As if a new mom with anxiety doesn’t have enough to deal with as it is now there is even more breast feeding guilt.
I heard on the radio that the mayor of NYC Michael Bloomberg is putting even more pressure on new mothers to breastfeed.
When a new mother does have the audacity to request a bottle of formula, “…She’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead,” according to The New York Post -Mayor Bloomberg Pushing NYC Hospitals to Hide Baby formula so More New Moms will Breast-Feed..
Of course I know that breastfeeding is best for the baby. I think most women understand this.
But as someone who has gone through the pregnancy, birthing, and post-partum phases with both my children while doing battle with anxiety and depression, this news just hit a raw note with me.
How I wish I didn’t take this personally, but I am so sensitive about this subject I just have to vent.
The pressures in American society today to breastfeed are unbelievable. You cannot even imagine. Talk about feeling guilty.
And breast feeding is not easy for everyone- and it is simply not an option for others. See this post at Baby Center about moms feeling guilty about quitting breastfeeding- it has over 500 replies!
Anxiety makes you doubt yourself at every turn and it is even more amplified with motherhood.
For me I had to go back on my anxiety medication as soon as I delivered and therefore could not breast feed. I felt horrible about it – I can’t even describe it.
Even today, with both of my daughters as healthy teens I still feel a pang of guilt whenever people bring up breastfeeding.
I just pray that pregnant women and new moms have better self esteem than I did when I was a young mother. If you are taking prescribed medications for anxiety to keep you ok, you are giving your baby the biggest gift- the gift of a healthy mother.
And that to me is more important than copping to (stupid) pressure to not take medication and breast feed while you suffer.
I wish you peace,
ps.- If you are a new mother suffering with anxiety please see this post- New Mom? Social Anxiety Help.