Sunday, September 12, 2010

Before I jump on my soapbox,I would like to announce that we are NOW breastfeeding pain free! I honestly do not which medication (or both?) is working, but something is and I am forever grateful! No more seething pain, no more agonizing engorgement. I am letting down even more easily than I was before all this drama began! Yesterday evening I applied our final dose of GV to my breasts, and lefty decided It was time to let down LOL. I HAD to hand express into a bottle! There was no stopping her. Got about 1/2 oz just from that!  And Righty followed suit. Luckily I was able to snatch Dalton first and latch him on. Of course, it made purple disaster. I look like I got in a fight with a room of finger painting preschoolers. Its all good though! I would gladly be purple for the duration if it means my BF relationship is intact.  I will probably look into grapefruit seed extract and lechticin as well. Preventative care may be the ticket to keeping my ducts free and clear.

I may have some lofty opinions about BF. Not because I feel like I am an expert, lol. 9 weeks of pure BF hell has left me somewhat more educated, however I will not pretend i know more than the experts. But I am troubled by the advice that is given to mothers about BF. Specifically about their supply level and the things that can sabotage it. I do not argue the basics. Yes, you must BF (or pump) to make milk. Yes, it is supply and demand. Yes, most women DO make enough to satisfy their little ones.

I was reading something earlier this morning; a small bit of advice dolled out to an acquaintance. It really upset me. Basically the mom was worried she was not making enough (aren't we all?) and was just looking for support. She admitted to giving EBM a few times a day in a bottle. Then the advice came, and it to me it was so..ugh. "You may be losing your BF relationship" "Your supply will suffer greatly." It made my stomach turn. Here was a person who was OBVIOUSLY succeeding at BF, but a first time Mom and a bit nervous. She needed support, encouragement and a pat on the back. NOT some diatribe about losing her supply because she pumped off some milk to feed her baby at night.

 THERE IS NOT JUST ONE WAY TO BF YOUR CHILD. There are SO many variations. Some BF a little, some exclusively. Some pump, some bottle feed, some supplement. Bottom line, a Mother MUST find a groove that works for her and the baby. And it is not always going to fall into the lines of the "perfect" breastfeeding recipe.

Maybe because I have to supplement I am more lax on the issue? I just cannot stand to see these women being told at every corner and turn that their milk is gonna dry up if they miss a feeding. Or give a bottle. Or sleep for 5 hours. It's WRONG and in my opinion very bullying advice. For the last 9 weeks, I have had every single BF issue there is to have. And I have used a bottle, missed feedings, stopped BF'ing for days at a time, missed pumping opportunities, skipped BF'ing just CUZ I DIDN"T WANNA!  And well, I still have MILK!  And just as much  milk as I have had the entire time. Hell, even more now (that may be the DPD working though.)

So badly, I want to write a book or force women to read my blog. I want them to see that while those books do have the absolute scientific facts behind BF, there is nothing in those books that help a woman feel OK about their "own way." I spent the first month in an absolute panic thinking that if I even farted in the wrong direction I was gonna dry up and starve my child. I really really think this is the WRONG approach to encouraging breastfeeding. We should not be made to FEAR it. We should be taught to understand the things that can go wrong and how to remedy them. But not fear mongered. Breastfeeding should be approached with respect and knowledge but in a relaxed manner. Know that troubles may happen and if they do, HERE is your arsenal of information to help you through.

On the flip side of the coin that same advice makes it sound as if you just BF and BF and BF that is going to be the magic that makes your relationship flourish. It is made to be so simple... put the baby next your boob. Baby will magically latch on, eat till he's full and go to sleep. Repeat every 1.5 hours or so. HA!!! Its the answer to everything it seems. Again, not arguing the scientific facts of BF. But hell no it is not the way it goes for everyone. There are only 5,000,000 variations on how your BF relationship will go... and I really feel like that is misrepresented.

OK enough rambling on. In summary, DO NOT make women scared to BF. Encourage them to find their own rhythm. Remember that your BF relationship is unlike anyone Else's. No fear mongering about supply...seriously enough of that crap. This is not the 1800's, nor is it the plains of Africa. We DO have options, and they can and should be safely excercised if need be. ENCOURAGE ENCOURAGE ENCOURAGE. NO more fear people. NO MORE FEAR.

1 Comment:

  1. Katie and Benn said...
    (this is katiewillis from pg.org)

    I totally agree with you! I find myself worrying so much about supply, and I think it's partly from pregnancy websites and people telling me horror stories about what WILL happen if I mess one little thing up or don't do it the 'right' way.

    Anyway, glad you're nips are feeling better :)

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