The first week of August was World Breastfeeding Week. As I saw some posts about it throughout the internet, on my friends' facebook pages or blogs, I kept thinking that I should write something. Bethany at Mama Bethany wrote two great posts about the good stuff and not-so-good stuff about nursing (I really related to her as I read her lists).
I am a huge supporter of the idea of breast feeding. I want to scream when I hear news stories about women who are asked to leave a place because they are nursing or when people think it's so horrible to nurse in public. If you watch prime-time TV, you have seen more of a woman's breast than you will if you saw me nursing. Really. So I am pretty opinionated about it. Shocking, I know!
I want to give my phone number to women who are new at it. I want to be there for them, I want them to cry on me at 11:30 pm when their baby won't latch, when they hurt because they are engorged, when they can't figure out why their supply is low. You name it, I've been there, and I want to do whatever I can to comfort a newbie!
But my own story is that of a mom who nursed 2 out of 3. Not all 3. So I'm not in the club of exclusive nursing moms.
When I had Caleb, I had every intention of nursing him - at least at the beginning. I knew I had to go back to work, and I wasn't thrilled about the idea of pumping. But I wanted to give him a "good start" so-to-speak, and I tried. At the hospital and at home for the first week, I tried, without success, to get him to nurse. Looking back, I know exactly what I did wrong, but at the time, I didn't have as much drive to do it, and I didn't have the amount of fellow breastfeeding moms like I did later. With tears, I would try, and it was with tears that I gave him a bottle.
To be honest, though, I wasn't somehow worried about his health. While I know that they tell us breast is best, I was actually not convinced that his health and intelligence would suffer because I didn't nurse him. Josh and I are very healthy people, I would go as far as to say we are pretty smart as well! Neither of us were nursed, and this was back before all the super formula was made. So I gave Caleb a bottle of Enfamil, and aside from check ups, he never goes to a doctor. He never had ear infections, never had colds. He's tall and healthy, he's smart and witty, and I believe I did the best thing for him considering my emotions and mental health were completely shot as I kept trying to no avail.
I decided to try again when I had Sarah, and that was due primarily because I resigned from my job and was a new stay-at-home mom who couldn't afford formula! Plus, I knew I'd be home indefinitely, and the ease of nursing would be there for me. It was difficult, just like with Caleb, but by that time I knew exactly who to call, and that support system was what got me through the first difficult week. I nursed her for 13 months.
With Gabriel, I followed suit. I nursed him for almost a year.
So on one hand, I support nursing moms to the nth degree. I will fight for you, stand up for you, be there for you. On the other hand, I understand that nursing isn't always for everyone, either by choice right from the start or because nursing just didn't pan out for them. Just like being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, I have been on both sides of the nursing mom or non-nursing mom issue.
And I'm glad I've been on both sides.
Maybe You Need This As Much As I Do
20 hours ago