In a raw and honest Instagram share, one mum has opened up about her choice to not breastfeed her baby on the way, and we support her.
Pregnant mum of two, Jessica Hood, shared the below bump pic with her followers, along with a thoughtful explanation of why she will not be attempting breastfeeding her next baby.
“For months now I had made the conscious decision not to breastfeed my baby when he arrives. Today I finally opened up about it and today a whole lot of women reached out to me and thanked me for having the courage to be straight forward and honest,” began the post.
Although we don’t believe any mother needs to justify her parenting choices, we are glad in this instance that Jessica has because it has opened the discussion up around something that IS very important – taking care of our mental health.
Prioritising my mental health
Revealing that she has suffered from PND and that much of this was triggered by her previous breastfeeding struggles with two babies, and consequently feelings of failure to do with this, Jessica has made the choice to bottle feed her next little one, and not risk her already fragile mental health.
The mum believes that her past breastfeeding troubles were the main cause of her PND. “I honestly felt like I was not doing a good job and I just couldn’t get it down pat,” she says in relation to trying and failing to breastfeed.
While Jessica doesn’t know if she would have the same struggles again, we understand the mum not wanting to revisit something that caused her terrible mental anguish and ongoing mental health issues in the past, just in case it triggers this again for her the third time around.
Mums supporting mums
The post has been well received, with mums praising Jessica for being so open and talking about the importance of taking care of our mental health.
“Way to go Mumma! Although breastfeeding can be wonderful fed is best and mental health is most important. People always talk about the needs of the baby and not the mum, if mum is not stable no one is going to be healthy,” said one follower.
Bullied for bottle feeding
Jessica also talked about the bullying culture that exists within mother circles and again, especially around how we chose to feed our babies.
“What upset me the most was hearing about women who felt bullied for making that choice [bottle feeding] in the past,” she writes.
“Why? It doesn’t make us any less of a mum, it doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong. Whatever works for you and your baby is what works. Your baby is loved, fed, happy and thriving, how is it anyone else’s business whether or not you breast or bottle fed and that was the reason I came out and openly spoke about it. Something has gotta change and women need to support each other during such a fragile time.”
All types of mum are the best mums
What’s more, Jessica then reminds us all that whatever choice feels right for us and our baby, is the right one.
“Whatever choice you make as a parent whether it’s to breastfeed or not, to homeschool, to have a c-section or to co-sleep I want us as mothers to feel comfortable with our choices and to be able to back ourselves and our decisions and not only that, I want women to feel that they can make these choices for THEIR children and not be judged!” Hear, hear.