I was reading some random bla bla bla political bla bla bla this morning, mainly glossing over it for pertinent bits of information when I came across this little gem:
"A 2010 cost analysis of low breast-feeding levels published in the American Academy of Pediatrics' medical journal Pediatrics found that if 90% of U.S. families followed medical recommendations to breast-feed for six months, "The United States would save $13 billion per year and prevent an excess (of) 911 deaths, nearly all of which would be in infants."
Bear with me here, I don't ever think that someone should be told what to do with their own bodies and I am certainly not a bastion of perfection as far as mothering goes.
But- if you decide to carry your child in your body and deliver them with your own strength and power, why the heck wouldn't you want to feed them from your body as well?
I understand that a lot of women decide not to breastfeed and that is their choice.
I just don't understand why not. I'll be the first to admit that breastfeeding is very hard, I gave Rosey a bottle for two weeks because some asshole Pediatrician (doctors aren't gods, you have to trust yourself as well) told me that I didn't have enough milk for her. Her recommendation? Give the baby a bottle of formula before I nurse her. I get seriously red in the face just thinking of this jerk telling other young, naive mothers just like I was the same thing and screwing up their chances of successfully breastfeeding.
Sooooo, if your body makes more milk depending on how often and how long you nurse your baby for, nursing the baby less will make you lose your milk completely. But even though I totally understood the concept, I felt like the Doc must know something that I didn't.
At 20 years old I was just a baby myself and despite my gut feeling, I gave Rose formula and it was horrible. The stuff actually stinks, bottle preparation, cleaning and sanitizing is such a pain in the ass. She was gassy, constantly vomiting and after trying three different types of formula and spending nearly $200 in two weeks, I was at my wits end.
I got a giant black garbage bag, packed up every bottle and every bit of formula and threw it all away. I went to Blockbuster and rented 10 movies. I came home, set up camp on my couch, complete with giant jugs of water and gatorade, snacks, movies and video games. I nursed then two month old Rosey straight for eight hours. She wasn't getting enough milk so I just kept on and kept on. She loved the attention and it was so surreal, just holding her for that long and staring at her.
Finally during the credits of The Ninth Gate with Johnny Depp, I felt this wave of heat flush my face and through my chest. Rose began gulping in surprise and then finished drinking in five minutes. I put her on the other side and the same thing happened.
I looked down at her and for the first time ever she had fallen asleep nursing, one thick drop of breastmilk dripping from the corner of her tiny little mouth. It was one of the most joyous moments of my life. I find myself thinking back on that time and actually yearning for it.
If you are considering breastfeeding and are leaning towards not doing it, or if you are currently breastfeeding and you think it's too hard, just trust me. It is well worth every bit of work and hardship you endure to accomplish your goal.
In two years you'll be crying because it's time to wean!