‘Breast is better,’ they said. I cried for days, unable to feed you. I heard I could never feel that connection with you, nor you with me, because I didn’t nurse you.’: Mom shares emotional breastfeeding struggle, ‘Did I love you any less?’

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“When I gave you a bottle and not my breast, did I love you any less? 

Every day I washed and washed the bottles, the rings, the nipples, the tube things, and the caps. Then I sterilized everything. 

Did I love you any less? 

Moms would pull up their shirts and lean into their babies. 

I would take out my formula then measure the scoops and shake my bottle to soothe your hunger. 

Did I love you any less? 

I cried for days because I wasn’t able to feed you. 

I took classes. I had a private consultation. 

They all said your reflexes to suck were not mature. 

So, we took turns feeding you through a tiny cup. 

Did I love you any less? 

Daddy would get up and make your bottle in the middle of the night. From the corner of my eye, I could see him lost in your eyes as he cradled you in his arms and rocked you back to sleep. 

Did I love you any less? 

‘Breast is better,’ they told me. I knew it was. 

But. I. Just. Couldn’t. Did I love you any less? 

When they told me all the benefits of breastfeeding for both Mommy and baby. When they told me the baby was not being given ‘natural’ milk. Did I love you any less? 

I heard that I could never feel that connection with you, nor you with me, because I didn’t nurse you. 

Did I love you any less? 

don’t know about letdown or leaking when a baby cries. 

don’t know about raw or chapped nipples. 

don’t have battle scars or badges of honor that are inscribed with, ‘Breastfed my baby until 2.’ None of it. 

Did I love you any less? 

I got up every time you wailed and fed you a bottle. Burped you then put you in your warm crib. Did I love you any less? 

On colicky nights, I walked with and down our hallway with you for hours in an attempt to console your cries. 

Did I love you any less? 

I wore a baby bag full of bottles and not a nursing bra. Did I love you any less? 

And still, the question lingers: because I fed you formula and not breast milk, was I inadequate as a mother? 

Was my love, care, and concern of lesser value? 

Was there some kind of deficiency in my motherhood? 

Tell me, my sweet baby, did I love you any less?” 

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tum Keen from Detriot, Michigan, and originally appeared on Detroit Mom. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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