What was your personal reason for your feeding choice? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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I decided long before having babies that I would nurse them because I'm a mammal and that's what mammals do. It's just the normal way to feed your baby.
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#62 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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I have no idea. I can't remember why I choose to. I remember the OBGyn asking which I would do with a very quiet, "We'd prefer you breastfeed but whatever you want to do." I guess I had heard that breastfeeding was better so I said I would.

Now if only I had heard that midwives were better or even that birth wasn't some horribly scary thing I would have fought harder against the c-section.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#63 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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My mom breastfeed all 4 of her kids. My dad also is very pro-breastfeeding. I didn't know it was something you had to choose. Like many things in my life, LOL, I just didn't even think about it. I just knew I was going to breastfeed.
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#64 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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BFing isn't the norm around here, though I found out after I had my first that my aunt had nursed 4 out of her 5 kids (the second was supposedly allergic to her breastmilk--he's actually lactose intolerant).

When I was a small child I thought that formula was good enough because I had been formula fed.

Then, when I was 13, I babysat my cousin's formula fed daughter. Just one round of making up a bottle of formula for her was enough to put me off it forever. The powder got everywhere, the stuff STANK, and nothing I could do got it to dissolve properly. People pay to do this? :

It wasn't too long after that that logic reasserted itself and I noticed that no one suggest kittens have formula unless their lives depend upon it, so why should human babies?

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#65 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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I never gave it a thought before I had kids. In fact i never really noticed if a mom bottle fed or brreastfed, I was just oblivious

When I found out I wa pregnant I just knew I would breastfeed. Iwsn't sure how long, since i was going back to work.

But I read a bunch of baby books and started going to LLL meetings when I was 3 months pregnant.

Then I knew I didn't need to use formula when I went back to work. I learned about pumping!

I am very grateful for being so educated by all the ladies at LLL. and even went on to become a peer breastfeeding counslor and helped out the new moms at the meetings who were going to be going back to work.
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#66 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Health reasons. I knew that bf babies got sick less often and also read that they had a lower rate of SIDS so it was the obvious choice. I've learned about all the other benefits since.
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#67 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 10:49 PM
 
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When my DD was born I had originally intended to FF her full time. When she was just 2 days old, she began projectile vomiting turned out she was allergic to the formulas (and I tried a couple) finally I opted that this wasn't the way for my DD to live...No one should have to live like a guinea pig...

I pulled her out of the bassinett in the hospital and w/o any knowledge of BFing, ignoring the nurse telling me that they wanted to try one more kind of formula...She latched pretty easily although was completely covered by my breast b/c she was so tiny.

With my DS (who is now 2 wks old) I nursed him from the get go...I forgot alot of the soreness I had had with DD when we were trying to get the BFing dance worked out...but now DS is doing great...and I'm so thankful I didn't make the leap of trying the other formula the nurse was suggesting, and didn't even bother this time.


~Marla~
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#68 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 11:31 PM
 
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Before I had kids I guess I just assumed that's how you fed babies. My mom breastfed me, not that long but she did and I knew that. Then I started going to LLL meetings and learned more. My mind was made up at that point.
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#69 of 148 Old 04-29-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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My sister had been a LLL leader for 11 years before I had my son. I had read the womanly art at 12. (Donations of old copies to highschool libraries anyone?)
By the time I got pregnant NOT nursing would have just been obserd.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#70 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 12:51 AM
 
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My family is mostly a breastfeeding family, so I just figured that's what you did. I never once had a thought that formula was bad, nor did it occur to me that if you fed formula you didn't also breastfeed. I guess I just figured everybody did both. I never planned on having kids though, so until I became accidentally pregant, I actually don't think I considered either option, exclusively.
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#71 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 01:26 AM
 
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It is amazing how many people here grew up in a bf culture! I did not. But I care deeply about the health and welfare of my children and researched the issue exhaustively before and during pregnancy. After learning about how much healthier it is to bf (especially the SIDS stats -- SIDS terrifies me!), I knew that I would bf. Unless bf was absolutely impossible, I just could not imagine putting my children at higher risk for so many diseases/illnesses/death by not feeding them the best food available.

I'm on board with all of the other responses (lazy, cheap, like to sleep! ) but honestly, my babies' health was my primary motivator.
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#72 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all! I am really enjoying all the answers posted here and I have pm’d a few of you. I notice that some of you have said that you breastfed because you are a mammal, or that you breastfed because it was the norm for you, your particular cultural norm. But, I want you to dig down deeper! Why, then, was it important for you to do something that was the norm for your culture or species? Would you have been embarrassed or ashamed not to breastfeed? Would it have just felt wrong? Or, was it that it was truly unimaginable, just like putting yourself on renal dialysis or walking on crutches for those with legs that are not broken? For those who grew up in a culture of breastfeeding how do you think it would have “felt” to do otherwise, or was it truly not a consideration for you? Or did some of you living within breastfeeding cultures breastfeed because your role models breastfed and you admired and looked up to them?

And for those who haven’t answered this yet, I’m still interested in knowing what influenced you in your initial feeding choice.
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#73 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 02:29 AM
 
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Or, was it that it was truly unimaginable, just like putting yourself on renal dialysis or walking on crutches for those with legs that are not broken?
This, pretty much. Formula feeding when I didn't have to just struck me as completely illogical. I remember joking with a lady while pregnant with my first that "With breasts like these, I have to use them for something!" (Seriously, my breasts have been huge since I was 11. They've caused me so damned many problems in my life I ought to get some use from them!)

And from a spiritual standpoint--God made me this way, and He makes no mistakes.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#74 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 02:38 AM
 
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Mine is different.

I developed earlier- and much bigger- than any of the girls I went to school with. I was grabbed at, teased, called names, etc. and was constantly defending myself about my breasts both physically and emotionally from about 11 yrs old until I graduated high school. My breasts were unpleasant to me- I associated them with being harrassed on a daily basis. I wished I could wear pretty clothes and have perky little ones like most of my friends. I wished I could run or dance or jump without them bopping me in the face.

I was kicked off of a HS soccer team-- wearing 3 bras- 1 minimizer bra and 2 tight sports bras- because they said my breasts were so large they could not insure me to be on the team, that I would hurt myself. When I wore too-tight shirts (because the rest of me was small but my breasts were so large) I was sent home from school for being indecent.

The only person I had ever seen nurse a child was my half sister, briefly, and just a few times. I knew my mom had tried to nurse me, but she said I was starving because she had no milk. Her mom said the same thing about her breasts- that we were all dried up in our family. I started reading stories about female empowerment and sexual abuse when I finished HS and read some positive breastfeeding stories in the mix. I decided that that was my saving grace- to use them to nourish my child rather than to view them as sexual any longer.

When my daughter was born, I did just that. I became involved in LLL only because the phone number was in the back of one of my breastfeeding books and I was having problems with latching her on properly and was getting sore. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the room and most of the members were lifting up their shirts for 4, 5, 6 yr olds to walk by and take a sip!

Once I got the hang of it, I studied how much better BM is than formula- which I'd always hated the smell of since babysitting. I once asked a formula- feeding friend if she'd ever tasted it and she replied, "He** no- that s*** stinks!!!" I can't imagine not tasting something before I fed it to my child!!!

Certainly, I got lots of flack and no support in my family- my sister even remarked to me on the phone the other day that she hopes,"this time you won't nurse it til it's 3, since you don't live in Africa, you know. They do have food in this country!" Needless to say, I let her have a piece of my mind that it's none of her business.

I plan to become an IBCLC some day. Nursing has made me appreciate my body and realize that I am NOT a victim any more. It has given me the power to sustain a life- my child's, and to heal my wounds.

'Manda

::Mommy to Pixie : 9-3-00 and Peri 11-15-07
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#75 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 03:01 AM
 
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Because I'm a mammal & had been through 7th grade biology. That's not even snark.
:

It just seemed like common sense to me.
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#76 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 07:42 AM
 
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I had several reasons.

I'm the oldest of 5 kids, and my mom nursed all of us. My sister (the youngest child) is 13 years younger than I am, and was BF until she was 3. So I have clear memories of my mom breastfeeding my siblings. This start made me think that nursing was the thing moms do. I just didn't have experience with formula. My mom worked full time and expressed milk by hand for each of us until we were a year old.

Second, I nannied before I became a mom. I cared for twin newborns, and I remember making formula constantly. It smelled awful. The powder was just gross. I couldn't imagine feeding it to my babies. And it made the babies smell less pleasant. I decided to try to breastfeed my children because it was more aesthetically pleasing.

Third, I had a really difficult birth experience with my oldest son. After he was born, he was in the NICU. The neonatologist told me I had to feed my son formula. I didn't know he was lying (that I didn't HAVE to. . he just wanted me to), so I fed my little man some formula. But I just sobbed the entire time. I felt like I was somehow inadequate. . . that I couldn't meet his most fundamental need. After those few days in the hospital, he was released on the condition that I feed him high calorie formula mixed with breastmilk. I never did it. I took him home, nursed him on demand, and he's now thriving at two years old. He's never tasted formula since his time in the NICU.

Also, my mom stayed with me while my son was in the NICU (while DH was at work). She told me, "I nursed each of you (me and sibs) for 2 or 3 years. You owe it to Sam to nurse him." I really felt a sense of duty to be successful.

Now, I'm so glad I followed my instincts and my mom's strong urging and I'm a lactivist. My 27 month old son and my 7 month old daughter tandem nurse! I never thought I'd consider tandeming, but I love it!
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#77 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 08:13 AM
 
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DD was an unexpected pregnancy; within a week of finding out I was pregnant, DH and I agreed that I would get out of the military. But, we weren't financially where we had planned on being when we started having kids - so I spent the majority of my pregnancy researching ways to save money. Everyone I talked to said the 3 most expensive aspects of a baby were 1) daycare, b) formula, c) diapers. So...I'd stay home, breastfeed, and use cloth diapers. No expenses!

Ultimately, the reason I stuck to it, was because of my c-section. I couldn't articulate it at the time, but I already felt like I was less of a woman for not giving birth vaginally; a line from Erin Brochovich kept going through my head "If you have no uterus, and no breasts, are you still a woman?" (or something, can't remember exactly.) Well...my uterus/vagina failed, I wasn't about to give up the only thing left.
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#78 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 08:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by G8P4 View Post
I notice that some of you have said that you breastfed because you are a mammal, or that you breastfed because it was the norm for you, your particular cultural norm. But, I want you to dig down deeper! Why, then, was it important for you to do something that was the norm for your culture or species? Would you have been embarrassed or ashamed not to breastfeed? Would it have just felt wrong? Or, was it that it was truly unimaginable, just like putting yourself on renal dialysis or walking on crutches for those with legs that are not broken? For those who grew up in a culture of breastfeeding how do you think it would have “felt” to do otherwise, or was it truly not a consideration for you? Or did some of you living within breastfeeding cultures breastfeed because your role models breastfed and you admired and looked up to them? .
It just never crossed my mind, that breastfeeding was optional! It's how you feed babies. If you can't BF, then you use formula. But using formula is like using painkillers or other drugs: you don't do it, if you don't have to. I live in a country with a 97% breastfeeding initiation rate. It honestly never crossed my mind, not to breastfeed. I don't know any moms who didn't at least breastfeed for a few months. I know of ONE mom, who FF by choice. It was the topic of a lot of evil gossip at the moms group I belonged to at the time. People looked down on her and called her selfish, for not wanting what was best for her baby, they even called her stupid, for not believing the research that "breast is best" . I think she had some sort of trauma from being abused as a child and that's why she didn't want to BF:
So I guess that, yes, not breastfeeding is truly unimaginable, like walking on crutches for those with legs that are not broken?
I am sure I would feel ashamed and like a failure, if I was unable to breastfeed or not strong enough to make it work. It would be so embaressing to feed my child a bottle in public
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#79 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 09:10 AM
 
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honestly i didn't even think about it. I knew i would breast feed. Even back then I didn't know anything about what I know now about birth, bf etc.... I was pretty clueless. I didn't grow up in a bf type family, they all formula feed. Just somehow I knew that breastfeeding was the right thing to do.
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#80 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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I really felt a sense of duty to be successful.
I, too, felt a sense of duty to be successful. I can definitely say that I breastfed because 1) my mom breastfed me and 2) made sure that I knew it! She told me many times with pride, "you were breastfed" and told me about the immune system benefits. Her own mother breastfed 5 of her 6 children (including my mom). She made it clear that the notion of "not being able to" is overstated and that it really wasn't that hard. In recent years, but before I had a child, I discovered that she nursed me for 14 months. Back then I thought that was a long time . She also told me about LLL and that she had attended a few meetings way back when. For my baby shower, my mom gave me the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (saying "this is pretty much the bible") and a little black nursing dress.

When my DS was gaining slowly in his first month, I was a little panicked. The ped had me coming in for weekly weigh-ins and I felt that I had to prove that DS could gain a bunch of weight in order to keep my right to breastfeed (or the ped would diagnose with failure to thrive). I was terrified that someone would "make" me give him formula. It would have completely gone against how I saw myself as a mother. In my mind, it would be failure, and failure was not an option. Luckily, I was completely determined. Despite the poor advice from the ped, I was persistent. They had me pumping and feeding the additional breastmilk; I used a spoon to do this instead of a bottle to avoid nipple preference problems. Finally I went to a LLL leader for help, nursed my DS pretty much constantly, increased my supply, and happily nursed him exclusively for six months and now at nearly 3 years old he is still nursing one time a day. He never had a drop of formula.

My point in telling that whole story is that if my mother hadn't endoctrinated me beforehand, I might have supplemented and ended up ff completely because I never would have increased my supply by doing that!

Off topic, but my mom also did the same for me about natural childbirth. She told me, proudly: how she had me without any drugs, with my dad as her coach, that the nurses told her she was tough as nails, and it was a wonderful experience. After that, my mom and dad taught natural childbirth classes together for a while when I was young. Isn't that sweet?
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#81 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 09:43 AM
 
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And from a spiritual standpoint--God made me this way, and He makes no mistakes.
Yes!
Also, my mother breastfed me in the 70's after a nightmarish birth and with no advice, support or assistance from anyone in her family or hospital staff. My whole life I've known it's just what you do.

If for some reason I "couldn't" breastfeed, I'd get a friend, a wet nurse, or a milk bank for help. I would just as soon let my 5 year old drive a car than feed my baby artifical lab created junk food.

What I'm especially impressed with are mommas who maybe ff a first baby and then realize breastfeeding is their new choice with subsequent babies (or feeding in the case of above poster) Good job mama!
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#82 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 09:50 AM
 
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I was BF as a baby... so of course I gave my baby the best possible food source, mommy milk.
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#83 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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Without reading anyone else's posts ('cause it's more fun that way! ), I didn't think about it at all. There was nothing to decide for me, seriously. FF never even entered my mind as an option. (Don't mean this the wrong way but..) Anything other than breastfeeding seemed ridiculous to me, since that's literally the reason we have breasts and I'd never even considered anything else. And I'd never heard of the apparent phenomena of breasts not working.
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#84 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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Well, I looked at it this way: I live a healthy lifestyle. I read labels on my food. I won't buy something if it is filled with chemicals or harmful things. If I want orange juice, I will buy real orange juice, not orange "drink" with high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring.

I figured I owed the same to my baby: why get him artificial food that attempts to replicate breastmilk when I can give him the perfect food that is breastmilk?
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#85 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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My mom breastfed her children as had my grandmother and greatgrandmother, the lady next door and my aunts.

When my youngest brother came along mom had a very difficult c-section, what we now know as post partum depression and a child who could not latch properly. She was in so much pain she gave in to bottle feeding as was common in the early 1970s.

This baby of all of her children had terrible colic and was in the hospital several times. I was only about six at the time but I remember how terribly unhappy he was. My mom was unhappy too because she had to mix the formula from a recipe each day, bottle it and boil it on the stove to sterilize and seal the bottles. It was a lot of work. I didn't understand why she didn't nurse him like the past babies.

She became so depressed that she couldn't care for him and left to live with her parents.

Now she can talk about it and understands what went wrong. She was a very experienced breastfeeding mom who had a good support system. The entire family has always talked about how sick formula made this child. He is almost forty now and his children are breastfed and they follow CLW.

So I grew up knowing that it was really important to breastfeed and avoid formula at all costs.

I also have a sister who allowed formula to be given to her child in the hospital and the baby almost died. She broke out in blisters all over her body and was having difficulty breathing. Sister was a bf mom too but gave in to pressure to allow a bottle after a difficult birth.
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#86 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 11:15 AM
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When I was pregnant with DD I made the choice to try breastfeeding. My dh took a course at University in Breastfeeding, as part of his BSC in Nursing, during my last trimester, so we both learned a lot about how milk is made and nursing and so on. But I was really nervous about it because you do hear so many people talk about how they "couldn't" and how hard it was, I watched my mom struggle to bf a babe (who we now know was lactose intolerant, an issue that could have been solved with cutting dairy out of her diet, but we did not know that then) as he projectile vomited her milk and screamed in pain. I decided to commit to 6 months, then see where we were with it. My dh tried to convince me to commit to a year, but I told him to stop pressuring me and accepted formula samples "just in case".

My early hesitation to commit to bf was because I was so worried that I would not be able to and I just did not think I would handle the disappointment. I finally explained to my dh why I needed him to stop pressuring me, and he tried to understand that I was terrified of failing at something that seemed (to me anyway) to be such a innate aspect of motherhood. So I can totally understand why new moms are worried, and how pressure can basically send them to ff if things get difficult, it's why I try really hard not to harp on moms-to-be about bf, I give my advice and let them know that I am here if they need me.

Thankfully for me, bf went very well, I had lots of support and I nursed her until she was 20 mos, stopping when my pregnancy made it incredibly painful to keep going. And what I have learned since about formula companies made me very proud that my dd never had any, and that my son won't either.
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#87 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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It never really occoured to me NOT to. I decided while we were TTC that I was going to bf. Formula was never really an option...

It's not like I had culture pressing in on me to breastfeed. If anything the opposite because I had never met a single person that bf'ed...in fact I had a lot of pressure to supplament and even not breastfeed at all. Guess it's just the rebel in me. LOL.

Plus we didn't have a lot of money and I didn't want to get on WIC. So free stuff it was!

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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#88 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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Nobody in my family breastfed, except for one aunt, for a brief time.

For me it was/is an act of feminism, of acknowledging and utilizing the power of my body to sustain the life of my child. Very empowering. And I was not supporting formula companies who exploit other women in poorer countries. It was also about giving my child the best emotional and nutritional start in life, and about fostering secure attachment between us.

Love breastfeeding. Which is probably why I'm still doing it, 3.5 years later.
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#89 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 11:21 AM
 
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I was taught in nursing school that, "breast is best" and it really stuck in my head. Plus, I was lucky enough to work at a nursing unit prior to having my first baby in which there was almost a 100% BF rate of the nursing staff (the only non-BFer was the desk clerk), and they all pumped at work. It set the standard for me that it was, "the norm." Of course we ended up moving to a different state where BFing was not as common, but it did not change my mind.
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#90 of 148 Old 04-30-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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9 years ago nobody told me that BF and Formula were different. I honestly knew NOTHING about BF. I did try it cause my doctor told me to. I was young and decided it wasnt something I wanted to do. : I had no support from DH (than BF) and my own mother who nursed all of us till we were 15months didnt even share her stories or words of encouragement.

When I had my 2nd child it was 7 years later. I knew more and BF was natural to me. Now with #3 there wasnt even a choice.

When my DD gets to the child bearing years, I will be sure to encourage her. I already do.
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