I don’t think I could have understood all that goes into choosing to breastfeed our daughter before I actually gave it a whirl. I assumed that it was something that I’d just figure out. Well, it’s not really that easy to just figure out when our culture is so squeamish about the topic.
Women in Latin America openly breastfeed their youngsters in business meetings. Let’s just say that would be more than a little distracting in a corporate boardroom here in the states. Here, we hide. We hide under blankets, in bedrooms and in bathrooms. Maybe it’s embarrassing, or weird or private. I’m not sure. But the fact is, women don’t typically grow up around it and we don’t know what it really takes to make it through an entire year doing it.
Enter Dr. Jack Newman, a Canadian Doctor who is passionate about supporting breastfeeding mammas. I read his book at least twice while I was pregnant and referenced it several times during the first 3 months of trying to figure out supply/demand/latch/timing issues. His book provides some wonderful support for breastfeeding mammas and explains common problems and how to prevent and treat them.
Honestly, I never heard of mastitis or thrush until friends started having babies and began using these terms and battling these yucky issues. And, let’s be honest, it’s easier on multiple levels to use formula: 1. You know how much baby is drinking 2. anyone can feed baby 3. you don’t have to worry about these crazy side-effects
But, all that aside, everyone says that breastfeeding is best. When our daughter first arrived, I was just trying to make sure she was getting well fed. Is she pooping? Is she eating often enough? Why is she spitting up so much? (She had very bad reflux.) When did she eat last? Is she hungry? Tired? Hurt? Sad? Ugh!
But, as is bound to happen, we made it through the first couple of weeks without many problems. (The reflux was the worst of it.) And I have to give credit to Dr. Newman and his helpful book.
Breastfeeding isn’t for the faint of heart. Though it is one of the most womanly and nurturing acts a woman can do, it is also challenging and tiring. A woman who chooses to breastfeed will do well to study up, seek support and remain determined.