Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Write It Out: Nursing

It's surprisingly hard to produce readable English on a tablet.  But, you know, I need to write to retain my sanity.  So forgive us our linguistic trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

I feel most amazingly trapped.  In large part by breastfeeding, which prevents me from, say, gardening, or going to the gym, or knitting, or going to knitting, or... you get the idea.  I know that this too shall pass, but if people would stop telling me I'll miss it, I'd be grateful.

In related news, Sweetpea has consented to take a bottle three! whole! times!  In retrospect, however, right after she rolled over the first time (and was consequently in a righteous fury) was not the best time for today's bottle.  So far, so goaty. (Not a typo; this.  Due to my cow dairy allergy and her eczema I was hesitant to give her cow or soy yet.)

Because I'm a terrible mother, I also gave her a little banana today at 4.5 months.  She loved it, and I was getting tired of the piteous crying every time she smelled food.

This may be a product of my trapped depressed feeling like nobody listens to me and my mommying work has no value to me.... but I kind of want to become a lactation consultant.  It would take me at least eight years, I estimate, since this would be a seriously part time endeavor.  It's somewhat problematic that the main route now is as a LLL leader, since I'm cruelly weaning my baby (slowly) with a complete disregard for how I should be a miserable milk machine for her sake until next December.  How dare I prioritize my own needs?  Nonetheless.  This is born in part from the feeling that there should be more LCs in the world who say 'It's okay to wean your baby.  It's okay to hate nursing or even just dislike it. It's okay to NOT nurse your toddler on demand if you don't want.  Nursing does not have to be a magical bonding experience. All that HAS to happen is your baby HAS to be fed something.  Breastmilk probably has minimal real benefits.  If you want to breastfeed I will do my best to help, support, and educate you, but if you choose not to, or to add in formula, I will also help, support, and educate you.  And I will try to help you feel good and not guilty about your choices because breast is not always best.' And it is also born of the feeling that I have never met a LC - except my doctor in Cold State- who actually said those words to me.  (In fact she said something like, a chronic infection with severe pain is a medically indicated and completely reasonable reason to wean your child, and I will help you as best I can until you are ready to wean him.  So good for her.)

14 comments:

  1. At this stage of my life, most of my friends have grown kids. I can remember when we all had babies — and there was so much angst and discussion over issues like what to feed the kids, when to introduce cereal, child-raising techniques etc. We almost all did things differently. I breastfed my last child for almost three years while one of my closest friends formula-fed all of her children. And we had lots of friends in between, many who did some kind of hybrid breastfeed-at-night, formula-feed during the day combination. At the time, we all worried so much about what we were doing and whether we were doing it right. It seems silly now, looking back, since all of our kids turned out great, despite the fact that we all did things differently.

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    1. The more my kids grow up and become their own little people, the less I think such things matter at all. Especially about food.

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  2. Anonymous1:37 PM

    You would be a fabulous LC: we *do* need more who would say exactly what you wrote! Better a happy mom with a bottle-fed babe than a miserable breastfeeding mom. Also, I did not miss BF at all once my baby was weaned, and he didn't seem to even notice.
    Re: introducing solids. You've probably already seen this, but here's a reassuring link that goes through the evidence. Turns out, there's actually some benefits to introducing solids a bit early:
    http://scienceofmom.com/2015/05/14/starting-solids-4-months-6-months-or-somewhere-in-between/

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    1. Jenny F Scientist1:50 PM

      Alice is one of my favorites! I would hand out her book in bulk if I thought the target nutjobs would read it.

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  3. A major upside of you becoming an LC: you've already experienced most of what can go wrong while BF'ing, so you'd be excellent at troubleshooting!

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  4. You'd be a kick-ass LC!
    I so remember the feeling of being trapped (and that was just with one baby, no older siblings fighting just out of reach). And while I miss being able to claim that my only job was taking care of the baby, I do very much like my regular adult interaction and getting out of the house - much as I love said baby. Thus, the fact that I'll be a SAHM from next month on is slightly scary.
    Also, I do wonder how nursing mothers survived before tablets. They probably weren't home alone though...

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    1. I personally found after I quit my job that I HAD to find other people, usually other parents with babies BC everyine else is at work, to hang out with. Hard if you know you're leaving soon though?

      I think they were not alone!

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  5. Anonymous3:28 PM

    What's wrong with banana?
    Here (Europe) it's recommended to start introducing solids (and that's not some weird rice-milk-concoction, but actual food like bananas, potatos, carrots) from 4 months on, if the child indicates that she/he is ready for it. And one reason (apart from making baby and parents happy) is the possible prevention of food allergies/sensitivities. (Did not check the link posted above, maybe it's mentioned in there?)

    I am sorry to read you struggle (again) with breastfeeding. For me (though quite complication-free) breastfeeding has presented me with the most obvious clash between my scientific-rational me and my emotional-irrational side. Kind of interesting to observe...

    Good luck, whereever you are going from here with feeding your baby!

    Nina (somehow I have a problem placing my name on top. Please don't delete me despite the "anonymous")

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    1. Nothing is wrong with banana! And judging from the baby's repeated enthusiasm, as in she grabs my finger to suck more mushy banana off it, she's a fan. But the AAP and LLL are, er, adamant about no food before six months. Rabidly opposed, even. To which I say, bah.

      Due to my own severe/possibly life threatening food allergies, I've read through the literature on baby feeding and food allergies with a keen interest! That peanut study was quite convincing. The problem is that there's so little data on inheroted-predisposition-to-whatever allergies (my mother, sister and I all have a true, adult-onset dairy allergy) not least because low penetrance, highly pleiomorphic phenotypically, low incidence, etc. Though it's worth noting that my mother strictly avoided dairy with my sister throughout breastfeedinf and didn't give her cow milk until 17 mos and she has the most severe allergy of all of us, so clearly that didn't work. So far, though, Sweet pea seems fine with the goat milk aside from a little spitting up prob due to air from bottle.

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  6. I just discovered your blog and am here to say SO MUCH YES to this post. I'd love to see more LCs who could support breastfeeding (and not breastfeeding) without all the woo. My experience with breastfeeding has been fairly positive, but I wish someone would've told me earlier that it's OK, once your milk supply is established and your baby is gaining weight well, to nudge your kiddo onto a nursing schedule.

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    1. I also all for nudging. Sweetpea just got nudged for 15 minutes because I was eating lunch! I think it's part of my whole one sentence parenting philosophy: it's okay for adults to have and prioritize their own needs, too, sometimes. Things we learn with 2+ children.,..

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  7. GASP! I also think you'd be a brilliant LC. Experience of a crazy variety! Background in science and an ability to parse research! I look forward to seeing whether this dream sticks. I can imagine you helping a lot of people. (Oh, but for the record, you're not just supposed to be a miserable milking machine till December 2015. It's till December 2016 at least. Please. Why would you think a year is enough?)

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    1. Ha ha. You're totally right! Until she goes to preschool at LEAST!

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