A Poem by Jennifer Bagot-Woods

The following poem is by Jennifer Bagot-Woods. I’m so honored she is allowing me to share it with the FFF audience… hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

– The FFF

***

 

“Breast is best”, everyone knows…

it’s all a little one needs to grow.

It’s how I was fed when I was a baby…

so I’ll breastfeed, no ifs, buts or maybes!

 

“Breast is best” the midwife said…

so that’s what I’ll do, it’s clear in my head.

No bottles required, except to express.

Formula is only for mums who care less.

 

“Breast is best” the researchers say.

There really is no other way…

to give your baby the best start in life.

I’ve already heard this from the midwife!

 

 “Breast is best” the mums groups agree.

With the added bonus it comes cost free!

Your baby will develop just as she should.

That formula stuff is really no good.

 

“Breast is best”, it’s really quite simple…

your baby will latch, then guzzle and guzzle…

till her tummy is full with such wholesome food…

the milk from the breast, it really is good!

 

“Breast is best” – it’s how you bond…

skin-on-skin is all she’ll want.

You’ll be so close, it’s rather nice.

This seems to be the best advice!

 

“Breast is best” – my baby is here,

I offer her mine, it’s met with tears.

I try all positions, the tricks I’ve been taught…

but the ability to suck – she has not!

 

“Breast is best” – the Health Visitors Advice.

But expressing is taking over my life.

As my baby can’t suck, we syringe every feed.

“Just keep on trying, you’re fulfilling her needs”.

 

“Breast is best” the literature reads:

“Offer her breast at every feed”.

Soon she will learn to take from you…

and the bond you forge will be so true.

 

“Breast is best” but my baby is starving.

Demanding more milk but still not latching.

My supply can’t keep up with my little ones growth.

But formula is bad, everyone knows!

 

“Breast is best” of course unless…

You try and try with no success!

That bond they promised can’t be had…

when every mealtime starts so bad.

 

When the time on the breast only frustrates…

I begin to wonder if this advice is so great?

 As my baby’s suck is already weak…

and she’s tired from simply trying to eat.

 

Each feed takes two hours – sometimes more.

Then I rush to express from breasts so sore.

I must get enough to meet her next feed.

I’m so worn out by “fulfilling her needs”.

 

I sit and reflect at the end of a day…

Feed – wind – express – no time for play…

or to cuddle and cherish my precious new baby…

this expressing regime is making me crazy!

 

I start to wonder if my milks even good…

when it’s days since I managed to consume proper food.

So I’m met with a choice difficult to make…

about what is best for everyone’s sake?

 

Do I sacrifice meals and take time to express?

I’m already exhausted and my milk supply’s less!

For weeks we have tried but the breast doesn’t work…

with a baby who plainly and simply can’t suck!

 

Then the decision is taken out of my hands…

when the amount I express can’t meet her demands.

So with feelings of guilt, and possibly grief…

we resort to formula and in disbelief…

 

“Breast is Best” is the first thing we read!

Endorsed on the packaging – advice for free!

And now the guilt is made much worse.

This whole situation feels like a curse!

 

“Breast is best” but not everyone is able.

So I make up a bottle and cry at the table.

Then my baby is hungry and it’s all that I’ve got.

And even with bottle her sucking’s not hot.

 

But she manages to chomp and take a good feed.

I watch her guzzle, for the first time with greed…

a meal that didn’t start with the option of breast.

A mealtime not spoiled with fussing and stress.

 

My feelings of guilt don’t last very long…

when I see that my baby is healthy and strong.

Then in between feeds we make time to play…

as expressing doesn’t occupy all of my day!

 

And that bond that they said breastfeeding would bring…

only starts forming when we stop the damn thing!

For the frustration and stress at the start of each meal…

is replaced by some cuddles and a peace she can feel.

 

So “Breast is best” of course unless…

all it brings is exhaustion and stress.

And looking back now with a head that is level…

formula was our godsend, disguised as the devil!

– Jennifer Bagot-Woods

 

Suzanne Barston is a blogger and author of BOTTLED UP. Fearless Formula Feeder is a blog – and community – dedicated to infant feeding choice, and committed to providing non-judgmental support for all new parents. It exists to protect women from misleading or misrepresented “facts”; essentialist ideals about what mothers should think, feel, or do; government and health authorities who form policy statements based on ambivalent research; and the insidious beast known as Internetus Trolliamus, Mommy Blog Varietal.

Suzanne Barston – who has written posts on Fearless Formula Feeder.


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One thought on “A Poem by Jennifer Bagot-Woods

  1. Thanks for this posting this poem! It exactly captures my emotional state over wrestling with this issue. We just switched to formula with our new little one. The pressure to “keep trying” to breastfeed finally lost out to the need to do what was right for our family.

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