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Old 10-03-2006, 02:07 PM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Breastfeeding & bashing

I've been nursing for 21 months. My daughter didn't take any appreciable amount of solid food until 10 months of age, and I couldn't pump to save my life.

In the early months, did I like breastfeeding? Hell no! Was it a lot of work? Hell yes! But I knew before my daughter was born that it would be a lot of time and effort and that she would essentially be tied to me for months. It's part of being a parent - we're not entitled to scheduled breaks. I was so disappointed when at six months she didn't like any of the baby foods I gave her, because I wanted to be able to leave her with dad for longer than an hour and he be able to feed her. But she didn't, and that was that. I told myself she wouldn't be exclusively breastfed forever, and I dealt with it.

If I had been desperately in need of a break, I would have given her formula. It isn't rat poison. It has it's place. It would not have killed her. But because I knew breastmilk was best for her, I didn't do that. Would I judge someone else for that? At this point, no I wouldn't. I see far too many people who think breastfeeding is an all-or-nothing thing and give up completely after one formula bottle. I would so much rather see a baby get some breastmilk whenever possible than none at all.

I don't think formula is evil. I do think more people need to be made aware that powdered formula is NOT sterile, and can easily be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Babies under one month of age should be fed ready-to-feed or liquid concentrate formula instead of powder for that very reason. I personally don't like that powder is on the market since it's so often recalled for contamination, but I recognize how expensive the other forms are.

All that said, if breastfeeding is making you depressed, then the depression needs to be treated. Most of the time, quitting breastfeeding doesn't make everything all better. At the same time, breastfeeding isn't the be-all and end-all of parenting. In 5 years, no one is going to know or care if you breastfed or not. In my ideal world, people wouldn't give up for silly reasons like lopsided breasts or thinking the baby has to work too hard to nurse.

I won't even get into dairy/soy sensitivities, food allergies and elimination diets, as I have been fortunate enough not to have to deal with any of that, and am in awe of mothers who do.
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