For many expectant mothers, whether to breastfeed their baby is a very personal choice. Some make their decision based on what their parents or close relatives did. Some follow advice from doctors or medical experts. Others have their choices made for them due to previous medical conditions or limitations. Regardless of your thoughts and feelings are about nursing, the decision is yours.
But new mothers aren’t often prepared for the challenge of breastfeeding. Stock photography and Instagram mega-influencers show breastfeeding as this beautiful bonding experience that transforms you into a mothering goddess.
Those instagram worth pictures don’t talk about the blisters, poor latches, and cluster feedings you have to experience to get to that wonderful place. They also don’t tell you how much formula costs, especially the “better for your kid not high in corn syrup” type of formula.
So before you say definitively “I’m going to nurse” or “I’m going to bottle feed”, you should do the following.
Talk to your Mother
Most things, such as your life most likely, should begin with your mother. Talk to her about her feeding choice and why she chose that route. Ask her about the pros and cons in her day.
Talk to Friends who are Mothers
Now that you have your mother’s opinion, talk to some friends. Especially friends that have recently had children. They’re memories are fresh and they’ll love to share their experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Do Some Research
There are TONS of resources available when it comes to baby feeding. Check out your favorite parenting sites and the associated baby blog. These have a wealth of knowledge that you can probably dig into.
Talk to Experts
Who else should you turn to? Talk to medical and professional experts.
First talk to you doctor, midwife, or local lactation consultant. They’ll be able to give you practical tips and tricks for each method. You’ll be able to weigh the pros and cons based on their sound medical advice.
Next reach out to some professionals. There are often Baby Expo events that feature many professionals in the baby market. These experts have years of experience with breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Leverage them and ask the pertinent questions you may have.
Talk to your Spouse
Lastly, talk to you spouse and discuss what you are both comfortable with. The choice not only impacts you, but it also impacts your household and possibly your budget. You’ll want to make sure you are on the same page and ultimately feel supported by the decision you make.
Again, at the end of the day, you are the only who can make the best choice for you and your family.