Milk: the Breast and the Bottle | Simple Mom
All of my baby books touted, “breast is best!” and “never introduce a bottle before the baby is two weeks old.” Pages and pages were devoted to reasons why formula feeding your baby is equatable to feeding her steroids or gasoline.
i was going to just share this link with y’all at the end of the week, but i found that i had too much to say about it to just post a link. i wish i had read this before having zu — or even in those first stressful weeks, while i was going through this myself.
sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work out. for new moms, this can be devastating. since they aren’t under the same pressures from society, or the same hormones, i don’t think dads always understand it. i know bryan didn’t–i was going through some post-partum depression at the time too (likely brought on by the hormones of weaning) and he would tell me how he could not understand why i was thinking the thoughts i was thinking, why i couldn’t pull myself out of it.
nursing is the first thing you do as a mom (besides, you know, childbirth), and i wanted to get it right, i wanted to get it perfectly right and do what is best. and i learned one of those lessons that they don’t really teach you when you are a kid: sometimes you can try your very very hardest at something and still completely fail at it.
i’m sure there were probably some people that were nice to me about this, but its the ones that twisted the knife that i remember. a lot of people told me things like “you did your best” (subtext: but you failed). or gave me advice or made sure that i was “really trying hard enough” or that i knew how desperately important it is for babies to breastfeed. in the waiting room of the pediatrician’s office, a total stranger told me that she couldn’t believe i’d feed my baby formula, didn’t i know what i was doing?
having raised a perfectly healthy two year old who is smart and loving and not at all inferior or behind babies who had more than six weeks of breastmilk, i’ve not pressured myself at all with june, and our family has a whole has been so much happier this time around–i’ve been able to actually enjoy these early weeks with my new little lovely. instead of crying when i feed her, i can play with her wrinkly little feet and run my fingers through her soft brown hair and watch her eyes get drowsydrunk. instead of staying up all night trying to console a likely Hungry baby, i can cuddle with her head on my chest, breathing in with her trumpety babynoises.
i do things differently with june. if i worry that she hasn’t had enough after i nurse her, i offer her a bottle. sometimes if i want– well, i have a nearly-two-year-old, so let’s change that to Need–an extra hour of sleep at night, i’ll give her a bottle. sometimes if i want to take zu to the mall for some mommy-daughter time, bryan will give her a bottle while i’m away.
and guess what? the world does not explode! i mostly nurse june but i don’t feel any guilt whatsoever about giving her a bottle when need be. she hasn’t stopped nursing or refused to nurse or gotten confused with nursing because of it. and even if she does at some point, that is ok, we can switch to bottle– life is more than what and how you eat.
just my two cents.