, but I felt like some of the claims were farfetched and alarmist. Anyway as the pregnancy rattled on, we talked about what our options were and what we felt most comfortable with. I purposely say ‘we’ because it really was a joint discussion. Along with which pram to buy and whether to find out the sex…..we decided………Breastfeed. Not because of the overwhelming pressure, leaflets, posters, emails, forums, newspaper articles, other parents, midwives or doctors but because we wanted to.

A horrendous 27hr labour later, an exhausted OH and some complications, we decided…….formula. Shit happens people, we had to make a quick decision. New-born daughter (Effy) wasn’t going to wait while we weighed up the pro’s and cons again. Fair play to the midwife’s they didn’t pressure us, we did what we felt was right and what we felt comfortable with. It transpired later that my OH didn’t produce any milk so we had to stick with formula and you know what….it’s worked for us.

After some time to reflect we were happy with our decision and Effy was happy that she was been fed, end of story……Nope, as I said before we’ve had a lot of negativity when people have noticed she isn’t breastfed. A GP openly criticised our decision, family members have judged us and a random women in a cafe asked why. I feel quite passionately that how we feed Effy, is no one else’s business but ours. She’s our child and we will decide what’s best for her. I’ve got quite defensive at times when asked but the approach of most people has tended to be quite judgemental. She’s 8 months old now (She’s 17months now) and is developing perfectly normally. If she gets obese in later life, it won’t be because she wasn’t breastfed but because she ate too much cake.
So……a Dad’s perspective of breastfeeding and new-born feeding……Your baby will need fed, do what you feel comfortable doing and accept things don’t always go according to plan or the posters on a midwife’s wall.
I wrote this post a while ago for Everythings Rosie and George newborn feeding series. The topic of newborn and toddler feeding seems to be discussed, argued and debated pretty much every day on the internet. Along with infant vaccination its a subject which gets the most reaction on the social media and forums. Everyone’s got an opinion and some more than others are happy to shoot people down who may have a different view. I never actually posted the above on my blog and now we are firmly at the toddler stage, it felt like a good time to revisit it feeding.
Effy continued to be exclusively formula fed up until 6 months when we started introducing solids. We have stuck to a fairly basic principle when it comes to her eating…..she eats what we eat. Yes there’s been times she hasn’t and times we have bought whatever baby/toddler food is available. There has also been times she’s ate cereal of the floor (because that’s what she wanted to do). One thing we did change, at around the 12 month mark was her formula. To be honest I didn’t know formula for toddlers existed but we tried her on cow’s milk and she was having non of it. We have gradually fazed out the formula and she is now pretty much only having cow’s milk before bed. Having the option of toddler formula meant she could make this transition in her own time, whilst still getting all the goodness.

My perpesttive in relation to feeding has remained the same throughout the last 17 months, so much so I’m going to repeat what I said in my Boobs Glorious Boobs post: Your baby/toddler will need fed, do what you feel comfortable doing and accept things don’t always go according to plan or the posters on a midwife’s wall.

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