Saturday, April 10, 2010

Having The Breast Intentions

*This is the last day to ask my husband any questions you want. He will be doing his Vlog tonight. Visit the community to see that thread and ask your questions.

Alright ladies, we are going to tackle a little bit of a tougher subject today. Tougher than removing that yellow newborn poop from a white onsie. We are going to talk about "having the breast intentions"; meaning we are going to talk about breast feeding and formula feeding.

Oh, I just saw all those hackles rise and the defense mechanisms go up.

I am treading on thin ice on this subject, because there is nothing that can get a group of mothers stirred into a frenzy like how they feed their baby. (I am assuming that we can play nice here though, so while you may disagree with the content or the comments, let's do it in a manner that is respectful and non-attacking...mm'kay?)

Breast is best.

We all know that and nobody knows it more than the formula feeding mother. Just look at the first thing written on the back of a formula can...it states "breast milk is best". Seriously, it does. The formula feeding mother doesn't need to be told that though. It comes with animal instinct, which we all have. We understand that our bodies are created to produce the milk our infant needs. Sometimes, that old body or our lives just won't cooperate though; despite our "breast intentions".

When my first two daughters were born, I was determined to be a breastfeeding mother. I had a supply problem that couldn't be fixed with drinking more water, taking vitamins or prayer. I had to resort to taking Reglan to build a supply that would provide my newborn with enough breast milk. Once my daughters were about 3 months old, I could no longer keep up. I had to start supplementing with formula. When my last daughter was born, the milk gods has smiled on me. I now produced enough milk to not only feed my newborn, but probably about 3 others. I nursed and pumped and stored what I could. It didn't last long though. My milk didn't dry up like with the other two; the schedule that I had with 2 active older children, my in-laws living with me, the house being on the market, etc. stopped the breast feeding. No matter how many times I would lock myself in the room to nurse/pump; I was always interrupted by some kind of emergency.

I began to build up a lot of stress. Massive stress (have you seen my hair...I am going gray. OK that's hereditary, but I like blaming the kids.) The stress came from not being able to nurse my infant. Worrying about the "bonding", the "nutrition" and what exclusive breastfeeding mothers might say if they saw me in the store purchasing a can of formula. I doubt there would have been a firing squad, but one can never be too careful.

I believe this is where the defensive nature of moms comes in. Breast feeding and formula feeding moms are all the same. All they want is to provide the needed nutrition for the baby and have the bonding time. Our animal instinct feels that the formula feeding isn't quite right, but we feel forced to do whatever we have to for our babies to thrive. When we feel cornered by the breast feeding opinions, we strike. We feel the need to over explain our choice and defend it with a ferocity.

This is where moms need to learn to unite. Our "breast intentions" are all the same, but what we are capable of is often different. Formula feeding moms can still bond with their infant without the breast. Providing nutrition, having "skin time", eye contact time...we can do those things just the same. The uniting factor is we all love our babies and want the very best for them. We will do whatever is necessary to provide for them to the best of our abilities. Whether that is fighting a store for the right to breast feed in public, buying donated breast milk or buying a can of formula. Moms, let's unite in our common cause and not tear down one's personal choice. Chances are...it wasn't their personal choice, but what they were left to deal with because of their physical ability or living situation. Let's embrace each others as mothers who love our babies.

1 comment:

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

I can't believe there aren't any more comments here!

I appreciate this post. I breast fed my first two kids for short periods of time and was miserable. When I bottle fed my second two kids it was such a better experience for me. I was able to bond with them without frustration or resentment. But I always worried about people judging me for my decision.

Thanks for this one!

Found you on the BlogFrog, by the way! Love it!

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