Wednesday, November 2, 2011

boobie talk.

So I have some thoughts that i need to get out.  Not even sure if I'll post this, because I prefer to keep quiet on controversial subjects.  But i think this needs to be said.  It's not really talked about enough.

First I'll start with the mini story that got this blog idea's sparks flyin': I was sitting at the mall where the little children's playground is with my hungry baby, making a bottle for her.  Another mom, probably in her 30's, was next to me nursing her baby.  I had Aubrey in one arm, & shaking up the bottle with my other.  Me & the nursing mom met eyes for a moment, & kinda gave each other that "aww, you have a baby too" look that moms give. (you moms know what I'm talking about, right?)  She watched as I gave Aubrey the bottle and said to her, "aww, tell your mama that formula stuff is yucky!"  Aubrey was guzzling that bottle like no tomorrow.  I was already annoyed with this mom.  "I'm pretty sure she's enjoying it," I said.  She says, "My babies just love mama's milk.  Nothin' like mama's milk ya know?  And there is nothing like that bond that we have because of it.  But that's just me." 

There's the story.  Not that big of a deal I know.  She wasn't that rude, or anything.  But she bothered me.  I should have told this mother how badly I would love to be whipping out a nursing cover & have Aubrey go to town on "mama's milk." I should have told her that I tried with everything I could to breastfeed, but after countless painful, teeth-clenching attempts, & one lactation consultant appointment later--I decided to bottle feed. I should have told her my baby didn't just "latch right on" at the hospital like I had hoped & wished.  She was barely getting any milk at all due to latch issues, & she was a healthier baby the second she started sucking on that first bottle given.  I probably should have told her these things, but she honestly just wasn't worth it..so I just smiled & ignored her.  

Moms are always hearing about how breastfeeding is the best option; it's healthier, it's natural, it's a beautiful bonding experience.  Your baby will probably have 4 points higher of an IQ.   Your baby won't get sick as much.  They drill it into our mommy heads & we listen.  Because we want the best for our baby, of course we do.  What mother wouldn't?

What you DON'T hear enough is that it is OKAY if you are a mom that had trouble breastfeeding & end up choosing bottle feeding.  You are still just as good of a mom.  Your baby will thrive just fine.  You are doing a great job.  Don't worry about it.  

I remember the first few months of Aubrey's life, after I had given up pumping due to several cases of mastitis, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that I wasn't doing what has been done through the ages.  I was embarrassed that I gave up, I should have just kept crying of pain through each feeding.  I was embarrassed to buy formula.  I would hide it under other things in my cart at the store.  I would not make eye contact with the cashier in fear that she would judge me.  I almost wanted to wear a big sign on my forehead that said. "I tried my best.  I understand breast milk is better but I truly couldn't take it anymore.  I love my baby & really do want the best for her.  Have a nice day now."  Fortunately, I have developed much more confidence in mothering & I have no problems like this anymore.  I shake up a bottle with absolutely no regrets or feeling guilty.  

I was formula fed.  I turned out okay.  Maybe my I.Q. score is four whole points lower than your average breastfed person, but I'm not stupid. (Insert family jokes here) My baby is formula fed, & she is healthy.  She is developing great, & even hitting her milestones earlier than average.  She has yet to get sick, (knock on wood!), in fact a lot of my friends with breastfed babies have gotten sick multiple times. & I genuinely believe we couldn't have bonded more than we have from her sucking on my boob.  She is enamored with her mama.  She loves me no matter how I chose to feed her. She freakin' LOVES her Gentlease Enfamil formula. :) (Enfamil did not pay me, but perhaps they should?) 

Will I try to breastfeed with my future children?  Absolutely.  Will I have months of guilt & hiding the formula under the bread & bananas if for some reason I'm not able to?  Nope.  Will I ever, EVER judge a mom for any decision she makes about feeding her baby?  Absolutely not.  




26 comments:

  1. Please don't feel embarrassed about not being able to breastfeed! I'm a first time Mom and I work part time on maternity. There are so many women who try to breastfeed and just CAN'T. And they feel awful. I think breastfeeding is wonderful 100% but I also know that the truth is- as long as your baby is healthy and you are well- thats all that matters. Being a Mom we are all subjected to pressures to do it ALL and we are also subjected to strangers' highly opinionated comments that are VERY personal. I mean, whats more personal than making sure your baby is fed and growing healhty?!! People say things not realizing what that other person could have gone through, without imagining what the other person has gone through or how you feel about it. That stranger has her beliefs and opinions but she doesn't need to share them in a way that would make someone else feel bad. And we are so sensative, us new moms. We want to do everything right. You're doing it right- all this woman gets from me is an eyeroll. Shake it off Mama- you're doing great! Moms need to start supporting each other better! GEEZE! XO

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  2. Aaah, I`m so sorry you encountered another mother who said those things to you. Sometimes mothers are the biggest critics of each other, and some seem to make everything into a big competition. Have you ever watched Candidmommy on YT? She said it best "all mothers are different, and all mothers are right".
    I tried to breastfeed my son and he just couldn`t latch on either. He was hungry and crying, and I put him on formula too.
    We all know that breast is best, it`s drummed into us from the early stages of pregnancy, but what`s more important is doing what`s right for YOUR baby, and YOUR family. Your daughter is beautiful, healthy and happy. What more could you ask for :-) x

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  3. Oh - loved Aubrey`s Halloween costumes by the way! x

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  4. let that stuff just go in one ear & out the other. she doesn't know you. she doesn't know your situation. both my kids were bottle fed from day one. they are two & four now & just as healthy & happy as any other child their age & they are pretty darn smart as well. i am sure bottle/formula feeding them hasn't ruined them for life. there will always be "mompetition" & someone who is doing something different, so that means they're doing it "better" or "the right way" just blow these people off & move on :)

    www.thebabyloves.com

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  5. Gosh, I love your writing so much. I went through the same thing. You express yourself so beautifully! Thank you for writing your blog.

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  6. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing! I can't believe that woman said those things to you. Its just awful that people can't seem to keep their opinions to themselves!! I had the exact same problem breastfeeding my daughter who is now 15 months old and perfectly healthy and smart. However, unlike you I stopped pumping after 1 week because my supply was nearly nonexistent. So kudos to you! And don't worry about all the breastfeeding propaganda out there. I was exclusively breast fed and I have asthma and hypothyroidism just to name a few! Will I attempt to breast feed my next baby? Probably. But lets face it, formula is just WAY more convenient. My daughter starting sleeping 8 hours a night by 3 months old. Can't beat that!

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  7. Aww I love this!! You are a great mommy whether you breast feed or not. That doesn't determine how good of a parent you are. As long as she is happy and healthy that's all that matters.

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  8. Awww, bless your heart! Breastfeeding your baby doesn't make you a great mom! Keep doing what you're doing, hold your head up high and love your little girl!

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  9. I found your blog through Top Baby Blogs and just wanted to say I totally relate to this post. I have a 4 month old baby boy and went through so many of the same things you're saying! I had so many issues with breastfeeding (we spent 9 hours over 3 days with the lactation consultants in the hospital!) and after my baby was losing weight 2 weeks after birth, I switched to pumping exclusively to monitor how much he was eating. Then I stopped pumping as well after getting mastitis and went to formula. Like you, I felt so guilty and just wanted SOMEONE to tell me it was okay! Now I know that I have a healthy, happy baby with a happy Mama who doesn't have to deal with the stress of breastfeeding and wish I could go back in time and tell myself it was going to be okay :) Anyway, thank you for this post as I know people (like me) need to hear it. Also... do you have a Target by you? My baby was also eating Emfamil Gentlease and we discovered that Target has their own brand of formula that is the exact same ingredients, but the tub is about TWICE as big for $5 LESS than Enfamil (at least it is at the store by us). It evens says on the container "compare to the nutrition of Enfamil Gentlease." Just wanted to pass that on since we loved discovering a way to save money on formula!

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  10. Oh my goodness you are not alone! I couldn't nurse since my baby was a preemie. I exclusively pumped every 3 hours for the first month. It became so mentally taxing that each time I pumped I cried. My baby is growing just fine now with formula! I still get plenty of judgmental looks from people and I just think "you don't know my situation!" You're a great mom Lisa, thanks for bringing this to others' attentions!

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  11. Thank you guys so much for your comments-I'm glad I'm not alone in these thoughts!

    @Anonymous-I don't have a Target that is super close to me sadly, it's about a 20 min drive otherwise I'd be all over that!! There is a Walmart brand version that I'm willing to try though. Thanks!

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  12. OMG I relate to this post so much I can't even verbalize how much I agree with you.

    There is a book that you might find interesting called "Bad Mother" by Ayelet Waldman. It is a very honest look into how we, as a culture, are so critical of mothers. For most mothers, there is nothing we are more insecure about - are we doing a good enough job raising our child? Are we giving them everything we possibly can? And so there is a tendency to reassure ourselves that we are doing an ok job by focusing on the perceived inadequacies of other mothers. Women are absolutely brutal to each other. Its sad.

    I too, tried but couldn't breastfeed. They were the worst 3 weeks of my life. My daughter at two years old has been sick once, and only for two days with a fever as her only symptom. Also, out of the 6 babies that are the same age as my daughter who I am friends with, my daughter is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most intelligent. Her vocabulary is triple everyone else's. She can do advanced puzzles all by herself, etc. I don't believe those studies. There are so many other things that are not taken into consideration like how much time does the mother spend with the baby hands on, does the baby spend time at daycare where she could be exposed to more illnesses, the fact that breastfeeding mothers are more likely not to vaccinate, etc.

    Also, you might find this post I did a while back funny - http://justanothergirlmackenzie.blogspot.com/2011/08/world-breastfeeding-week.html - check it out.

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  13. Breast feeding is hard. My son didn't latch in the hospital either. For two months I had to use a breast shield for him to be able to eat. That was embarrassing. I do breast feed now, but there is times when I do give him formula and there is nothing to be ashamed about. And I am def. not one to breast feed in public. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I find more comfort feeding in privacy.

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  14. I'm a new follower :)
    http://terinaleah27.blogspot.com/

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  15. Im so shocked a mother would say that. They don't know why other moms do what they do, or what happened to make them choose that. I personally would have been beyond ticked off. You hungry handled that very well. And babies are no worse for wear if they are formula fed. Aubrey will love you no less. You tried and that is all any dr would ask. Your a good mama, don't let anyone tell you different. =)

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  16. I absolutely loved this post ! I too was unable to breast feed because my son didn't latch on. I get annoyed everytime I go to the doctor's and they used to push breast feeding on me all the time. Saying why didnt I try and wait it out to see if my son will eventually latch on. I couldn't help but feel guilty about not breast feeding.....asking myself if im a bad mom by choosing not to do it. The majority of my friends breast feed and can tell you all the benefits at the drop of a hat. I also felt the same way about having a C-section. So many people treat me like I haven't really given birth because it wasn't vaginal. Like I wasn't part of the true "motherhood club" because I didn't "stick it out". That really hurts my feeling because they all make it seem like I took the easy way out, but they dont bother to see though that I was in labor for 35 hours and wasn't even one centimeter dialated ....I know this is way off topic but I feel the same way about breast feeding as I do about me having a c-section...People tend to think we took the easy way out. Great post I loved it !

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  17. I'm shocked that woman would say that too. You know whats more important than what you're eating? How you're treating people! She is not setting a very good example for her child on how to treat people! Anyway, you know I think you're great! I absolutely hate pumping so I am proud of you just for trying! When we're gone we give Michael formula as well (same kind btw!) and he loves it!

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  18. Thanks for sharing this story. I also had to make the tough decision not to continue with breastfeeding. It was the hardest decision I had to make as mother (so far) and I really questioned my decision for the longest time. One day my husband said, "a happy mom makes a happy baby" and he was right! I also don't feel that I could have bonded any more closely to my child if I had continued to breast feed. He and I are extremely bonded!

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  19. Great post! I am pregnant and hope to be able to breastfeed but I know that if I can't, it won't be the worst thing in the world. My baby boy will still have a loving mother who wants the best for him.

    p.s. thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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  20. You basically could have taken the words right out of my mouth - from the struggle to keep BFing to feeling a sense of shame/embarrassment buying formula. I've even gotten a dirty look or two from other holier-than-thou mamas who don't know my story or my struggle.

    And for the record, my daughter (named - not just Aubrey, but Aubrey freakin' Jane too lol) is a robust, big, healthy formula fed girl. :)

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  21. I loved this post. I'm currently in a situation where my fiancé and I are thinking about whether or not I should keep pumping the milk for our baby. I'm attached to this machine since my girl was 4 days old, and now she is 6 months! I've exclusively ''breastfeed'' her(my pumped milk in a bottle) from 4 days to 5 months. Then, we switched to one bottle of formula by day plus my milk for the other meals. She takes it pretty well and she keeps drinking my milk. But, i'm tired of the pump, tired of ''waisting'' near 4 hours a day. I do triathlon, but there are not moment i can train because i need to pump. The fiancé is very supportive but he told me the decision was mine. He knows how much energy i'm missing, how hard it is for me not having time to keep our home clean, to craft or simply taking more time with baby!I was ashamed when i've first bought the formula... as you were. I have a friend who is a new mom to, and she told me i was good having gaved to my baby breastmilk for so long. But, still, it doesn't help me taking a decision. So, your post was (a bit) helpfull. But, still, I'm uncertain about what to do. But, i thank you for being so honest!
    Marie-Pier xox (i'm French... so please forget about mispelling and grammar...)

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  22. I needed this today...more then anything. I can't tell you how perfect the timing is! My little man is 9 months, I envisioned nursing him till he was 1. Infact, there was no other option or choice. I was just going to. Fast forward, He is in the NICU, and my lovely first maternity nurse doesn't mention that I need to be pumping..along with added stress. My milk came in, but it would take 45 min to barely get 2 oz, and Hudson would never latch on. I exclusively pumped for the first month (50/50 with formula) then finally got him to latch on at nights. Still, no matter how much I pumped/bf My milk never produced more. Then, we found out he had a milk protein allergy...so throw in on top of being a new mom, a completely dairy free diet, and working 30 hours a week...I made it four months breastfeeding half the time. I tried, and im better about not beating myself up about when im buying formula. But its still hard. I had a moment similar to yours recently and Im so glad im not the only one! :D thanks for letting me vent

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  23. Hey Lisa, I hear you! My baby girl was NEVER able to breastfeed either and I just about made myself crazy with the pumping I did nothing but PUMP for nine months and you know what if I have another one and we can't make it work, I'm so not going through that again I feel like I lost time with my baby and it created so much stress being attached to that machine it's just not worth it. How dare that mother make any comments about how you feed your baby! Whats better for them than our love time and attention? :)

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  24. I thought that you had said you were pumping? Don't get me wrong, I think whatever way you think is best for your baby is obviously the right choice! Just wondering if I missed something?

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  25. @ Anonymous: I said in this post, (I understand though, it's a long one! haha) but it says that I had stopped pumping due to several cases of mastitis-and three rounds of different antibiotics later, I stopped.

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  26. I totally agree with you. My baby was born 11 weeks early and my milk just never came in. I pumped for six months but I would only get one-to-two ounces MAXIMUM each session. I remember a comment my husband's 22 year old brother made when we were giving our baby a bottle of formula, and it was something about how bad formula is and why weren't we giving her breast milk because that's better. People don't stop to realize there are a lot of moms out there who just don't produce milk for a variety of reasons, or breastfeeding just doesn't work for them, or they just prefer formula. People need to mind their own business. Thanks for writing this, it needs to be said more!

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