Let’s start with naming our baby so you see where I’m coming from. I did not share my daughter’s name choice with anyone, including my own parents, after an early option garnered so many negative opinions. (The name at that point was Emily, not Chocolate Chip Cookie or anything like that.) We ended up liking a name a lot better that we choose so believe me it wasn’t negativity that changed our mines. However I am of the firm belief that opinions that might shoot down someone’s hopes or dreams should be kept to yourself unless specifically asked, and even then try to be nice about it.
Anyhow let’s now get to today’ blog. Breast feeding versus bottle versus both.
The breastfeeding ‘lactation’ consultants and the hospital doctors who were too busy to see my daughter the day she was born. (Yes the doctor that came to my room the day my baby was born literally said ‘I’m too busy to wait’ and demanded I take the baby off my breast as he came into the room.) None of these people explained that my daughter had a tongue tie or what that meant. I was told but when you are in the hospital, no one explained to me so I could make choices.
I was also NOT told that I had to tell the nurses if I wanted the baby fed a bottle or not. To me this is INSANE. As a first time mother, yes i wanted to breast feed but more important than my wants is FEEDING my daughter. I knew she was ripping my breasts apart and that I was heavily bruised and bleeding (this is far more than the normal amount.) If someone told me I had the option to give her a bottle, I would have. In a heart beat. Not because I don’t want to breast feed, but I knew something was wrong.
Nutrition matters far more.
Yet the amount of judgment women get for their choice for what they do at home is insane. Let me put it this way when someone says ‘breast is best.’ I was bottle fed myself. I went to Harvard and I am pretty sure Enfamil didn’t hurt me in anyway. (My mother had inverted nipples.) But I also understand the benefits of breast feeding and I’m not knocking it. I wanted to. I went back to the lactation consultants after a frantic rush to an ENT doctor to take care of the tongue tie. It’s a 10 second procedure by the way and my daughter didn’t cry at all. 10 seconds of a doctors time. Perhaps 50 seconds for the nurse to prep. So in under a minute, everything was normal. No stitches. No blood. My grandma thought the hospital should have done this too.
However the day before when I saw my daughter’s doctor and she told me we must go on formula to feed the baby, who was 3 days old and yes I was home. (The hospital also refused to weigh my daughter the day I was to leave. There were a hundred excuses thrown at my.) My daughter lost more than 10% of her body weight in 3 days. I found out at the pediatrician. My senses had told me already something was wrong but no one told me even that I had the option to say ‘feed her a bottle’ when I was in the hospital. Yes I should have demanded but I also should have been informed of the option.
Now that we’re home and everything is fine, I am not clued in on the breast versus bottle debate. I had to do both. I wanted my daughter to be healthy and happy. Her life matters more. I still do both, though I’m in the ‘exclusively pumping’ club too which is also something people dare give opinions on. For me, I needed to give my body medicine to heel the wounds.
(Next time I talk about feeding, I’ll also give my opinion on how Ameda is a better pump than Medela, despite the hype. Size matters and Ameda gives the mother options in the box. My insurance paid for pump had unusable size for me that also tore me up.)
The difficulties mothers face and we all have different stories but the end result is ‘feed the baby.’ Opinions of others where they express their belief can be so hurtful to other mothers. I know a younger new mom who cried and doesn’t tell anyone her story on why she had to bottle feed. No one should ever cry or be made to feel that they are doing a bad job. To me, that’s not right. How dare anyone express a hurtful opinion that only hurts someone. If you have firm opinions, they are still just that… your opinion. And I just feel so awful that not everyone has my loud voice.