Mrs.BasketCase

Where Mom unleashes the inner monologue.

The Great Boob Baby Debate

on January 6, 2014

As those of you who know me have realized, I have now had my second son.  With this new addition come many joys, but also many pains in my backside, not from Alex though.  Adults that think they know what’s best for my kid, or anyone’s kids for that fact, are about to meet the claws of Mama Bear.

Let me start this with a little anecdote beginning with the birth of our eldest son.  As a first time mom I naturally decided that I was going to breastfeed and it would be amazing and I was nourishing my child all by myself!  When Levi was born he had severe jaundice and colic to the point where we had to rush him to the ER three days after birth because he was non-responsive.  His bilirubin levels were near the brain damaging point.  Needless to say, he had to go under bili lights when we got him home for a week or so.  We weren’t allowed to take him out of the lights for anything but changing diapers, and even that was supposed to be done in the box if possible, and feeding, which should be done as quickly as possible.  Now how the heck are you supposed to breastfeed when you have to put your baby back under a grow lamp within minutes?  Not possible.  I was so upset.  Then I had to go get his blood levels checked and they made me see a lactation specialist while they ran his labs every time.  She was HORRIBLE!  She told me everything I was doing wrong, and not in a nice way, and basically that I was a crappy mom because I wasn’t breastfeeding him.  It didn’t matter that I was pumping and giving him what I could or that he physically couldn’t latch on because of his gums, nope, I just sucked at life.  I cried every time we had to go.  People like her are part of the reason mom’s get postpartum depression.  I eventually got over it and Levi is perfectly healthy and incredibly intelligent even with his limited exposure to breast milk.

Now we come to my second time around as mom and I realize that I was an idiot the first time around.  Now I know better than to set up high expectations and put that much pressure on myself.  Alex was born at over 10 lbs and no I didn’t have gestational diabetes.  Levi was massive as well weighing in over 9 lbs at 3 weeks early.  We make big babies.  Big babies need food.  Lots of it.  I can’t keep up with these kids.  Guess what?  I freaking supplementing my breast milk with formula.  OH MY GOD THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!!!  At least that’s the reaction I keep getting from some people.

Breastfeeding has met this huge comeback and its getting pushed on people so much that you feel you HAVE to do it or you’re short changing your baby.  I’m all for breastfeeding, but if its not enough for my kid or there’s a legitimate reason a woman can’t do it, and no ‘I’m busy’ does not count, then leave her alone!  We have enough pressure on us with newborns and families and jobs and life that we don’t need random people telling us that our baby isn’t going to be as smart or will have allergies or the numerous other things that people throw at us to make us feel guilty about not producing enough or not breastfeeding at all.  My kids and numerous others are just fine and dandy with what we are doing.  The other issue with this is people breastfeeding in public.  Some are all for it, and some against.  Personally, I’m OK with it, as long as you have a drape or something over your chest.  And I say this not because the female body should be hidden or blah blah, don’t take it the wrong way.  I’m thinking more of creepy dudes watching you and your baby, or about the small children that might not understand what’s going on and their parents that might not be ready to have that conversation yet.  That’s just my own personal opinion though.

I believe the important thing is to do what you believe is right for your kids.  I give my baby boy what I can, but I’m not ashamed to supplement with formula.  I think we should stop telling everyone else what to do and start supporting each other, not cutting people down.  If you’re one of those people, please take into consideration that you don’t know what’s going on with that mom or what her life is truly like.  And if you’ve had kids before, try to remember what it was like when people kept trying to tell you what to do with your kids.  Friendly advice is one thing, belittlement  and condescension are another.  Let’s stay friendly and boost each other up this year, and hopefully it will stick for the years to come!

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