Friday, February 08, 2008

A few thoughts on breastfeeding

Before Carter was born, I knew it was important for me to breastfeed him. Everyone wants the best for their child, and the best I knew to give him was my own milk. I was scared something in my body wouldn't work right and that I wouldn't be able to feed my son. But, like clockwork, my milk came in and (after 2 horrible weeks of latching issues) it's been smooth sailing.

My body amazes me sometimes. It grew a child and nurtured him for nine months. It delivered this child with little effort on my part. It produced milk for him to grow and thrive. It's just amazing.

Anyway...

The biggest issue I've been facing? People who don't understand why I do it. They don't understand why I put so much effort into it. Why I forego sleep to get up a few times in the middle of the night to feed him, when he might actually sleep for hours longer if I fed him formula. Why I race over to his babysitter's in the middle of the day because I'd rather he get it "straight from the tap" than from a bottle. Why I go through the "hassle" of it. Why I cried and cried and went through the overwhelming pain those first few weeks. I've even heard from one or more people that it's gross.

I do it for so many reasons and those reasons don't matter because the one I'm most proud of? I've stuck with it. I'm notorious for getting all gung-ho over something and then quickly moving on when it proves too hard or tedious. My goal was to breastfeed Carter for 3 months and then re-evaluate and determine if I wanted to continue.

Damn straight I want to continue. For as long as I can and I will not switch to formula just because it's easier. If other circumstances come up that require a switch (though I can't imagine), then that would be different. But this is one thing I will not give up on for the easier alternative.

I'm in it for the long haul.

23 comments:

Two Lines On a Stick said...

Congrats to you for sticking it out. A friend once told me that I surprised her by sticking with breastfeeding, that she didn't think I would do it. I guess I am the same way, I get gung ho and then give up easily. But this is something important for not just us, but our babies too, and maybe that makes the difference.

Mom said...

Nobody should sit in judgement whether someone breastfeeds or bottle feeds. It is totally an individual desire. You have done a great job from conception with Carter and whatever route you continue on or change to is the right route. I am so proud of the mommy that you are.

Holly said...

WAHOO!!! Well said...
Why should you have to explain what you are doing to anyone but yourself? I don't understand why people say "you know, if you weren't bfing, I could feed the baby a bottle for you." Or "I can give him a bottle so you can get a nap or sleep at night longer" Or "when are you planning on stopping the bfing? Or "Why are you still bfing?" I say to them - these things are on my body to provide my son with the best he can have. I'm not stopping to make you feel like you are doing me a favor by giving him a bottle and I'm not stopping until we are ready to. I think what you are doing is awesome. The fact that we did suffer through the first few weeks, the fact that we are learning how to do it in public more comfortably, the fact that our sons are thriving, the fact that I'd rather not sleep at night just so I can spend that one quiet hour alone with him... all reasons to continue breastfeeding!!!
Keep it up...

Heather said...

You've got to love those unwarranted opinions. Why do people feel the need to tell you what they think when you didn't even ask?
As for my opinion (I realize that is a bit ironic), I think it's great that you've been able to breastfeed. I'm not sure that I will be able to, but I think it's a great thing to have the opportunity to do. Anyone who thinks it's gross...they are obviously immature.

Kim said...

good for you!

I don't think breastfeeding is at all gross...it's perfectly natural and the best thing to do for your baby if you can.

I have every intention of breastfeeding my twins and hope everything will work out for the three of us. I know it will be a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it.

Our family is complete said...

As I am proud of you that you are able to breastfeed I dont' think women like me who formula feed do it because it is easier. I tried breastfeeding and couldn't produce enough milk to feed my child so had to switch to formula. I tried both times and was unsuccessful. Some women are meant to bf and some aren't. I think we all want to do what is best for our babies and that is to feed them whether it is from the breast or a bottle with formula in it. My son still wakes up numerous times to eat and I go and feed him. I had beat myself up way too many times and shed way to many tears to think that I wasn't doing what was best for my child. I seriously don't think one way is better then the other. My first son was formula fed and he has never had an ear infection, never has been sick and is one smart cookie.

Amy

Amy said...

Amy, I didn't intend to offend any formula moms and babies. I'm sorry if I did.

My issue is with people questioning my choices, as I'm sure you'll agree isn't cool.

I'm a formula kid and I'm just fine. I've always said that it only matters that your baby's fed, not where it came from. I just don't like what is mostly the older generation trying to knock me down for breastfeeding just because in their day it wasn't done and is seen as something only hippies do.

Again, I'm sorry I offended. I definitely didn't mean to.

Kelly said...

I'm proud of you for sticking with it too! It can be so hard in the beginning and it seems like so many people stop when it starts to get easier. Just try to ignore all of the dumb comments. I've heard tons of them too. I have several people who keep asking me if I'm "still" bfing Lucas. And IMO babies sleep all night when they are ready and it has nothing to do with what they are eating (in my experience). Thomas started getting formula at 4wks and he started sleeping all night around 7wks, but Griffin and Lucas were EBF and slept all night much earlier.

Josephine said...

It's quite gratifying. BFing is beautiful! F those people who think it's gross. :-) And, by the way, have you seen what a can of formula costs? YIPES! Do what you feel is the best for your family and everyone else can mind their own biz.

Jenn said...

Good for you!!! Stick to your convictions!

Our family is complete said...

No you did not offend me at all. You should not feel guilty for the decisions that you make as a mother. You are doing what you feel is best for your son. I know a lot of people find bf gross, but it is such a natural thing and to be able to bond and do that for your child is very rewarding. Believe me I wish I could have done it. When I had my first son my MIL kept telling me over and over again of how breastfeeding was frowned upon when she had her children. Like I shouldn't even have given it a try. Try not worry what other people think and say. I know easier said then done, but when it comes down to it you are Carter's mom and only you know what is best for your little man. Tell them if they don't like it to look away.LOL

Michelle said...

I'm glad you are sticking it out! Sorry you are dealing with all the commentary. I hate it that people feel the need to comment on personal choices.

I had to laugh too... As I was reading your post about sticking with the bf'ing I glanced to your side bar and there was an ad... On how to STOP bf'ing. Funny.

J.C. said...

I with you, Amy. My husband's family still doesn't get it, 2 babies later. I think the passion is just something you can't explain.

Momma B said...

Good for you! I dealt with the same issues of people not understanding when I decided to nurse Snugglebunny, but it does get easier. Now those people are just as supportive of nursing as I am, so they can change. I'm glad you're sticking with it and enjoying every second.

I'm Not Skippy said...

Good job. My wife is of the same mind. She wasn't sure she would even want to doit but she tried, and even with all the reasons you gave that it can suck (pun intended) she's sticking with it (of course she has to pump and so grandma can bottle feed).

On the gross comments. . . I have never understood anyone trying to push nursing or not nursing on anyone else. I can't stand the nursing nazis OR the people who think nursing is bad.

Let people do what's right for them. Their body (and baby) their choice.

Good job sticking with it.

Screaming Grasshopper said...

Good for you Amy! I loved BF my DS & am wholeheartedly looking forward to BF my next son (coming soon...)! My SIL is ANTI-BF and is critical of me for doing it. My MIL has told me to not pay attention to my SIL b/c she is just too high strung to nurse so it bugs her that I BF... You do what is best for your baby & since your are his mom you know him best! You go girl!!!

Erika said...

Amen sister!!!! Good for you for sticking to your guns b/c you feel strongly about it. I'm surprised you've gotten that response from people b/c there's a lot of people out there in the world today to make you feel guilty for not breastfeeding. So I applaud you and as long as you enjoy it and it's working out, stick with it. You'll treasure that time with him and never, ever regret it. I'm just sorry that people are questioning your choices so much. He's YOUR baby and it's YOUR life. Pblt! to them!

steph said...

You need to do what is comfortable for you. I breastfead both kids. my oldest did the bottle also in between breastfeading so I could recoup. but he also had mostly my mike in the bottle. my youngest would only breastfed. I have to tell you it is so much easier to breastfed. you take them where ever you go. he will always have food.

Anonymous said...

I agree..its worth the struggle. I tried desperately to breastfeed both of my boys for as long as I could but unfortunately my body had different plans and I dried up naturally around 5 months but when my youngest was a baby I was completing my final practicum and I would sit in the bathroom pumping like a mad woman 4-5 times per day, drinking more water than I could handle but it was for him and what i wanted. Good for you!!

Tiffany said...

Yay! You go girl! I'm so glad to hear its working out! He is such a handsome little man.

Girl said...

I am glad you are doing what feels right and best for you and Baby Studmuffin!

Mrs Hannigan said...

great job. I like it because it's free and portable and so very sweet. Your poste reminded me that it really is a counter-culture decision, what a strange culture:-)

JJ said...

whoa! i posted about the miracle of milk production 2 days after u & hadn't even seen ure blog prior! we're nursing twins! ROFL!!

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