Thursday, January 10, 2013

FOUR(!) Years Of Boobs

Or, the ups and downs of breastfeeding, from my point of view (looking down at a fuzzy noggin while little fingers investigate my nostrils and try to yank out the headphones).

Good:

  • They always eat.  My breastfed babies only stopped eating when they were really, really sick.  
  • They have a great sleep cue.  They both nursed before bedtime, though Tatoe gets put down awake at 9:30 so help me it's bedtime now, kiddo.  
  • It's very comforting.  Fall down?  Sad about life?  Have some boob, little one.
  • It's always there. Hungry on the go?  Have some boob, little one.
  • It's cheap.  Well, cheaper than formula.  In theory, free.  (HA!  Ha, ha ha ha ha.)
  • Doctors recommend it! It'll prevent the common cold, cure cancer, and cause world peace.
Bad:
  • When they won't eat, they won't eat anything.  No, really, not anything.  Because my kids both hated/hate bottles with a fiery passion. 
  • It's the only sleep cue.  Ever try to put a nursed-to-sleep baby to sleep without nursing him at all?  Takes a lot of retraining.  (I've done it.  Then I learned to put the second one down awake.)
  • It's the only comforting thing.  Tatoe wants Mama.  Accept no substitutes.
  • I'm always there.  I couldn't leave the damn house for FOREVER without hours of pitiful screaming, even with Dr. S, who looked after Bug for three months while I worked part-time.  Yep.  That was awesome. 
  • It's not actually cheap.  Between the two of them, I have had FUCKING THRUSH for a total of six months, and chronic mastitis for a year, and we're still counting until Tatoe is weaned.  (Probably another 6 months at least.)  In total, I have had sixteen doctor visits, twenty-nine separate prescriptions, seven sets of labwork, an 'outpatient surgical procedure' to snip Bug's tongue tie, six visits to the baby OT, and, I estimate, a grand total of around $7000... so far.  Granted, I didn't pay most of it, but I'm pretty sure formula would have been waaaay cheaper.
  • Doctors are ignorant and give idiotic advice. The IgGs in breastmilk mostly stay in the gut and prevent fatal diarrhea.  They don't shorten the duration of a cold, they don't prevent my baby from getting sick, except for dehydration, and they don't make him smarter.  Also, sure, my EBF dehydrated infant won't nurse, but he'll drink Pedialyte.  Riiiiight.  (No.  He will scream.)  See also: wrong growth chart, 'How much does he drink?', etc.

2 comments:

  1. I've definitely experienced the good of breast feeding, and a few of the bad (Thrush! But only for a month or so.) C1 took a bottle from necessity, and introduction to it from first few weeks, etc. I was home with C2, and too lazy, so I was definitely tethered to that little munchkin.

    On the smarter issue: isn't there some study explaining that breast fed babies are perhaps smarter because of all the extra skin contact? Touching babies stimulated brain development, something something, formula fed babies can get the same benefits if cuddled while feeding (aka Do Not prop baby with bottle!). If I were a better person I'd look it up.

    But on the upside, you're nearly done with that whole thing! For a while, if not forever. You will someday call your body your own! The children will stop needing you for every little thing, and you'll gladly purchase false affection by wearing a fuzzy bathrobe so your tactile-motivated children will snuggle you in the mornings. Or perhaps that's just me.

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  2. Funny, as I was nursing Bunlet last night, I was wondering how on earth something that went directly to his gut could possibly help with the cold I was having. AS I SUSPECTED! But hey, I'm all for preventing fatal diarrhea. Looking forward to seeing you wean someday!

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