Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I have to be honest....

When it comes to breastfeeding, I sometimes find myself wondering if I offend people. Not necessarily when I am nursing in public....but more so when I talk about it.

In my previous post, it seems I may have unwillingly upset some moms.

I know not all women choose to nurse their children, and to be honest I do get curious as to why. Is it because they are not educated on breastfeeding, too scared, or simply just do not want to do it? I can not change the last reason....but maybe I can help some women with the first two.

When Joslyn was born, we were told that we should just do formula and to give up breastfeeding. Was this by a family member or a stranger? No. This was from an over worked and perhaps lazy hospital Lactation Consultant. This woman spent maybe 5 minutes in my Mother and Baby room, before telling me to give up on my 2 day old baby ever learning how to breastfeed. Looking back, I think that was a turning point for me AND my husband. Here this woman was suppose to support us in breastfeeding OUR daughter, and she was doing the opposite.

Now we can not be the only parents who were told to give it up and I hope we were not the only people to ignore the poor advice. But I can see why some women WOULD listen and I can not blame them.

Was breastfeeding easy? NO. Did I tell my husband, out of exhaustion and frustration, "this is why people use formula!" YES! To be perfectly honest, Joslyn got two formula bottles each day for the first 2 months. So I can not judge someone for using formula. But most people think that it is breastmilk OR formula. The truth is, you CAN do both.

My goal for this blog (and even my Facebook page) was to spread the word about breastfeeding......and to share some tips along the way. I never want to make people feel uncomfortable or insulted because they choose not to or were not able to breastfeed. After all it is a choice. It saddens me to think that some people feel that they are being judged, simply for the fact they are not feeding their child the same way I feed mine. That is simply not the case.

I commend EVERYONE who has tried to breastfeed. If, for some reason, you were not able to, that does not make you a bad mother. Nor does it make you less of a woman.

If you decided not to breastfeed at all, that is your choice. I will not pass judgment, but a small part of me will wonder what made you decide against it. You can call it curiosity.

I do not want to offend anyone and I do not think I am better than the mom sitting next to me. I
do think breastmilk is best, but there is also research that I stand behind.

So to all moms....breastfeeding and formula feeding.......keep up the great work! Love your babies as they are such a miracle.

......and if you hear me talking about breastfeeding, please do not get offended. Breastfeeding is something I am proud of and take seriously.

3 comments:

  1. I am always curious about individual choices about whether to b/f or not as well. I have b/f all 4 of my babies. But - I only lasted 17 days with my first child. I was frustrated and scared. I did not trust my own instincts, had no help and gave up. I always felt guilty for that choice. I b/f my second child for almost 5 months. I made it to 6 months with both my third and fourth. I do feel that some moms who make it to a year do give the impression of judging those moms who do not. That is simply my perception. However long one can b/f is a tremendous benefit to one's child. I think more education and support might help a lot of moms (especially first timers) to tough it out. In my experience b/f is not a simple, perfect outcome. While it is natural, it oftentimes does not come naturally to mom or baby. But it is worth the effort! :-)

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  2. Jacky you are very strong. I know for me, the only reason I ever feel judged is because I have not let go of some of the guilt I have for not continuing to BF. I shared my story with you, and I know I have no reason to feel guilty, but like you, I feel breast is best. I have to say that I am also a bit jealous that you can/are BFing and I am not. I think it's great that you want so spread the word. I think it's even better that you can say that you understand why some women choose not too. Part of the judged feeling also comes because there are those he judge. There are some women out there that feel their way is the only way. You just keep on keeping on and don't ever feel bad for talking about what you believe in.

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  3. Thank you ladies for your support. Both of our daughters are miracles....as they survived while their siblings did not. Perhaps that is another reason why I am so for breastfeeding.

    Joslyn was breastfed for 11 months...would have gone longer but we were pregnant with Katelyn.

    I am not out to judge anyone for what they choose....but I am here to offer all of my support to help in any way I can! I have battled more battles with breastfeeding than I can count....so maybe I can help one person.

    Thanks again for your amazing support and wonderful comments!

    Jacky

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Thanks for commenting!