Originally Posted by timneh_mom
I am not anti formula, clearly, there is a need for a breast milk substitute for some babies. What I don't like is the lack of support and good, correct information for women who want to breast feed. It's out there, but it's not enough! I know too many moms who quit nursing because they couldn't make it work for one reason or another. I also know if they'd had good support, maybe a good LLL group, a lactation consultant, a knowledgable mother, or someone who could have given them the information they needed, they would have been able to continue.
this is SUCH a good point!
i experienced this myself with dd-i had her young (i was 20) and had virtually NO resources available to encourage me to bf her, but i did anyway for the 3 months i was home with her. (and everyone around me thought i was crazy-why aren't you ff? they'd ask-it's so much easier!
: ) when i went back to work (had no choice, single mama) there was no one around me to help me try pumping & storage, or to encourage me to do a bf/ff split. so she went on ff full time from 3 months on. this wasn't because i didn't want
to keep bf, but because i honestly didn't think i had any other options.
now with ds#1 (born 8 years later) i had a totally different (and completely awful!) experience-i was older, wiser, in touch with a lactation consultant, had a subscription to mothering, came on board here for awhile, too, and i was bound and determined to bf that child full time for as long as he wanted to! however, he absolutely refused to nurse. everytime i put him to my breast, he would turn his face away and cry. he just would not take the breast at all
. i tried. and tried. and tried. and tried..but he was adamant that he wasn't taking it. for the first day and a half of his life he was given nothing but little bits of formula from a cup while i kept trying and trying and trying and crying and crying and crying (oh, i was sooooo frustrated and heartbroken!!!) until finally a very kindly nurse came in to my room and said "honey-i know you had your heart set on bf this baby, but it's just not working right now. maybe we should give him some formula? isn't it better that he gets some kind of nourishment then to go through this?" and i thought, well yes of course! i'm not going to starve
this baby. and so we gave him a bottle. (or dp did-i couldn't bring myself to do it) and when i met with the lactation consultant, she gave me all of the tips, and she helped me try again, but he still wouldn't nurse. (to this she just kind of shrugged and said "well, some babies just don't want to nurse." to this day i wonder if, had i had a better lactation consultant, could i have succeeded in bf him? i try not to beat myself up about it, though) i tried again when we got home, thinking a more relaxed environment might help. i tried on and off for a good month to get him to nurse at least a little
, but he just wouldn't do it. so, he ended up being a stricly formula baby from day 1 (or day 1 and a half!)
and i, trying so hard to be the good ap parent and do right by him, was devestated. i felt like such a failure
. i beat myself up for months
for this. until one day i was giving him his bottle and singing to him softly, and he looked up at me and smiled. then i realized-i love this child. i treasure this child. i would die for this child. i am doing everything else in my power to be the best mom i can be to this child (we co-slept, "wore" him constantly, fed him natural organic healthy foods when the time came, used gentle discipline when he got older, etc) and how he does or does not take in nourishment in infancy should not be detracting me from the miracle of his existence.
now-on a happy ending note! ds#2 came along two years after ds#1 and he was a voracious
greedy hungry little bf from about 5 minutes after birth on. oh did that baby love to nurse! and nurse! and nurse!! it was wonderful
. and when i went back to work, i had the most awesome amazing lactation consultant who got me a fabulous electric breast pump to use at work, and so i was able to pump while at work and nurse exclusively at home (he did get some formula during that time, though, to supplement my stored milk-i was only able to express 12-16 ounces during the day, and never pumped at night because he was always firmly attached to the boob and i didn't want to take away from that-it was our
time..) and even though he started to self wean just after his first birthday, and was off the breast completely by 15 months, those 15 months were just a beautiful experience for me.
i guess in my long and really rambling way i am trying to say-sometimes mamas do what they have to do, you know? and putting a mama down for using ff without finding out her story is incredibly sad and unfair.
that said, though, i do
100% agree with those who've said the formula manufacturers
ought to be ashamed of themselves! there is a definite push in the mainstream media to ff-and it's presented in such a way that mamas are lead to believe that ff is just so natural and normal and wonderful (all those pictures and commercials with happy, smiling, happy, perfect little babies!)..it's really rather disgusting, imho.
anyway. sorry so long! but there's my $.02 (or maybe more like there's my $20.00