Yes, I planned on breastfeeding if I ever got pregnant, but that didn't happen and we started down the adoption path. Baby X was 2 weeks old when we were placed with him and had never breastfed, which would have made it that much harder to transition, and I was a brand-new parent. I didn't need any more brand-new parent-stress heaped upon me. Sure, you can adoptive breastfeed, but I've only met 2 adoptive moms who have done it, and they had to supplement as almost everyone does with induced lactation. You can also buy breastmilk from a bank, but it costs an arm and a leg (or two legs and a kidney).
My experience notwithstanding, it drives me bananas that I've had friends struggle to breastfeed, who tried all kinds of techniques and drugs and therapies in order to produce more milk and it was an uphill battle. I know that many women want the attachment experience that comes with breastfeeding, but I also wonder if some of the push to keep going when it's defeating and exhausting and stressful is partially from the enormous sense of guilt that it was a so-called failure. I argue that keeping your child healthy is not a failure. Pushing yourself to breastfeed until you have a physical or emotional breakdown is not healthy for anyone in your family.
I am firmly in the camp of "Do whatever makes sense to you", and I leave it at that. For me, it was kangaroo care, formula feeding, making baby food, and (horrors) relying on jarred baby food some of the time. For some, it's exclusively breastfeeding until 2 or 3 or 4 or.... For others it's breastfeeding for 2 months and then transitioning to formula because pumping in a work truck when you work as a landscaper is a nightmare. For others it's a combination of breastfeeding and bottle so that Dad can get some attachment time.
As I write this, I'm realizing that the breastfeeding argument is the same as the work/stay at home argument. They are the same argument, just different factors. And instead of women being supportive of one another, we turn catty and bitchy and mean if one of us chooses to do something different. Why is that?
- Let women formula feed without making a big deal over it
- Let women breastfeed in public without making a big deal over it
- Celebrate these women
- Celebrate women who go into traditionally male fields
- Celebrate women who stay at home
- Celebrate women who are doing the best they can by working and parenting
- Ban Bossy Check out the campaign.
p.s. This is my 500th post. Go Me!