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Hmmm...there's some good and bad to that article. I don't believe a mother who has real medical reasons as to why she couldn't breastfeed should be ostracized (albeit I believe those are not too common and many women just give up). However, I do agree that more information needs to be readily available to these women, as suggested pumping or seeing a lactation consultant.
You can't doubt the benefits of breastfeeding and I have a hard time with the statement that babies can't really tell. I just read an article yesterday about how babies who are exclusively breastfed for even the first 3 months have a higher IQ at 6 years old. Granted the article did mention that researchers are unsure if this has to do solely with the milk or that the bonding between mother and child may have some to do with it.
I have also read that babies who breastfeed are less likely to be obese. The statement that this country is so obese so that can't be true is misleading, since breastfeeding is just now reaching an all-time high, thus the benefits to these kids won't really be seen in our health system for many years to come.
I'm glad to see that more women are nursing and hope it's out of providing what's best for baby and not guilt. But I do still see many women who give it up much too early. The friend that had the epidural puncture couldn't breastfeed really for the first 2 weeks since she couldn't even hold the baby. When I saw her a few weeks ago, she had only been successfully nursing for 3 weeks or so. Sadly she was already starting to ween her in preperation for going back to work (only 2 days a week) in JULY!!! That's 3 more months the baby could benefit from breastmilk. I just don't get that reasoning.
I plan to exclusively breastfeed for AT LEAST 6 months, closer to 1 year. And I will breastfeed past a year as long as both of us are still going strong. I already have the feeling that I will really enjoy the bonding aspect of nursing.
I just wanted to share my own personal experience.
I did not at all feel pressured into breastfeeding, I really wanted to breastfeed because I believe it is best for baby. Before having Eva I was planning on breastfeeding for 1 year. In the hospital, Eva latched on great. Then, she lost 13% of her bodyweight (up to 10% is normal) because my milk didn't come in until day 5. Then, for the next 3 months, no matter what I did (I tried everything from a sabbatical to pumping to eating oatmeal and drinking lots and lots of water to taking a prescription medication to increase supply and I went to a lactation specialist at least once a week) I was not making enough milk to satisfy my baby. So, for the first 3 months of her life I breastfed her and supplemented with a little bit of formula when needed. It would take me forever to feed her because I would feed her for 20-30 minutes on each side, then give her a bottle with a little bit of formula in it. Then, I would pump after feeding her (and sometimes get nothing ). After 3 months of this, I did give up and she is now exclusively on formula. This was an excruciating decision to make....I felt like a bad mommy for not breastfeeding anymore. But, it was the best decision for me and my baby because when I was breastfeeding, I was miserable. So, for my own mental health I gave up breastfeeding. And I think this was best for Eva too because now she has a happy mommy who enjoys time with her instead of a mommy who is miserable and dreaded feeding her. Breastfeeding was not a bonding time for me with my baby girl because it was so difficult and I really hated it. I really wish I had loved it and it was a wonderful experience for me but it wasn't. I feel good that she was able to have breastmilk for at least 3 months. Giving up breastfeeding was a really, really difficult decision to make but was the best for us.
When I have my next little one I plan on breastfeeding for as long as possible and I am hoping that I won't have the issue that I had this time. I plan to breastfeed for at least 3 months and then take it day at a time after that.
My oldest sister also had problems breastfeeding and was only able to breastfeed for 2 weeks before she gave up. I just want to say that her son is now 4 years old and has a higher than normal IQ so I am not convinced that breastmilk has anything to do with a childs IQ. I do believe though that breastfed children are generally healthier.
I would urge all moms to get as much information as possible about breastfeeding before having their baby. Had I not taken classes and learned as much as I could have before hand I don't think I would have made it even the 3 months that I did.
Carrie, you are the perfect example of how things don't always go to plan. A mom may want a NCB but ends up needing an emergecy c-section due to something entirely separate from interventions. The same with you. You should not feel guilty and I hope no one makes you feel that for not being to breastfeed longer. It sounds as though you beat up yourself enough for it. But you did all you could and I think that's the difference with any decision. Having the knowledge first and then trying all you can within your power to get the outcome you want. Sometimes life just has a say.
I do hope you are able to be successful with your second child since it means so much to you.
No one has made me feel guilty about my decision (I think I might go off on someone if they did ) but even with the support of those around me, it was a really hard decision. I just had my heart set on breastfeeding and had never thought that it might not work or that it would be so hard. I'm jealous of those mommies who are able to do it for as long as they want and who love it.
I feel that the article is bashing breastfeeding. I firmly believe that breast is best, and while I accept that breast feeding for some women is not an option a majority of those who formula feed do it out of a choice and not necessity.
My experience with breastfeeding is limited. Actually, nil if you want to be accurate. My daughter never once latched on to my breast, mostly due to my ignorance and lack of information. I only wish I knew half of what I know now when I had my daughter.
In the hospital I wanted to immediately put my daughter to the breast, but the nurses would not let me. They said she was not hungry, and they wanted to do all the testing and what not first. Once I was given "permission" to breast feed I strugged to get her to latch on. I did ask for the LC to come see me several times. She never showed. After 6 or 7 hours the nurses pressured me into bottle feeding, which I consented to.
I tried for several weeks, hand expressing into a cup and spoon feeding as much breastmilk as I could. I had horrible engorgement, mastitis in both breasts, and was absolutely miserable. I consulted my mother, who offered no more information other than to give her a bottle and let my milk dry up. So I did.
Five months later I was still wracked with guilt about not breastfeeding. I felt like a failure - not due to anyone telling me that I was. In fact, I had never met with a LC, or talked to anyone who was gung-ho about breastfeeding. A majority of the people I spoke with made me feel silly for wanting to continue to breastfeed. I felt ashamed that my body couldn't do what it was made to do. I did not know at the time that my body COULD do it, I just wasn't equiped with the proper knowledge.
In early December I started taking Fenugreek, and pumping with an electric pump about as often as I would have been feeding a newborn. It was cumbersome, and took up a lot of time. After about a week I was sucessful in relacting. I had a small supply going and I was able to replace one or two bottles of formula with breastmilk. I continuely tried to get my five month old to latch on, but she was not interested whatsoever. After about 3 weeks I had a full supply and was able to pump enough milk for each day. It was such an accomplishment for me, and I was so proud.
I was able to continue this for nearly two more months before my supply started to drop. I increased the dosage of Fenugreek, ate oatmeal 10 times a day, drank gallons ontop of gallons of water, and pumped almost constantly, even several times throughout the night. Still, my supply slowly decreased and eventually I was not able to pump enough for even one feeding.
And again, I felt the sting of failure. It took me a very long time to accept what happened, and to stop blaming myself and others. I am very proud that I was able to sucessfully relactate, and that my daughter, for that brief amount of time, was able to be soley breastfed.
I have been able to take away from that experience so much knowledge, and empowerment, and that is a wonderful thing.
Kayttie, in love with Shane, mom to Emma Brynn and Jacqueline Noel
It seems to me they just want to bash the 'granola advocates' for suggesting breast feeding is better than bottle. I'm sorry, but I see it as that's what our bodies were made to do, so yes, it is better. People tend to forget that's the whole point of women having breasts. It's natural and normal. I know a lot of mothers in my mom's age group were told they wouldn't be able to BF (for no reason at all), it was considered 'archaic'.
My mom told me the other day, "Don't expect to BF, I couldn't." The doctor told her she couldn't. I asked her if she even tried. Of course she didn't.
I don't think women who bottlefeed are evil (hell, I did both with my first two, and the oldest was weaned at about 6.5 months; I don't hate me for it, but I do regret it...). I believe, whole heartedly that breastfeeding is best. I know some women are unable to. Personally, I think that the US doesn't do enough to encourage it... like having paid maternity leave similar to Canada for starters. Even if it's only 6 months; by that age, bfing could be well established and the baby is going longer between feeds that it would be easier for mom to get back to work.
I have so many opinions on this... I know there is a (though very small) percentage of women medically unable to bf, and it makes me feel so bad... it'd just break my heart if I couldn't!! But I think the government also makes it too easy and is too facilitating to women who are perfectly capable and able to bf full time and just don't (I know more than a couple SAHMs that get free formula from WIC because they CHOSE not to even try bfing... I don't know if I like that so much).
anyway... I don't want to go to debates with it... I used formula with my older two, but my 27 month old (who still nurses) never once had formula. My 4.5 month old has never had anything but breastmilk, to date. I am proud of myself for that... as trying as it can be, it's even more rewarding!
Let me guess.... Some mother that couldnt/didnt/wouldnt BF her baby was given a hard time about it by someone else and sat down and wrote an article. Hmmm I like the comparison of breastfeeding women to Nazis... So I guess people who get out there to stand up for their beliefs and encourage others are now similar to Nazis. Sad that whoever wrote the article couldnt just shake that one off their shoulders and move on. But I guess if I was that sensitive then I would sit down to write an article against everyone that didnt believe in what I was doing.
There are a million and one ways to parent. Dont be so sensitive.
Momma to Brynn 10/2/2002 (midwife at hospital)
Emme 5/26/2008 (midwife at freestanding birth center)
Pierce 11/28/2009 (midwife at freestanding birth center)
yeah I totally felt like that GUY who wrote it has way too much of a chip on his shoulder against breastfeeding. I know it's an issue get very passionate about, but other than maybe the LLL, I just don't believe there are people that are THAT into pushing breastfeeding. In my experience there are just as many people telling you to give formula, or that the body can't possibly do what formula can. My own general practitioner told me that if I supplemented, it wasn't a big deal, and I didn't even ask for her advice. I wasn't even complaining!
I do know there are some women that honestly do have issues and try as much as they can to make it work, as we have heard here in this thread. My girlfriend wanted nothing more than to Bf and she hit obstacle after obstacle. I do also think there are a lot of women that just give up, and then get really touchy about the BFing vs formula thing. if someone even suggests BFing is better they cry "nazi".
I feel lucky that I have supportive people in my life.
I find it so strange that people can be condemned for trying to do the best for their baby? It seems like such a jealousy/power trip issue. Should I feel ashamed for natural parenting choices? Why do people work so hard at debunking and trivializing the benefits of things like unmedicated birth and breastfeeding?
I like what GrowBabyGrow said, why should we not stand up for our beliefs?
I've had a family member nurse remind me "breastfeeding is going to be really hard, are you prepared for it"? Yes, I understand this but like all things in life, you work at it the best you can.
I find it so strange that people can be condemned for trying to do the best for their baby? It seems like such a jealousy/power trip issue. Should I feel ashamed for natural parenting choices? Why do people work so hard at debunking and trivializing the benefits of things like unmedicated birth and breastfeeding?[/b]
You said exactly what I have thought so many times. I also feel like it's the majority who claims the role as the "victim" and the minority as the "bad guy". I feel like I automatically had the label "Breastfeeding nazi" put on my forhead since the day I decided to start. Honestly, when I wanted to give up in the those early days, I had far more people encourage me to give up than those who helped me through it and kept me going. I look back now and feel like formula was pushed on me far more than breastfeeding was. The one person who instilled just a little guilt in me was my mom, and I'm grateful for that. She's the only reason I kept going, but once I got past the rough patch, I was glad that I did and had someone to encourage me.
Andrea, mom to 3 beautiful girls - Abigail (8) Annabelle (5) and Alexis (3)