Before I get on top of my soapbox, I have to thank my friend Dana for helping to break me out of my non-money-saving rut. She gave me an excellent money saving tip this morning- try cutting kitchen sponges in half. Usually, you only use the outside of a sponge, making the middle of the sponge useless. Cut that sponge in half, and you have twice the usage!!! Seems really simple- one of those tips that makes me wonder why I didn't think of it years ago when I got my first kitchen...
My sister gave me some information today on an author that wrote about raising babies and how to handle that, which of course is a huge industry! And there are so many different theories and ideas on this. I tend to think that there are not many right or wrong answers when it comes to babies and kids, as long as your kids are happy, safe, and healthy. Anyhow, I started to Google this author and her methods for more information, but most of what I found were scathing reviews, tearing the author down for suggesting the use of formula for babies. This took me back to when I had Lucy and tried nursing...
I had not taken any classes to prepare for nursing, because I assumed like many others that nursing would come naturally to me. Well, it did not. And frankly, I don't see how it would be natural to many first time moms! Not only are you learning to hold the baby, but trying to hold the baby in such a way as to latch, and keeping the baby awake- it's all a lot to take in! But I tried, and tried, and tried, and tried... We had gotten two successful feedings at the hospital, and I was counting my success by the fact that it lasted 2 - 3 minutes each time. I was visited by the lactation consultants, who assured me that if I just tried more, it would get easier, but that I had to keep trying. They were actually a bit stressing and made it seem as if I was not trying hard enough. We were sent home on the 4th day, and I had no better luck at home. By the next day, we were at the pediatrician's office, and I was bawling because the pediatrician had decided that the baby was losing too much weight, was dehydrated, and was not getting enough food.
This is where I got the best advice I have ever gotten in regards to nursing, or child care in general. The pediatrician, after handing me a tissue, told me that she could tell I was doing everything I could and was being a good mom, but that it was more important that I was happy, and that the baby was happy because I was happy, than it was to nurse. And then she gave me many, many formula samples.
Now, I am not pro-formula, and I am not pro-nursing. But I think it is unacceptable that this was the very first instance of someone telling me it was OKAY to not nurse, and that they knew I was trying, but there is nothing wrong with failing at nursing. I know it isn't exactly the job of the lactation consultants to tell you this, but I think that there is way too much of a dividing line between nursers and formula moms. I don't understand why a war needs to exist between the two groups. Nursing only moms are brutal to mothers that use formula, and mothers that use formula act like nursing moms are nuts! Frankly, if there is something that a new mother does not need, it's undue stress about feeding.
Nursing is wonderful - it's natural, it's healthy, and it's FREE! But formula is great, too - it provides the necessary nutrition, is convenient, and has worked for many generations. So why are women made to feel as if they have to choose one over the other, and pick sides in a baby battle?
I wish nothing but luck to mothers that want to nurse. But please remember that it is okay to try, and it is okay to fail. It is okay to decide two weeks in that you don't want to put forth the effort and would rather do formula. And to all of you formula moms out there- please don't make your mom-to-be friends feel as if they are crazy for trying nursing. Be a supportive friend- not a negative one.