August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. In honor of this event, I’m going to divert from my Why didn’t anyone tell me? schedule to publish a post each day on breastfeeding: trials, triumphs, and tips. Thanks to a couple of generous companies, there will also be a few giveaways thrown in! (We’ll get back to pregnancy talk next week.)
This week I’m going to encourage you to breastfeed your babies. A lot. Because I trust the research and my own experiences, and I know it’s best for baby. And in most situations, I think it’s best for mom.
Am I going to slander you if you’ve had bad nursing experiences in the past? No. Am I going to chastise you if for whatever reason you’ve decided that breastfeeding doesn’t work for you or your family? Nope. Am I going to roll my eyes and scoff at those of you who gave it your very best shot and it just didn’t work out? Not gonna happen.
What I do hope to accomplish this week is to bring you lots of encouragement from the trenches. Tips and tricks that have worked for seasoned moms. Stories of overcoming amazing breastfeeding obstacles that absolutely blew me away. Resources to get your breastfeeding relationship off to a great start.
What I need from you are your questions, your participation, and your respect. Breastfeeding is a sensitive issue for many women, and for some teetering on the edge of whether they can make it work, a kind word will make all the difference. Yes, of course share your opinions. As always, keep them respectful and positive. *** If you have post links you’d like me to share this week (trials, triumphs, and tips) please leave them in the comments or email them for consideration.)
I didn’t want to breast feed.
I had heard stories about it.
I am related to women who had had significant struggles with it and, while they never told me I shouldn’t attempt it myself, I was filled with terror at the prospect.
No one actually told me any “good” stories. I became a mommy before most of my friends. The one “mommy friend” I had who had breastfed told me bluntly, “I’m not so sure I’d do it again…”
I was convinced that my husband would never bond with the baby and that I would get no sleep should I choose to breastfeed. The “What to Expect…” Book advised me to get up every two hours and never, ever, even for a moment consider giving the baby anything from a bottle- even expressed breast milk- for a minimum of three weeks. Oh, dear.
I had modesty issues. To be truthful, I was horribly, miserably uncomfortable around women who were breastfeeding their babies, even when they were discreet. I had no problem with it- I would, even then, have defended a woman’s right to nurse her baby any and everywhere. But it made me feel awkward. The thought of ever having to *gulp* feed my baby in front of anyone other than my husband made me feel sick and nervous.
I did NOT want to breast feed.
And I didn’t.
When nightmares plagued me and I honestly lost sleep over how much I feared breastfeeding, I finally confessed to my obstetrician what I was feeling. She said to me, “Perhaps it’s time to forgive yourself and just bottle feed your baby.”
It was all I needed to hear.
Bottle-feed I did. I fed my baby boy formula for the first year of his life. He never had a drop of my milk.>
And, oh, do I regret it…
You must click over to read the rest of this fascinating post! JessieLeigh’s perspective will put new moms at ease and will erase breastfeeding guilt for some of you. The moral of her story is that she didn’t have the information and support she needed to breastfeed, and that is her regret.
And from The Daily Sadie… a thoughtful response to the article What Can We Do to Help American Women Nurse Their Babies? I really, really believe more women would nurse successfully with the right information and support.
Hense the purpose of my “weeklong breastfeeding rampage.” In the end, we all are responsible for our own choices, but this week I want you to feel inundated with positive breastfeeding support and encouragement from moms who have been there, done that and lived (happily) to tell about it.