Monday, December 8, 2008

Breastfeeding moms are best!

Well, that's what Robin Scorpio on my fave Soap (General Hospital) seems to think... I seem to think that General Hospital is getting on my nerves lately.

This breastfeeding debate has always bugged me because it shouldn't even be something that is debated, in my opinion. The story: Robin due to her HIV status does not breast feed her new baby. Makes perfect sense. What doesn't make sense (and never has to me) is that she feels like she has failed her daughter, like she inst a good mother because she cannot breastfeed. This point of view has always annoyed and saddened me. Society and some moms have forced their ideas of "The Perfect Mother" on the rest of us. We all have to be the ultimate "Earth Mother" who breastfeeds on demand, who cares nothing for her own health and happiness and well being. Sleep??? Who needs it. Happiness??? Overrated.

I am not advocating letting your babies needs not be met, nor be important... what I am saying is that you can be an excellent mother, a caring mother...and not breastfeed. I chose not to breastfeed for a few reasons. One reason was I simply had no desire to, another was the fact that being a new mom is hard enough without having a way to have your hubby help. I bottle fed as well so my husband could share in the feeding duties. So, I guess you could say I chose my own health, happiness and well being first with that decision. A tired, unhappy and pressured mommy does not equal a better mommy. Personally I think that a well adjusted baby has nothing to do with what you feed them, but with how you feed them. Both my husband and I had a chance to bond and enjoy watching our little ones while they ate... it was a lovely experience.

Personally, I wish shows like General Hospital would stop making women feel like they are hear a character say those words, might make another woman doubt her own judgment and decisions. Might make her feel like she is a bad mom when in fact she is not. I hate the fact that this society we live in tries to force upon us that we all need to think alike, be "cookie cutter" That is not me. I hope it is not you...and I hope it isn't our daughters and sons that we are raising into adults.
For I want my children to be strong, caring and confident in the choices they make, while at the same time willing to see mistakes and correct them. I want my children to be interesting, interested and unique, just as I am. I am confident I will get my wish.


Kristina P. said...

I completely agree with you! But this is a HEATED subject. I don't believe that you have to breastfeed to be a good mom. You can pump, and really, I don't think that formula is harmful. And isn't that what feminism is all about? Supporting women in their choices?

sheila said...

Well, I'm no failure and I didn't breastfeed. lol. Not because I couldn't but because my thought was that I gave 40 (40+) weeks of my life to that point and I would like to have a bit of me left for me. You know? If I needed a glass of wine, I could have one. If I wanted to sleep and let Shane get up in the middle of the night...I did.

It all worked out great for me...and wouldn't of changed it for the world. OH, and my SIL breastfed hers to give them 'a healthier start'. Both of our kids had asthma issues. So???

Saundra@An Italian Mama Gone Crazy said...

I breastfed all three of my boys until they were a year old.

Bill helped me by getting up, getting the baby, changing his diaper, and bringing him in to me so I could lay down and nurse while I slept. When they were able to drink from a sippy cup at 6 months, Bill did the honors there too. My kids never had a bottle... ever.

Was I tired? no, not really any more than I would have been if I had to make a bottle.

Am I a better Mama... nope.

Did I enjoy breastfeeding? Yes.

Do I feel superior to women who didn't? Hell no.

Do the other breastfeeding Mama's need to stop looking down their noses at the non breastfeeding bunch? Yeppers again.

It really irks me when the Breastfeeding bunch pushes their agenda. It is such a personal choice. I loved breastfeeding so much it hurt to stop. I cried for days.
But I would never push my experience on others.

Minxy Mimi said...

Saundra, you are such a lucky woman to have a great hubby! I see way too many husbands/SO's that do not help no matter what... I totally think Breastfeeding is wonderful...if it is your choice.

Anonymous said...

Did you say Robin Scorpio? As in that little dark haired girl that was the daughter of Tristan or whatever the heck his name was. I haven't watched in over 20 What is she like 50 now?

And...boobs, not boobs...whatever. The baby will drink whatever you get it. It's totally a personal choice!

Jen said...

Great post! I totally agree with you. I breastfed my third baby for 24 hours then realized that I couldn't do it because I couldn't stay awake. What good am I to her if I couldn't hear her cry because I was in a deep sleep from being sleep deprived?!
As for GH getting on your nerves lately, that's because AMC is way better!:)

Heather said...

Hey! You're right. This topic tends to get people fired up and I really don't get why. I breastfed both my babies, and loved it. Then, weaned them onto formula at 5mo old, and loved that too. What I can't figure out, is why it matters to anyone how other moms feed their babies. It's an odd thing to feel that strongly about.

Kristin said...

I agree, with kai I didn't breastfeed. I was young and very selfish. (for the most part) It just wasn't really me, didn't work out. But this time I'm going to try, but this time I'll reach out for help.

I still looked into kai's sweet eyes while feeding her, and felt the greatest love I've ever known. When I breast fed or not it never changed that.

Kim @ What's That Smell? said...

I believe that breastfeeding is the best, ideal way to feed my child. It is the way my body is designed.

In theory anyway...

I breastfed my son with some difficulty until he was about 6 months old and then for about 3 more months he had pumped milk supplemented with formula. He chose to stop nursing, only wanted the bottle.

With my daughter, I tried. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. She ended up having an allergy to milk protein and we put her on prescription formula. I was sad for a lot of reasons and I think it had to do with not being able to provide for her what my body is naturally "supposed" to do - like I was defective (but it was actually her). Overall though, the fact that there was a formula out there that made her skin clear up, make her stop screaming when she ate and finally made eating for her a comfortable thing was much more important.

Breastfeeding is not as easy and natural a thing as it seems like it should be. I struggled with it and it never felt completely comfortable for me. For some women it is easy, but for many it is not and some simply cannot do it.

I think the focus needs to be on caring for the baby in a general sense. If you love that child and provide her with all she needs to grow and thrive, that is what matters most.

Keb-o-Mania said...

You are so right Mimi. Eventhough I am a breastfeeding freak to my own kids it was MY choice. I am thankful formula exists in all the varieties to give women (and men) another alternative to how they wish to raise their children.

The act of breastfeeding doesn't mean a woman can't screw up as a mother in other more significant ways.