- Family and Parenting
The Best Food For Your Baby?
To Breast or Not to Breast
When my first child was born, formula was the only option I considered. At 18, I didn't feel comfortable enough for the idea of a suckling baby, plus I worked more hours than I stayed at home with him to make ends meet, so formula was my option. My son grew up healthy and we still have a great bond today.
When I got pregnant with my second, I decided since I was at home with him anyways that maybe I should try nursing. Breast-milk is supposed to be the most nutritious food you can give your child. That, and it's free. I like free, and we have a budget. I read books to help teach me, and I thought I had a good grasp on them. I didn't expect it to be easy, I knew it was work and I was ready for it.
I was ready for it. They never really tell you to expect the baby not to be ready for it. The books kept saying "how natural it was" or how "they would instinctively get it". He didn't, and he wasn't physically able. He had a bit of "tongue-tied", but with everything else wrong with him, I didn't want his little mouth snipped. (This problem has since corrected itself.) Then, he just really couldn't open his mouth wide enough to properly latch on. Then he had problems even sucking on a bottle, I wondered how I was ever going to get him to latch on. I felt like a failure, and it seemed like it was rubbed in my face that I failed.
My husband didn't accept defeat, and neither did I. We decided to buy a pump, and do that exclusively. We decided that breast-milk was the best milk, and nursing wasn't that important to me. I didn't really care how he received the milk, as long as he did. The bonus? I didn't have to be one of those moms that whips out their breasts in public view that makes everyone uneasy. (The best bonus of all? I was able to share the bonding experience of feeding my child with my husband, while knowing he was getting the best nutrition possible.
Keep It Covered?
I was walking into the Babies 'R Us and right at the entrance, a topless woman is nursing her child. I'm not one of those people that find nursing a child to be "beautiful". I'm all for freedom to do what you want to do, as long as it's legal. I'm all for the nourishing your child in public, and bottles are fantastic inventions for that. I'm definitely one of those people that get uneasy watching a mother, exposing herself while a baby suckles on. I'm also of the belief that if you're sitting at the entrance of a store like that, you're just trying to prove a point.
Babies 'R Us has this incredible room, made for nursing mothers to nurse in comfort and peace. I imagine when they set up this room, they didn't really plan on a mother planting herself on an uncomfortable metal bench at the entrance of their store, while people like me walked by both uncomfortable and averting their eyes. Maybe I'm just more modest than the average person. Maybe I'm prudish where I don't want to see another woman's breasts on display in public.
Why can women nurse in public, but a person can not urinate in public? Where's the line drawn where one part of the body being used for a natural act considered decent and the other is inappropriate? I personally think women should be allowed to nurse in public, but they shouldn't be offended if people get uncomfortable or ogle them while they do it. I don't want to see it, but I don't want to see a morbidly obese person in a sports bra and bike shorts in public either and I don't think that should be illegal. I'm more asking a question of what lines make certain things "decent" or "indecent".