Friday, August 6, 2010

Breast vs. Bottle

As I've mentioned before, there are 4 women in my life who are also having babies within 6 weeks of my due date (all before mine). Well, a few more have been added to that list (due shortly after me) which makes me even more uneasy. So, as you can imagine there is a lot of typical talk of babies and parenting choices. One of the women who will go by the name of Bambi here was in my salon (she is a client and somewhat previous friend) talking about her scheduled c-section. We both agreed that since we can schedule our deliveries we'd like to do it on a Monday morning, for her it was the particular day that sounded good to her. For me, it is because most people will be working and it would give me time to come down off the morphine, get the catherter out and have some privacy while learning to breastfeed, before a borage of people come to see us. (That's probably NOT gonna happen for me because nothing is ever that easy)But hey, it's nice to dream once in a while that something might go my way. Anyway, she mentioned seeing a friend right after a c -section trying to breastfeed and she felt bad for her because she was frustrated. So, I asked -what I had no idea would be -a loaded question, "Did you breastfeed at all with (we'll call her) Daisy?" You would have thought I asked her if she committed a murder! Immediately she snapped back that she wanted no part of that, oh no, no way, she's heard too many horror stories and she will not be doing it with this child either. Plus she thinks it's just wrong that her husband wouldn't be able to feed their children. She went on and on then about a mutual acquaintance who's baby is still in bed with them at 17 months because she breastfed and now baby won't sleep in her own bed, she's too dependant on mommy blah blah blah ..... Then she asked me if I plan to breastfeed. I tried to lighten the mood a little by saying," Heck yeah, it's free food...we're cheap!"
Let me pause here for a moment. I guess you could say I'm in more of the "crunchy" or "granola" camp, but I in no way judge others who chose not to be in my camp. There are so many ideas and choices parents make in raising kids and the most important is they are loved and nurtured. Bottom line. We can all sit and debate on topics like attachment parenting, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping and nutrition. You get my point the list goes on and on and continues throughout early childhood, adolescence and beyond.
What makes me mad is when people remain ignorant about a choice that opposes theirs and criticize those who've made that choice! She is basing her decision to not breastfeed on two people she knows, which is fine with me, it's human nature. If that is the only experience she has with it and it clearly left her with a negative impression I can understand. So, when I said, "I hope all goes well and I am able to breastfeed, it's just something I really want to do." She said, snottily " Yeah, if I didn't have a bunch of kids running around then maybe I would, ya know if I was home alone. And, if I didn't want husband to be able to feed him."
I say, "I plan to pump too, so that I am not solely feeding her."
She says, "Yeah I just really don't want any part of it....blah blah blah," back to the same tirade as before only getting snottier!
Here's where I couldn't get her outta there fast enough... She starts to go on a tirade about co-sleepers (attach to your bed, like a pack-n-play) and how she's heard that even if your baby is put in those you'll never get them to sleep in the crib. She knows someone who's kid won't sleep in a room by himself and he's 18 months old, can't soothe himself ect. ect.... She then started bragging on her skills of not spoiling her kids from day one, they sleep in cribs from the day they come home from the hospital, they aren't super dependant on mommy and daddy, blah blah blah. I thought ah, the hell with it, she can belittle me all she wants, I said, "We have a co-sleeper." She responded with a SUPER snotty, "Well good luck with THAT! You'll never be able to put her in a crib, she will be sleeping with you for god knows how long. We just wouldn't have that!" And again, she repeated herself with more of the same vomit as earlier.
I just responded with, "Well, a lot of people ARE okay with that and I don't know if we will or won't be. "
And all the while her 5 year old was acting like a typical undisciplined child does. I have to tell her not to pull my mirror off the wall, not to take my shears off the counter, not to flip the lights off and on, not to stand on a cart with wheels while leaning up against a window, because mommy doesn't say a word, just watches her do it all. That's not to mention all she puts me through during the haircut. Maybe Bambi is snotty because I say something to her kid everytime she brings for a service. Sorry but I'd feel responsible for Daisy cutting a finger off in my salon!

My point in writing this is 1) I vented all this and more to my dear husband who didn't say a word, he does'nt get why I got so upset 2) to encourage others to look into why parents do what they do. I find it very refreshing that we have so many options for how we raise kids. If one way doesn't work, we can seek out other parents who have different ideas. We can be support to each other. And even when I don't agree I can be objective about it and not be so vocal.

Here's a few questions to you readers... What are some of the parenting choices you plan to make or have made and what kind of opposition have you expirienced? How do you handle it when someone disagrees with you?


  1. Hi Michelle, I just started following your blogs (both are beautiful). I lost my daughter 6 weeks ago (d/t infection also) and reading your blogs has helped me to have a little hope for the future. I wish you so much love and luck with this rainbow baby girl! :)

    I say who the hell cares how you choose to parent your baby, it's YOUR BABY! I am with you, I would just be happy to have a living, breathing baby to bring home one day, I will figure out the rest as it comes! Thinking of you!

  2. Okay ~ upon the soapbox I step...Just kidding.

    I breastfed (extended breastfed ~ meaning longer than 12 month). This was due to my knowledge that it was the best thing for my babies. Also, next time "Bambi" is in your chair...just tell her this:

    1. The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION has this on their home page, "Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond."

    2. The American Pediatric Association has changed policy in 2005, " The policy recommendations include:

    ~Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child.
    ~Mother and infant should sleep in proximity to each other to facilitate breastfeeding;
    ~Support efforts of parents and the courts to ensure continuation of breastfeeding in cases of separation, custody and visitation;
    ~Pediatricians should counsel adoptive mothers on the benefits of induced lactation through hormonal therapy or mechanical stimulation.
    Recognize and work with cultural diversity in breastfeeding practices.

    3. The average weening age for all children in all cultures in the world is age 4! Yes, it is true.

    4. Breast milk is 'alive'. It literally changes each nursing session to deliver exactly what your particular baby needs. Baby is sick, it provides increased immunities from mom's body. Baby is nursing more, breast makes more. Baby going through growth creates more fatty hind milk.

    5. Studies have been done comparing Intelligent Quotients of non breast fed and breastfed children. The breast fed children had an average of 10 points higher in IQ.

    6. Breastfeeding is NOT always Easy. IT is a learned behavior ~ a relationship ~ between mother and child. Many are frustrated with it and decide to stop. There are tons of resources available ~ the best is Le LECHE League. This is a free service to assist in learning (mother and infant) to breastfeed.

    Just some fun info. Now, in NO WAY do I judge what another does in the interest of their child. More power to them. However, I do think that a well educated decision is a better place to start from then 'what everyone else does.'

    Okay ~ we also co-slept, night nursed on demand, and I can tell you it was the right thing for our family. Both my husband and I agreed that it was what we wanted to do.

    We also choose not to participate in Vaccination. My husband has worked for a major Pharma company for 11 years and after extensive and exhaustive research...we have made our decisions. We have found pediatricians who support our choices and applaud us for them.

    We are the not the kind of people you would look at and say 'yep ~ crunchy.' In fact, we are about as average as they come...except we make different choices based upon our research from Mainstream society. I have family and friend who 'don't get it' and that is fine, but when ever we end up debating it...I can at least support our choices with research. Where all they usually throw out is ~ how convenient, easier, everyone else does it and they turned out 'ok.' arguments. Many even believe that the formula companies are altruistic and not big $ businesses looking at bottom line profit margins...but hey, they have lots of dollars to convince society they are 'better' than the breast through advertising.

    Now, I bet that someone out there will disagree with me...and that is fine. But, please in no way think that I another's choice to formula feed or inability to breastfeed or let the kid 'cry it out' is horrible. Again, everyone must do what is best for their children and families.

    But when Bambi opens her mouth again in that snotty way, I really hope that you do say something to her!

  3. OH I AM SO MAD! I just wrote this amazing post complete with documented study and arguments with supports for you to confront Bambi with...but it was TOO BIG! ARGH!

    Ultimately, do what you feel and believe to be best.

    I extended breastfed all my kids, co-slept, home birthed 2 out of 4, and choose not to vaccinate. We researched extensively each choice and made the best decision for our children.

    Stay strong in the knowledge that you are doing things based upon your research and out of the mainstream...and upon the love for your child. Just as we all do.

    If you want all the stuff I posted, I will email it to you.

  4. You know what's interesting is that I normally find the harsh judgement from the breastfeeding moms but I guess it goes both ways! I think breast is best but for some it's just not possible for instance, Cooper's hypotonia didn't allow him the ability to latch (it still takes us close to an hour to do a bottle at 9 months old!). I don't understand NOT breastfeeing if you can but who am I to judge as long as their baby is being fed!

    We didn't co-sleep because I sleep like the dead and was worried about rolling on him. I know lots that do for bf purposes. I also did tons of research on the increased risk of SIDS with co-sleeping and I just wasn't comfortable taking that risk. I do think that the co-sleepers that fit next to your bed though are great!

    We didn't bf or co-sleep but Cooper and I are extremely close! He also moved to his own crib at 3 months without a single problem!

    There are so many things though that parents, who am I kidding, mothers judge each other vs ff, some even goes as far to judge people who don't babywear and use a stroller, vax or don't vax, and if you do vax do you stick to the AAP schedule...the list goes on and on...

    The world will never change though because there will always be THAT mother that thinks she does everything right and that you're an idiot if you do things differently! I say as long as your baby is happy, healthy, and safe than we should all just mind our own business!

  5. ok NOW i get what your comment yesterday was about on the sounds like a wacko lmao....i know you were PISSED off at the "if i didnt have other kids running around' bit and that is probably what set you off on her opinions...Opinions are like A**holes, everyone's got one, but you dont need to share them...catch what im saying....she is telling you her point of view.

    as for me i was ALL ready and will do in the future (if i am blessed) to breast feed. I will have a baby in the cradle til they are ready to go to a crib. i wont care after that about the process because I HAVE A LIVING CHILD....i almost wonder some times if we are 'lucky' cause our rainbows will live a life filled with more appreciation from us because we know what is a big deal and what is not...i found that her kid running around the salon like its a park to be a BIGGER deal then him having to sleep in her bed at this age. But, what do i know, i DONT have a living child, she does so she CLEARLY knows everything (wink wink) i started this with she is a wacko!!!

    hopefully she doesnt need a haircut until later on lol

  6. I breastfeed both my girls, one till 20 months and the other till 18 months. We also co-slept till 14 months with both. Some people, especially family, had issue with it and I pretty much told them it was our family and our choice. Also gave them lots of facts to back up our choices.

    Just FYI with both my daughters breastfeeding started out REALLY rough and we needed assistance from a Lactation Consultant. The first 3 or so weeks was hard but if you push through it is so worth it both for the bounding and the health benifits.

    We vacinate our children but we spread out the shots and don't allow so many to be done at the same time. My doctor had issue with that but I told her that is what I felt comfortable with and if she didn't I could find another dr.

    We babywear but don't do cloth diapers as I am TOTALLY grossed out by poo. But if I wasn't I would as the current cloth diapers are super cute and user friendly.

    So sorry you had to deal with Bambi... she sounds very ignorant and insensitive. Maybe next time you should allow her daughter to cut her finger.