Saturday, August 3, 2013

My take on Breastfeeding

This is World Breastfeeding Week & though I have not personally breastfed or had my own child, I felt it was important to talk about why I am so passionate about breastfeeding.

I never knew that I would become such an advocate for natural labor and delivery or for breastfeeding.  I have always felt led to do everything in my power to provide this for my family, even long before I was considering having children. 

I watched my Mom struggle with the effect that medical interventions had on her deliveries and post-postpartum recovery with my brothers.  Looking back, I question how many of her interventions were truly necessary, but at the time were forced on her as a "medical necessity".
One Smart Cookie: AP Our Way: Breastfeeding
After watching those struggles, it has always been important to me to do my very best to strive for the most natural birth possible, including breastfeeding. Should medical necessity arise and I need interventions? Then, Hey - that's a perk of living in our times, but I will do everything I can to have my children the way God planned for our bodies to.

The same goes for breast feeding.  Since childhood, breastfeeding was considered a natural part of the birth process. I remember playing "house" with my brothers, I had my little doll and I would pretend to breast feed her, holding her in the sling we created by tying a knot in a blanket mimicking the breast feeding sling my Mom used. 

Looking back, I find it surprising that I was so accustomed to the idea of breast feeding because it was something my Mother struggled with.  Due to complications with those lovely medical interventions - she never got the chance to breastfeed me. Her second child, Robert has Cystic Fibrosis and - well that's a story for another day, but breastfeeding didn't work for him. Come her third child, she was determined to breast feed and she had to fight tooth and nail to overcome the obstacles placed in front of her. Obstacles beyond that of what any new mother faces trying to establish a milk supply and handle everything that comes with having a newborn in the house (plus 2 other kiddos). She had to fight the doctor and at times those who loved her but doubted her ability to feed my brother; citing that it isn't "necessary" that "this is why there is formula" - there was no issue with her supply and Jacob and Joshua (child #4) certainly were not exhibiting Failure to Thrive.

Something I have learned very quickly about the world of pregnancy and parenting is that everyone has an opinion (including me).  The differences are, how do you express your opinion & is it shoved unnecessarily in someones face?
So when I'm ask how I plan to feed my child (because yes, apparently that is considered an appropriate topic of conversation and acquaintances and practical strangers love to ask these things) and I express my preference for breastfeeding I feel like I'm being judged.  Immediately after the judgmental look I get the inevitable "why?" or "well don't be surprised if it doesn't work for you".  Usually I shluf it off and move on; but if you've caught me on a day that my hormones make biting my tounge a little harder - I'll tell you...

In my experience, in the experience of medical professionals and every ounce of research I can get my hands on - BREAST IS BEST.

In our family, Jacob and Joshua are leaps and bounds healthier than the rest of us. We can directly attribute it to the fact that they were breastfed. Mother was able to feed Jacob this way for longer, and he is healthier than Joshua. Even as a child, I could tell a marked difference between their health and mine.

The difference between me and the busy bees that ask me inappropriate questions is - I recognize that breastfeeding isn't always an option. I get it. I'm not so far off to the right on this that I can't comprehend that sometimes it is just not practical or possible to breastfeed.

breastfeeding: the easiest, cheapest option with effortless weight loss. Yeah, it's a no brainer
Do I worry about how it is going to work with me needing to return to work quickly after the baby? 
Certainly. But it won't keep me from trying. I just really fail to get why everyone sees such harm in a good plan. Go for plan A - if I can't have the unmedicated, intervention free birth and labor I'm planning for or just because I am not successful at breastfeeding  --  then okay it's time for Plan B. Just because my Plan A didn't work for you, or you didn't even want Plan A doesn't make it a bad plan or an unrealistic plan.

Reasons I plan to Breastfeed:
  • It is undoubtedly, the best option for providing nutrition to my child.
  • It is shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer
  • Bonding between Mommy & Baby, special connection
  • Natural immunities
  • Significantly cheaper than formula (costs lie in pump, special bras etc.)
  • I'm not upset in the least by the boost it will give my metabolism in loosing the baby weight ;)
So my message for World Breastfeeding Week - a word from a non-mother - mind your own business! Not everyone is going to do everything the way you did it. What worked for you may not work for them (and that goes both ways!). If you chose to exclusively formula feed - I don't judge you, so please don't judge me because I choose to use my body to feed my child. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments!! I am so glad you stopped by!
Please be sure your Blogger profile is linked to your e-mail. If not, leave your e-mail address in your comment so I can reply!!