Saturday, June 6, 2009
When it comes to breastfeeding, I would like to say, "Don't knock it til you try it (for atleast 3 weeks)". It is not easy breastfeeding in this society, however nursing is making a vehement comeback. With all the elaborate breast-pumps and variety of storage items on the market, there are less and less excuses for today's busy moms not to breastfeed. Forgive me if I sound insensitive, I know many mothers have very good reasons for not nursing their children, however that number could be cut significantly if there were more support from families, doctors, and the government to new mothers. I attended a breastfeeding class, read several books and online articles, and talked to my own mother, aunts and friends who breastfeed. I mean, I really went out of my way to find information about breastfeeding; during the painful, bleeding, cracking phase, it was the knowledge about the irreplacable life long nutrition I was providing for my infant that kept me going. Later on I came to fall in love with the closeness and the bonding between me and my infant; a feeling that would have never come to pass if I hadn't endured those first two weeks of pain.
After talking to many mothers who did not breastfeed, I found out it wasn't because they didn't want to, it was usually because they gave up when it bacame painful, or they gave in to some people's opinions of nursing being "nasty" or "perverted" or "hippieish". I would ask these people why they would rather a baby drink fron the utter of a cow rather than the breast of a woman? God created breastmilk perfectly. Many times when a baby has a bad reaction to her mother's milk, it is because the diet of the mother. Many more babies have bad reations to formula.
I blame hospitals, the government, and families. I can not tell you how annoyed I was at a nurse who continually insisted on bringing Enfamil into my room when I was trying to get the hang of nursing. Even the pediatrician encouraged me to "supplement" with formula to "ease my hardship"(forgetting to mention that would lead to a reduction in my own milk supply.)To this day, I get free samples, magazines and gifts from Enfamil. Upon checking out of the hospital, every mom is given a free diaper bag filled with all sorts of goodies courtesy of Enfamil. I also learned that many of the problems women have with breastfeeding should be handled by a professional breastfeeding consultant. They even make house calls! (www.lelecheleague.com) Also, there are breastfeeding support groups at many hospitals. Nowadays, breastfeeding is second nature for me, not to mention it's free, pre-mixed, and already warmed!
You would be shocked to learn the long list of diseases and disorders (asthma and lukemia to name a couple)that have a much lower occurance in breastfeed children. It would be silly to claim breastfeed children never get sick, but atleast they have more than a fighting chance at wellness. With all the nutritional uncertainty surrounding food these days, as mothers it is the least we could do to give our children the best start!