The decision about how to feed your baby via bottle or breast is a personal decision and shouldn’t really be anyone’s business — but that doesn’t stop people having an opinion on it.
So one pregnant woman has gone public on her decision not to breastfeed her next child, before the baby has even been born.
Jessica Hood from Melbourne is expecting her fourth child on Christmas Day, but she has already decided she won’t be breastfeeding. And she wants the world to understand the important reason why.
Taking to her Instagram, the soon to be mum-of-four shared a picture of her looking heavily pregnant alongside an explanation about her feeding decision.
“My choice not to breastfeed,” she titled the post. “Although a slightly controversial topic I think it needs to be spoken about more,” she began.
“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.”
She went on to explain that her decision was based around her mental health struggles and her past experiences with breastfeeding.
“You see the struggle to breastfeed ‘for me’ was definitely a trigger for my PND [postnatal depression] with lily, something I feel contributed to it,” she continued. “I honestly felt like I was not doing a good job and I just couldn’t get it down pat. It was frustrating.”
Jessica went on to say that she has been surprised she hasn’t been criticised for her decision but praised, but she is aware that women have been bullied for making the same choice in the past.
“Why? It doesn’t make us any less of a mum, it doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong,” she wrote.
“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.”
The mum urged other women to offer each other support rather than criticism about the choices they 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 mother 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 judge!”
“So yes – I’m not breastfeeding my baby and I am not ashamed one bit,” she concluded her post.
And users were quick to offer their praise to the mum for opening up about her decision.
“Fed is best babe, you do what you need to do make sure your babes are fed and loved and you get that self love in too,” one user wrote.
“Way to go Mumma! Although breastfeeding can be wonderful fed is best & mental health is most important. People always talk about the needs of the baby & not the mum, if mums not stable no ones going to he healthy,” another agreed.
Her decision about her feeding method of choice isn’t the only thing Jessica has chosen to share on Instagram.
Earlier this year the mum-to-be revealed she is planning to live stream the birth on Instagram.
And once again it’s her mental health struggles that have had a big influence on her choice.
Jessica says she’s decided to broadcast her upcoming birth live to the world in mainly to raise awareness about mental health issues during pregnancy and motherhood.
“I want to do this to fight my the [sic] personal battles I’ve been facing,” she writes in Kidspot.
“I’ve been on and off medication since early 2017 trying to treat my anxiety, I’ve spent three years hiding away from the world and isolating myself from friends and family. I’ve spent so long worrying about what people thought. I’m gonna beat this! I’m done living my life in such a way, this affects everyone in my family.
“So I started an Instagram account to bring awareness to mental health and I made plans to go live in December and film my birth.”
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