Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breastfeeding & the Family Bed

Disclaimer: Now, concerning breastfeeding, I do not mean to offend. I know that everyone comes from different places and circumstances which do not permit breastfeeding. This is purely my opinion on the matter. Take it or leave it :)

Breastfeeding has been one of the biggest joys & biggest struggles in being a mom thus far. Let me give you some background info....

Before having Ellie, I was SO set on breastfeeding. I knew that it was the simply the best for my baby. I wondered how anyone couldn't do it. It's giving your baby something so natural, so perfect, so nutritious to their tiny bones. To me, it didn't matter if I had leaky boobs (or that the one she favored would be a considerable amount bigger than the other! ha!), had to wear terrible nursing bras that were made to make no woman feel sexy, or just have the pure inconvience of always being "available" to my baby. It just felt so right. And as a matter of fact, not opinion, it IS so right. When you look at what is better for your baby, all the doctors/researchers/etc, all agree that the "breast is best".

All that to say, the first 2 months of my life after having Ellie were the absolute hardest. She just couldn't figure out how to latch on. She would cry so hard, I would pump and feed her the milk with a tiny tube that I taped to my finger, so she wouldn't get nipple confusion. Eventually after many long weeks of that, I gave in and gave her a bottle. Man did that make life easier! Meanwhile she still didn't nurse I proceeded to have SEVEN breast infections in EIGHT weeks! Talk about misery. Somewhere around when Ellie was 8 weeks, she finally latched on...I laughed, I cried, I called Adam at work, and laughed and cried all over again...it was exactly what I had been hoping and praying for! She has been a breastfeeding champ ever since then. She is now 11 months and still going strong. I love it that she is so interactive with me during the process of nursing...she will stop and smile, play with my hair, hold my hand,...bliss.

I have been reading so many articles on when to wean from breastfeeding. I definitely don't want Ellie to nurse til she's 2 or 3 by any means, but even the little I have tried weaning her doesn't seem to be sticking. And for some reason, it feels unnatural for me to just quit cold turkey. Ellie loves it! Some articles say that babies will wean when they want to, and to just let it happen naturally, but again, if that wasn't til she was 2 or 3 I think I would be a bit weirded out...I also have lots of friends whom I respect and love quit at a year and their babies seem to take to that wonderfully....hmm, decisions decisions! I have read that some mom's felt like they were robbed from sweet time with their babies when the doctor told them to quit at a year. They said that they weren't ready, and the baby didn't seem to be ready, and they really regret it. Do any of you who breastfed have any thoughts on this??? I'd love to know.

Ok, now to address the sticky part. I have heard a lot of women who either decide to not breastfeed because of the inconvenience, or they try for a couple of weeks and give up because it was "too hard". Since nursing Ellie, I have a huge passion about stuff like this. I always think, "Well, welcome to parenthood woman! It's hard. But don't you want to do the best thing for your baby?!...or is it more about you???". It just makes me wonder what the baby would say if it had a choice between momma's milk or the local formula farm. I am by no means saying that it's not hard work, and that it would be easy to give up when your nipples are raw and have sores all over them! Sheesh!!! That is some pretty terrible stuff....but just like anything else, things get better with time. So I guess my statement or rather, my challenge would be for ladies to stick it out with their babies. It's so so good for them. Or if you do wanna give up on having them on the breast, how about pumping?! As long as it's YOUR milk, you are doing wonders for that little soul! I know it's a very sensitive subject, and maybe I have it all wrong as to the reasons why most women don't do it, but I'm hoping that by posting this, my mind will be opened up and able to understand better from women who have experienced this first-hand.

P.S. Go made our bodies to produce milk, so why not use them for the purpose in which they were created? Why go against nature?!

Gollie! That was alot of writing....the Family bed will have to wait for another time. That's enough to chew on :)

Til next time,


Megan said...

Well I understand this is a blog and I would like to take your words with a grain of salt.. But I seriously feel like I need stand up for the woman who chose to not breast feed their babies...I feel like you completely belittled any mother who decided to not breast feed..You DO NOT know every woman's circumstance..like how my baby ended up in the hospital because I was told by nurses to NOT use a bottle or feed him formula, if I was going to breast feed..I for one am glad formula is at least a option, history does not tell you how many babies died because for some reason mom's could not breast feed (with once again unforeseen circumstances).. I respect all mothers, weather they breast feed or not, love is love.. and I finally decided not to breastfeed, after seeing my baby with an IV out of his head and tubes being shoved down his nose, so I don't feel like I can or deserve to sit back and let you degrade another mom like that, just because she chose not to breast feed.. and TRUST me, it wasn't because I was lazy or didn't give it a try.. I understand you have every right to your opinion, but I feel like if you can dish it, you can take it :) From one mother to another

The Porter Family said...

Thanks for your comments :) And I knew that there would be mother's just like you (i'm saying that in the best way) out there. That is exactly why I added my disclaimer at the top saying that I don't know everyone's circumstance, and that it may not have been possible for mothers to do this for one reason or another. I'm not really addressing your circumstance, i'm addressing the one's that don't do it because they don't feel like it. But I thank you so much for standing up for yourself, and you said it well....I definitely CAN take it :) by the way...do I know you from anywhere? (again, not being rude, just wondering)

Megan said...

I know.. sorry it was totally written in the heat of the moment.. I just get really defensive about it.. When my son was 4 months old, I joined a stay at home mommy's group and somehow the topic of breastfeeding came up, I told them I did not.. Without even asking the circumstances, you could see the look of horror on their face.. I mean come on how can a stay at home mom NOT breastfeed, after that I could sense they saw me as the stay at home mom that gives their baby formula with utter disgust, so I quit going ...It turns out my son was actually allergic to my breast milk (though it is highly rare), he kept losing weight..He was even allergic to almost all formulas, except one (I might add cost 50 bucks a can, which is mostly goats milk). So I for one am EXTREMELY grateful for formula, without it I dunno what I could of done.. So yeah when I see stuff like "inconvenience" or "deal with the pain", I kind of pounce all over that.. Just because I don't want another mom to be judged...I totally agree if you can breast feed, it is by far the best option..

And no you do not know me.. I actually found you through JJ Heller's blog site.. I was a room mate of her's in college..so basically I am just a stalker blogger..I can't help but gravitate to other mother site's, reading about someone else's most prized possesion

The Porter Family said...

Well Megan, I totally appreciate your honesty, and I would have totally done the same if i were in your shoes :) And I welcome stalkers! I am definitely one of them to many many blogs!! Thanks for commenting on mine though :) I love to know who stops by! And feel free to say YOUR opinions anytime...I definitely don't presume to know everything, and my mind can always be sharpened!

Ashley said...

Hey girl! I have been meaning to message you for WEEKS. I am such a bad friend! Things are crazy around these parts. I wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you and I'm SO sorry about your miscarriage... SO hard! We will never forget your sweet angel in heaven!!

It is so funny, since becoming a mom I am both MORE judgmental and LESS judgmental of other moms. I am with you on the breastfeeding thing, but I also know that I usually never know someone else's whole story. Breastfeeding is SO HARD! Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't and that's okay! I feel terrible for someone like Megan who tries so hard and has to stop and still gets judgments from other moms who think they are superior because they "stuck with it" and she didn't (even though they have no knowledge of her story).

I'm excited that you were able to do it this long! I stopped with B at about 11 months since she was naturally weaning, did a bottle for a few weeks, and the doc put her right on milk and she's been a champ with milk ever since! I think I avoided (by sheer coincidence) sippy issues because she didn't have a bottle for long.

Miss you, girl! Please write me if you ever need to chat. I'm here for you! xoxo

R,K,L said...

You go girl!!!!!! I loved this post. You are spot on!
I nursed Luke until a little over 11 months and put him right on a sippy cup of milk. We both had a great transition. I knew it was time and although I knew I would miss it knew that he was ready also. He will be 2 in June and I still hold him like a baby in the rocking chair and give him a sippy cup of milk before bed. Even though it is much different than nursing it has helped me to keep that bonding time with him.
You will know when you are ready and I encourage you to listen to your heart. Good luck!!!!!