Breastfeeding is something very dear to me. It’s also elusive as heck- our ongoing journey has been rocky. The ship has been smashed into the rocks far more often than we’ve had even a glimmer of smooth sailing. The metaphor is probably getting a bit stretched.
Exclusively breastfeeding has not been an option, sadly.
Donor milk was something we tried, we found one donor we were comfortable with and got enough milk that our baby Bo was exclusively fed milk for the first month of life and even got some colostrum, and that’s wonderful. But I’m really just not comfortable with the risks- diseases can be spread in donor breast milk, I don’t want to find out the hard way that a different donor has something in their diet that my baby can’t handle, etc.
Right now, we’re on formula and any breastfeeding is done with a supplementer filled with formula. Most feeding, though, is done with a bottle.
There are other ways to bond with your baby than breastfeeding. There are ways to get your baby what they need that don’t include breastmilk. Not all families are able to breastfeed, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with formula feeding your baby.
The flipside is true as well- people should not be made to feel ashamed of breastfeeding. They shouldn’t be pressured not to, told they must be starving/coddling/spoiling/etc their children. They shouldn’t be banned from feeding their children in public as if nourishing your child were something shameful and disgusting.
I’ve just gotten really frustrated seeing people try to make others feel bad for how they feed their babies. Formula feeding, breastfeeding- both are perfectly valid.