Breastfeeding Vs. Bottlefeeding; Which Is Best?
To Be A Breastfeeder Or Not To Be...
Is there anything uglier and more unflattering than a nursing bra? I
pose this question to all mothers who have had to endure, in my
opinion, this negative part of breastfeeding.
As if having a baby, getting no sleep, and the baby blues aren't unsexy enough...nooo, we gotta wear that god-awful bra that does nothing to lift up rock hard, milk-filled breasts. And the color???? Why is ivory and white the only available colors for an affordable nursing bra?
OK, now that my rant has been expelled on you poor unsuspecting readers, let me get back to the topic at hand; breastfeeding.
Such a touchy subject to so many people, but it doesn't have to be like that. Why do we surround it with so much controversy? As a culture we need to uncover the reasons why we do or don't breastfeed and try to see eachother's point of view without judging so quickly.
Breastfeeding to me was as natural as getting pregnant. I didn't even realize that there would be a week's worth of prenatal devoted just to that issue alone. To me, it was a given. My mother nursed me, and in my head, that was what I would do with my own children. So after having my first baby, I was rewarded with an excellent latcher of a baby and had absolutely ZERO problems in that department. I was a little confused as to why others would choose to bottlefeed when they had perfectly good milk that cost nothing, but at that point, I was still an amateur at everything baby and did not have much time to get into the controversy.
A year later, pregnant with number 2, when asked if I would breastfeed, I again was baffled. 'Of course I'm going to breastfeed! There is nothing easier.' I would reply almost haughtily. And from then on, I began to form some opinions of people who did not breastfeed, I am embarrassed to say. In debates with others, I would list the reasons why we should, the benefits, the bonding (as if a non-breastfed baby can't bond...come on) and so on. I would barely listen to any responses because being young and insolent and very much impressionable by some people (La Leche League to be exact), I thought that no reason was good enough.
WELL, did I have a surprise headed my way. On giving birth to my second daughter, there were some complications that required her to be in NICU for a a couple of days. Because of that, I was unable to establish breastfeeding from minute one. It was heartbreaking to see her in her little incubator and after begging the nurses to let me feed her, I found I couldn't get her latched on properly. I tried and tried, and the nurses tried and tried, but little Dani was too weak to get her mouth open wide enough and the latch was terrible. Needless to say, I kept at it. I was determined to keep on because I was so convinced that it was the only way. Spending days applying compresses to my aching, bleeding, sore nipples and crying in pain as Dani tried to latch, I lived a personal hell for a month. Of course, we succeeded in the end, and as Dani got stronger, my nipples began to heal and all was right with the world.
BUT, I believe that I suffered too much to do that. I don't even know how I parented my firstborn during that time because I was so miserable. I definitley could have used help and that help could have come in the form of a bottle.
So what's the moral of those stories? I think women need to TRY to breastfeed for sure, but not at all costs. We really need to look at all facets of the situation and make a decision from there.
My husband was not breastfed, and he is perfectly normal today:)Furthermore, he has a close relationship to his mother and doesn't resent her in any way. I know that may be a ridiculous comparison, but actually, I know a lot of mothers are terrified that their children will suffer because they aren't breastfeeding and they feel guilty to the point that it disrupts their life.
All the new studies out that show breastfed babies growing quicker mentally and all that blab, is really mean-spirited.
I do believe that nutritionally, breastfeeding IS best, but that is not all there is to being a parent and raising a child.
And don't believe all those remarks about how breastfeeding doesn't cause your breasts to sag...that is pure propaganda! Take it from a breastfeeder who is happy to have nursed but spends a whole lot of moolah on super-support bras!
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