Breast v bottle? Motherhood is messy enough without picking sides | Hadley Freeman

It’s one of life’s ironies that this debate will rage most loudly when a woman is at her most vulnerable

My experience with breastfeeding was as relaxed as it was completely atypical. I had a C-section, which meant I stayed in hospital a few nights to recover, which meant in turn I got to know one of the night nurses. Every night, she took the time to teach me the basics of breastfeeding, reassuring me that I was doing just marvellously.

When I got home, a friend who, like me, had twins, told me that if I wanted to retain my sanity I should get some help a couple of nights a week (our topic for today is feeding, but synchronising the sleep patterns of newborn twins will one day be my magnum opus). I was lucky enough to be able to afford this, which meant that someone regularly came to my home and, again, helped me breastfeed. When I told her I wanted to do mixed feeding – breast milk and formula – because my body needed a break, she unhesitatingly showed me how to make formula. As a result, I experienced none of the anguished emotions I’d seen so many friends go through about feeding. This is because I was blessed with luck (meeting the nurse) and privilege (being able to afford help), neither of which should be the determining factors about how a woman feeds her baby.

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