Friday, June 8, 2012

Feeding Your Baby (a.k.a. What's the BFD?)

I decided long before I ever even thought about getting pregnant, that I would do my best to breastfeed my child. I had some "female problems" when I was a young girl, and was told I'd probably never be able to deliver naturally, and it might be hard for me to get pregnant. Once I accepted that, I was more determined than ever to breastfeed my child, if I were to be blessed with one. Not just because it's the best thing for them. But because it was the only natural thing about childbirth I might ever get to do.

For more than 10 years, I envisioned having to go through various fertility treatments, c-sections, maybe adoption, everything medical and sterile and not at all the beautiful natural thing that bringing a child into the world really is. Imagine my surprise to end up pregnant, unexpectedly, after NO menstrual cycle for FIVE YEARS!!! My husband and I were shocked, to say the least. So, I started reading up on everything I could. I'm a Sagittarius. We're researchers. I knew what to expect for the c-section. I had friends I could ask about that one. I had no idea what to expect for the breastfeeding, and I couldn't find anyone to ask, either. Everyone I knew had formula fed. My mother breastfed my older brother for about 6 weeks, then developed mastitis and was told to stop feeding him and that her milk would never be the same. She never tried with me. Of course, I was born in the height of the formula push, where women were told how amazing it was. I'm not bashing formula feeding. That's what is best for some women. It's just not for me.

We all have such differing views on feeding our children. Some start cereal and solids very early. Some breastfeed. Some formula feed. Some delay solids until a year. Some give candy and chocolate milk. I just think instead of all the bashing, all the "Are you Mom Enough?" (thanks a hell of a lot TIME magazine), women need SUPPORT for whatever their choices are. We didn't feed Tripp solids until he was 6 months, and I plan to let him wean in his own time. At 11 months old, he's nowhere close to weaning.

I also don't understand the outrage at women who are breastfeeding in public. You don't ask someone giving their child a bottle to take them to the bathroom to feed. It should be normalized in our society. I do my part. I breastfeed in public, without a cover, whenever I need to. I usually feed him before we walk out the door to go somewhere, but if he needs to eat while we are out, I feed him! I've never been modest... so I never thought once about breastfeeding in public, it was just natural for me to do it. And I never really thought about it if I saw it before I had my child, either. It was just "there" and natural...

Anyway, I need to jump off my soapbox and take care of by sweet baby boy, who is no longer napping!

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