Is Breastfeeding overrated?

Breastfeeding offers benefits for both mother ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may not know, but it took me three and a half years to have Little Pumpkin Doodle. After the 1st trimester I thought, wow, I’m really going to have a baby! At that point, I put myself into full baby mode and started nesting. First on my agenda was to buy the baby something cute, second was to start looking for a pediatrician. I did what most women do, and started asking friends, women on the street and reading blogs for tips I should ask while interviewing doctors. I was fully armed and ready to go with my two page questionnaire.

I’ll never forget the appointment where we met our future pediatrician. I asked her several questions and then she asked a question of her own; “You’re going to breastfeed, right?” She clearly saw the look on my face when I said yes. I didn’t mean it, and quickly recanted my yes to an “I’m not sure.” The pediatrician replied quickly with the phrase “no judgement!” I found it funny, since she clearly was judging me. Believe it or not, we ended up selecting the “no judgement” pediatrician. I didn’t care that she judged me, I wanted the best doctor in the city and after running a background check, “no judgement” was the best in town 🙂

It wasn’t that I was against breastfeeding, it’s just that I thought it was creepy!  All kidding aside, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I had surgery about 5 years before getting pregnant and was advised it would probably prevent me from breastfeeding, but the only way I would find out is if I had a child. Lucky me!

My husband and I visited a close friend a while ago and their neighbor stopped by with their 2.5 year old. The neighbor started breastfeeding her child while speaking with us. Yes, I admit, I judged that mother. My first thought was that if a child has a full set of teeth and can ask for milk, then its time to stop breastfeeding. But after what happened to me, I realized that it’s not fun when you’re the one being judged.

I had the option of giving birth at a hospital 5 minutes from our home, but selected an OBGYN closer to my work, therefore only giving me one choice of hospitals. What I didn’t know is that the hospital was a pro-breastfeeding hospital. If I would have done my research I would have known. I know it was my fault for not doing enough research, but I had a lot of things going on at the time. I even had a panic attack on the initial hospital tour with Hubby. Looking back, the realization of finally becoming a mother after so long had started to hit me.

LPD was born 6 weeks early and I was overwhelmed and not mentally prepared to breastfeed. I remember one of my BFF’s telling me that when she had her baby a lactation consultant, which she later named the lactation “dictator”, treated her breast like she was making balloon animals at a children’s party. LPD hadn’t eaten anything but a tablespoon of breast milk in 3 days, and every time I asked for supplement, a nurse would politely say, “Why don’t you try the other breast.” I felt as though I was in a Twilight Zone episode where I was talking, but the faces of the nurses had no ears. Since I was doped up on pain killers I wasn’t my usual sassy self. At one point, when Tante Lisa, my father and I had all asked the nurse for supplement for LPD, my lactation “dictator” became upset with us. When we explained that LPD wasn’t getting anything she dismissed us and walked away. It wasn’t until they checked LPD for jaundice, and realized she’d lost 1.5 pounds (total weight of 4lbs 5oz) causing her to go under the bili lights, were they accommodating with the supplement.

The nurses made me feel like I was a horrible women for not providing breast milk, and that I was whining and couldn’t handle the pain. I wanted to yell, I’ve had three surgeries and waited 3.5 years, I’ve paid my dues, now feed my baby! If I had to do it all over again, I would have selected another hospital.

I’ve come to the conclusion that some women want and are able to breastfeed, and some women are not able or do not want to breastfeed, either way it’s none of my of my bee’s wax.

Did you feel the pressure to breastfeed your child? I would like to hear from you. Don’t be shy.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. I find it quite interesting how much society changes through the years. 40 years ago, there was no such thing as formula in every grocery store in town, it had to be special ordered by a doctor. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s nice that women get that option now to choose to breast feed or not to; I’m not knocking any mommy out there who formula feeds. What blows my mind is how women can think that breast feeding is gross/icky/nasty etc. It is what our bodies were meant to do. Breasts are not there for decoration, they serve a purpose like every other part of the body. There is NOTHING more natural than breast feeding your child. After I had my son, I was struggling with some health issues, and felt like the worst parent in the world when I suddenly could not produce milk. He was 7 months old and I felt as though I had failed him. Luckily I had bags of breast milk in my deep freezer, in case something was to happen to me where I could not feed him, we had back up until he became used to formula. While pregnant many of my co-workers who were women shared with me how breast feeding moms were gross. I looked at them amazed. It is now socially acceptable for me to pierce my nipples and genitals, have surgery to make my breast look more full and perky (which when you first start breast feeding is exactly what happens) but if I want to throw a cover over my body and feed my child in public it is considered distasteful because you know that under my cover there is a tiny infant sucking on my boob? When my husband was transferred with his work, I had to find a new pediatrician for my kids. I went to the one most recommended. While he is a good doctor, it bothers me more than anything that he prefers all mothers to formula feed, so that way I know exactly how much food they are eating at a time. Really doc? Read any studies on the benefits of breast feeding not just for baby but for mom as well? ‘Cause there are alot of them.
    I will agree on one thing, I have yet to have a lactation consultant in the hospital that is pleasant. I actually kicked the one I had with my daughter out of my room and told her never to come back. I’m sure there are some amazing ones out there, and I sure hope I get to meet one at the birth of baby #3.
    Either way, breast feeding or formula feeding, please don’t knock on the breast feeding moms. We’re humans, doing what our bodies were supposed to do for our children. There is nothing gross about nursing your baby. It’s the most natural, organic thing you can do.

    • Hi Kacy, thank you for the response. I’m not knocking breastfeeding moms. I stated breastfeeding wasn’t for me due to medical reasons, and was sharing my initial feelings about it. I agree it’s natural, but I feel there is an assumption made by the medical profession that women want and should breastfeed.

      In your example, I don’t think it was right that a doctor tried to discourage you from breastfeeding.

      Once again, thank you for your response:)

  2. I didn’t feel pressured to breastfeed. My hospital was very pro-breastfeeding, but only in the sense that they provided resources and support, not to pressure.

    Breastfeeding was a bit difficult for me (I wrote a post about this that I’ll publish soon) but eventually I got the hang of it. Even then, I knew that if it ever got ridiculously hard that I couldn’t handle it, I told myself that I could quit. I didn’t want to be miserable because of this pressure.

    • Hi Sleeping Mom. Always good to hear from you. It sounds like you had a really great hospital and went into the experience of breastfeeding with a good sense of self.

      I commend you for doing it and for also giving yourself the o.k. to stop if it became to difficult.

  3. Great post. and Kacy I agree with you. I never had a doubt that I would breastfeed any of my children. What WAS unnatural for me was having some random woman grab my breast and showing me how to breasfeed my child. Now granted with my first child I had no clue what I was doing and if the nurse had not done that my poor little son would have gone hungary. None the less it was weird. Imagine if we lived in a world where we did not judge others, what kind of world would that be?

    • Hi Lupuswolflupus! I’m glad you were able to breastfeed and overall had a good experience.

      I’m with you and would love a world where there was no judegment. Always good to hear from you. Hope you have a greatweend!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: