Today we hit a breastfeeding milestone, 6 weeks of Tristan having nothing but my breastmilk to nourish and sustain him. Now keep in mind, I am sleep deprived as I write this.
It’s interesting for me considering I breastfed my oldest son from birth until he self weaned after he turned 4yrs old. I’ve gone back and re-read all my archives, not only did I sound like a typical blogger at the time heh, but even then I was passionate about breastfeeding and the benefits for both me and my son.
With Tristan we did encounter some issues for the first 3 weeks, mainly that he was a very chill/sleepy baby so he would fall asleep at the breast as soon as he would latch, it caused many worries for me as I had zero issues breastfeeding my first son. Thankfully after week 3 and two visits to a lactation consultant (who loved our BumGenius cloth diapers, and said we were the first parents to use cloth diapers in all her 10+ yrs working as a LC!), he has “woken up” if you will, and we’ve had no further issues.
I do feel a large part of my breastfeeding “success” is that formula/bottles were never an option in my mind. As with my first, I made sure we did not have any artificial nipples in the home, did not purchase formula (which NEVER crossed my mind even when I was pregnant with my first son), and I’ve always had a “this will work no matter what I have to do” attitude.
I also did not let anyone’s opinions affect me. I could care less if my family, friends, hell my boyfriend, supported me in my choice. Granted it’s nice to have that emotional support I’m sure, but at the end of the day it’s a relationship between my child and myself. One worth fighting for.
I remember the nurses being judgmental and downright rude to me as I nursed Tristan. I had almost every single nurse act surprised and even angry that I did not have sore nipples or breasts from letting my newborn nurse as much as he wanted/needed to. I had one nurse (that I “fired”) verbally attack me for letting him stay at the breast for 3 hours one afternoon. That it wasn’t “normal”. I had many nurses try to get me to leave him in the nursery… for no reason at all. I of course declined, and after a certain point, not so politely.
When I had Daniel, the nurses made it their personal goal to try and talk me into giving him formula, one even tried to sneak a bottle into my baby without my knowledge or consent, if it wasn’t for my twin sister noticing and stopping it, who knows what could have happened. I had one night nurse try to tell me that it was ok to give formula because it would be given through an oral syringe, so that made it “ok” in her eyes.
In both cases, no one had a valid reason of why they were so disturbed that I was breastfeeding my new baby. In both cases I did not have one single nurse that was happy to see me breastfeeding.
I do realize I tend to judge, and I am harsh, to those who formula feed by CHOICE. Very few people have a valid reason to not breastfeed. Most of the reasons are selfish, misguided, lazy, or they cave into pressure from those around them to give their babies a dead powdered (possibly recalled) substance filled with corn syrup, oils, powdered vitamins, etc.
I also realize some people that make the CHOICE to formula feed, do so out of ignorance. How many times have we all heard mother’s say they chose to feed their infants formula because the baby was “so hungry!” around 2 weeks, 3 months, etc. It hurts me that simply because their baby was going through a growth spurt, instead of RESEARCHING it, instead of reaching out to their local LLL or LC, they instead cram a bottle of potentially harmful material into their babies mouths.
It’s NOT NORMAL that we have to have LAWS in place to be able to nourish our babies the way our bodies are set up to do. We have milk ducts for a reason.
Now granted I may come across a bit harsh and I fully expect that I will offend/upset someone with my thoughts and opinions. I am not going to apologize for that. Generally those who FEEL attacked, are actually feeling guilty or not confident in their parental choice for feeding their child.
On the other hand, those who have a valid medical reason (of course trying to get donated breastmilk first), should have the ability to use formula to feed their child.
I’ve gotten a bit off track here, suffice to say I plan on breastfeeding Tristan until he self-weans, just like his big brother did, there is absolutely no reason why I would do it any differently.