7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 3

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
It's only Day 3 on this thing and already this afternoon I was planning on bailing out. As Lucille Bluth would say, "this does not bode well." But I'm here, I made it. 
 http://www.quickmeme.com/img/a7/a70b0aade887005c323afee8aeb40bbc490c645947a2f2a53193dc45dcd1135d.jpg

My problem is I have a lot of good blog ideas (at least I think they're good), but not a lot of time to actually write a well-thought out post. I'm working on carving out a time each day where I try to blog, either early in the morning or late at night. We'll see how it goes. 

Anyways, I just now came across this article in Yahoo News: Breastfeeding Just Might Be Overrated, Study Finds. Now, I know, it's Yahoo News, not exactly a beacon of truth and journalistic integrity, but bear with me. I actually liked the article and the idea behind it--that previous studies might have overemphasized the importance and benefits of breastfeeding.

Don't get me wrong, I am a big supporter of breastfeeding. I do think "breast is best," and I've mostly enjoyed the breastfeeding experiences I've had, at least until Lucas was born. 

Lucas was born with a tongue-tie, which really affected his ability to breastfeed. It took until he was a few weeks old and him beginning to lose weight for me to realize that his tongue-tie might actually be a real problem. I consulted good old Dr. Google and sure enough, our nursing relationship seemed to resemble all the classic tongue-tie symptoms: baby failing to gain weight, improper latch, poor milk production, and long and difficult nursing sessions, to name a few.

I immediately scheduled an appointment to have his tongue-tie clipped, or a frenotomy, as it is medically referred to. This made a huge difference in his ability to latch properly. However, he was still underweight and scheduled to have surgery in a few short weeks.  

Due to his impending surgery, I was desperate to get his weight up, which is when I started supplementing with formula. The formula worked. He finally started to gain weight and was sufficiently chubby to undergo surgery at the ripe old age of a month and a half. 

I should have been happy. But I wasn't. I felt so, so guilty for feeding him formula. I worried constantly that I was compromising his immune system and that he wasn't getting enough nutrients and that now he wasn't going to be as smart because he wasn't being solely breastfed. A tad dramatic, I know. But I was totally beating myself up about it. 

The problem was that I had read all the breastfeeding books and unfortunately/fortunately knew all the wonderful benefits of breastmilk. Sometimes a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I had to continually remind myself of all the smart and well-adjusted people I knew who were fed formula as babies. They all turned out fine! I just needed to get over it. And eventually I did. Praying to Our Lady of La Leche helped tremendously.

I also came across some advice from another mom who had difficulty breastfeeding her little one. She said "regardless of how you feed your baby, be sure to enjoy him." That really resonated with me because up until that point I had been focusing on Lucas as a problem to be fixed. I needed to stop all my worrying and griping and remember to enjoy his perfect little wonderfulness.

Lucas and I have now settled into a nice little routine where his daily intake is about 3/4 breastmilk and the rest formula. For a while the ratio was the reverse, so I'm pretty proud of myself that I was able to turn it around. Unfortunately, I have to pump about 4 times a day to feed him because with all the bottle feeding he developed nipple confusion. I'm still able to breastfeed him occasionally, but he is mostly bottle fed. And I'm okay with that now.

I've learned an important parenting/life lesson amidst all of this. Sometimes you just have to do what you can and let the rest go. Each time I'm riding high on my horse about some parenting issue or other, I get a gentle little reminder that maybe I don't know it all after all. I thought breastfeeding was the only possible way a responsible and knowledgeable parent would feed her child. Now I know better. Some moms just have to formula feed their babies and that is okay. 

Breastfeeding can be overrated anyways.

An excerpt from the author of the study:

“I wanted to address the discourse out there of what women were expected to do. We need to take a much more careful look at what happens past that first year of life and understand that breastfeeding might be very difficult, even untenable, for certain groups of women. Rather than placing the blame at their feet, let’s be more realistic about what breastfeeding does and doesn’t do.”

2 comments:

  1. You can do it-- 7 posts in 7 days!!

    I should read that article. I mean, look at me and my hubby...both formula fed. And we have become productive members of society. :).

    ReplyDelete

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