Moms on Breastfeeding 1 of 10
Moms on Breastfeeding 2 of 10
1: The Real Reason Im Not Breastfeeding
The reason Im not breastfeeding is deeply embarrassing: Im not comfortable with the concept of busting out a boob. Sometimes not even in my own bedroom. Yes, I have issues. Im well aware, as is my long-suffering husband.
A lot of it has to do with my being raised a Mormon. You could say I was taught to be ashamed of my sexuality. When I developed early, I tried to hide my burgeoning bosom. Numerous times throughout my adolescence, I was led to believe I was shameful and unclean.
What Im saying here is that Ive always associated nudity, especially breasts, with sexuality and then sin and shame. And because breastfeeding involves breasts, its gotten tangled up in those associations.
Read why this mom is sharing this very personal story
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2: I Nurse Other Women's Babies
Neither my friend Stephanie nor I over-analyzed it. Her maternity leave was ending, and she was afraid she hadnt saved enough pumped milk for her son John, my godson. We both really wanted him to have breast milk. Fortunately, I was nursing my own son at the time and had no problem producing more milk. So I co-nursed John.
There was nothing risky or revolutionary about this arrangement. Stephanie knew I didnt smoke or drink or have HIV. My godson was hungry, so I fed him.
Read about the other babies this mom went on to nurse
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3: I Tried It Twice. Never Again
The many mothering tomes I read while I was pregnant disagreed on many things, but on one subject they were unanimous: the best thing for your baby is breast milk. When my daughter was born, I tried breastfeeding her, but stopped when she didn't gain weight. I felt more guilty about my second effort with my son. He wasn't losing weight, but I was caught up in the whole vicious circle: baby always wanting to nurse, me not having enough milk. I felt like a 24-hour grocery store at the apocalypse under-stocked and trying to keep the customers from rioting. Soon I didn't want to hold my son anymore because it was a job, not an adventure in getting to know him. Thats when I decided to give my baby formula.
Read how this moms son reacted to formula and how she felt after giving up breastfeeding
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4: Doctors Should Know More About it
When your nipples crack or your baby can't seem to get a good latch, who you gonna call? Your doctor, of course. But which one? It seems out of your OB/GYN's jurisdiction. And your pediatrician? Well, he or she might provide accurate adviceor it could be totally useless and outdated. Or flat-out wrong, and possibly harmful.
When I was breastfeeding, I couldnt figure out why my babys doctor seemed so clueless about it. Then I did a little research. Turns out breastfeeding training is not required in medical school. Advocacy groups are working to change that, but progress is slow. Like anything else, the way people think about breastfeeding has a lot to do with when and how they learned about it.
Read what you can do if you aren't receiving enough breastfeeding support
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5: Let's Stop Judging Each Other
I feel passionate about a womans right to choose whether or not to breastfeed without getting a bunch of judgment from the world at large. Im thinking of the comments I received in response to a blog post I wrote recently over at Being Pregnant, In Which I Admit I Am Not Keen On Breastfeeding.
Heres an example:
Denying your baby what is natural and scientifically proven to be healthiest is not what any woman in her right mind would call maternal Kudos to the mothers that commit to giving their babies the best start in this world THE BREAST!
Sanctimony and fear-mongering at their finest — someone else called me a reptile (so much for just being an inferior mammal) because I dont want to breastfeed.
This is the kind of grief women give other women around breastfeeding, and I think it needs to end.
Read more of the breastfeeding-related comments this mom has received
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6: Breastfeeding Moms Need More Support
Three out of four moms in the U.S. start to breastfeed, but by six months, I recently learned, more than half have stopped — 80 percent in some states.
To me, that says there's a big interest in breastfeeding but not enough support for moms to continue. Unfriendly hospital practices, low milk supplies, short maternity leaves, and misinformation are all potential reasons.
But I think another is that nursing has become too solitary — there isn't enough social support for new moms. If the people around you don't breastfeed and you have no community breastfeeding center, all the other nursing roadblocks out there just get higher.
Read more about what this mom thinks should be done to increase support for breastfeeding
Moms on Breastfeeding 8 of 10
7: The Benefits Are Exaggerated
Why do we see breastfeeding as the holy grail of health and formula-feeding as the equivalent of giving a baby nicotine?
The answer is that most people dont know what the research on breastfeeding actually shows. No study has proven that babies are healthier because they were breast-fed. Its equally possible that they are better off because they have caretakers who promote good health in other ways.
I think that how you feed your baby (in a developed country with reliable access to clean water) is largely a lifestyle choice.
Read more about what we do and dont know about the benefits of breastfeeding
Moms on Breastfeeding 9 of 10
8: My Breast Pump Talks to Me
Im a little reluctant to admit the following: My breast pump used to talk to me. Well ... not exactly. I never had a conversation with it. I dont know if it was a Cubs or a White Sox fan. But when I used it, I heard words.
Shortly after I gave birth, I started pumping to jump start my low milk supply. I pumped my sleep-deprived little heart out, and after about a week I started hearing from my supposedly inanimate companion — things like: Uh oh. Uh oh. No way. No way. Stop it. Stop it. And I wont even go into the swearing.
I felt like I was losing my mind. But when I asked around, so many other women said the same thing happened to them! I not only wasnt alone, I was part of a sisterhood.
Read about the science behind this widespread phenomenon
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