Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Do I Feel So Passionate About Breastfeeding?

While I was pregnant I always knew I wanted to breastfeed.  I crossed my fingers that I wouldn't have any problems and that everything would go smoothly.  The time came for my little one to enter this world and he did so with a grand entrance.  29 hours of labor and finally a c-section.  I have to say it was disappointing to end up with a c-section.  I wanted a natural childbirth with no drugs.  I had a doula, a midwife, a loving and supportive husband and a nurse who was ready to help in any way possible.  However, we just couldn't make it work... I had a baby that was just too big for my body to deliver.  I guess it was a good thing that after such a stressful and emotional two days that I ended up with such a perfect little guy.  I have to say I was sad my husband didn't get to cut the umbilical cord, I didn't get to have my son placed on my chest, and I wasn't the first one to hold him.  I had to wait what seemed to be an eternity to finally hold my son, but when I did it was the most magical moment. 

I was nervous about nursing but when they placed my son on my chest and he began to nurse almost immediately I knew all was right in the world.  I didn't want them to take him away but I knew I would see him soon.  I was off to get situated in my postpartum room and he was off for a bath.  It wasn't long and we were back together laying in bed.  He was perfect and we were right on target with nursing.  Don't get me wrong we have had our problems with sore nipples, cracking and bleeding and two rounds of mastitis, but nursing is the best decision I have ever made.  With the right support from my mom and sister I was able to make it through the rough patches and get back on track.

Now here is where I have some problems with several things.  When I signed up for the emails and free samples I always marked breastfeeding.  But why then was I sent formula in the mail?  When I received coupons in the mail, why was I getting coupons for formula?  When I was sent home from the doctors office, why was I given formula in the welcome home bag?  When I went to my son's 2 day appointment why was the doctor telling me I could supplement with formula until my milk comes in?  Why was I being asked by so many people if I was still breastfeeding?  Why are people so shocked that I have never given my son a bottle?  Why am I being told that I should start rice cereal and solid foods at 4 months?

 I guess I feel so passionate about breastfeeding because I feel like so many people are bombarded with formula and not enough information about breastfeeding that I want to talk to anyone that will listen about breastfeeding.  Please understand that I am not against formula, we have it available for a very good reason.  Many mom's are unable to nurse for many reasons and some babies are fortunate enough to be adopted and require formula since breastfeeding isn't an option in that situation.  But what I don't understand is why there isn't more information out there about breastfeeding.  Why are mom's who breastfeed made to feel like they are doing something that should be hidden?  I feed my son everywhere.  When he is hungry I feed him.  I wear clothing that is nursing friendly which makes it possible for me to be very discreet.  But I have to say there should be no reason why any woman should be made to feel uncomfortable for breastfeeding her child in public.

I love the t-shirts you can find for babies that say "Stop Staring at my Lunch" or "If you feel uncomfortable, you eat your lunch under a blanket".  Or for mom's that say "I make Milk" or "It's not about my right to breastfeed, it's about my child's right to eat".  Anyways, I think that so many people are just uneducated about all the good that breast milk does for a baby and the mom.  I think more mom's would choose to breastfeed if they knew what kind of impact it has on their child and themselves. 

Whatever you choose for you and your baby I support you in that decision, but I hope that everyone takes the time to do a little of their own research before they decide what they are going to do

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