Mum can't stop breastfeeding | Supernanny



Attention Moms: It's OK to Stop Breastfeeding

I was lying on an exam table trying not to look as a surgeon drove a giant needle into the side of my breast to aspirate the rock-hard clogged milk duct inside. Both of my breasts were engorged to porn-star status, and the pain that radiated from them took my breath away. This was my third bout of mastitis — a serious infection that I later learned was caused by MRSA, a potentially fatal strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. I was at the end of my rope.

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That's when the doctor uttered the five most magical words I'd heard since giving birth: "It's okay not to breastfeed." Actually, she shouted them. "If it were 1907, your child would die if you didn't breastfeed," she said. "But it's 2007. We have choices, people!" When I got home from her office, I put on two sports bras, shoved frozen peas down my chest, and stopped the insanity. I had made it through almost a month of breastfeeding my newborn son, and I was done. Forever.

For me, this was a happy day, not a sad one. When we were little girls, my older sister used to pretend to nurse her baby dolls. As she lifted up her shirt and shoved their matted-up heads onto her 7-year-old chest, I'd roll my eyes and groan. Then I'd go back to throwing elaborate dinner parties for Barbie and Ken. Needless to say, I did not grow up into one of those women who fantasized about someday nursing my child. When I got pregnant in 2006, after six years of treatment for a chronic form of leukemia, I had to stop taking the pill that keeps me in remission for the duration of my pregnancy. My oncologist said I could breastfeed for a bit, maybe six weeks, before resuming the medication. I was not terribly heartbroken to have such a small window of time to nurse. If I'm being completely honest, I was relieved. I felt lucky that I was even able to have a child after having cancer. Breastfeeding? It would be a bonus, but not a necessity.

The History Behind the Controversy

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Little did I know I'd wind up getting sucked (pardon the pun) into the judgment-filled, angst-ridden world of Breast Is Best. Browse any parenting book, blog, or newspaper these days and you can't miss the message: "Breast milk is the gold standard!" "Got breast milk?" "Human milk for human babies!" For decades, formula-feeding — considered modern and convenient — was so commonplace that doctors gave new mothers hormone shots to prevent their breast milk from ever coming in. If you breastfed in the 1950s, in fact, you were frowned upon for not being progressive. But the pendulum has swungfarthe other way.

La Leche League, a breastfeeding advocacy group, rose to prominence in the 1980s and '90s by helping mothers to nurse, yes, but also by making such overwrought assertions in the press as "Formula circumvents nature's plan!" In 1997, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised its recommendations for breastfeeding, urging mothers to nurse exclusively for the first six months and to continue breastfeeding, supplemented with other foods, for one year. The Department of Health and Human Services followed suit a few years later with "breastfeeding awareness" ads that equated the dangers of formula-feeding with riding a mechanical bull while nine months pregnant.

The most recent data show that nearly 74 percent of women try breastfeeding, a rise of 50 percent since 1973. This is great.Breastfeedingis great. The problem is, breastfeeding advocates have become so anti-formula that they are alienating moms who don't, or often can't, do it. And as a result, the bottom line — the fact that we're all trying to raise healthy babies — has gotten completely lost.

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Parental Peer Pressure

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One of the biggest mistakes I made was signing up for a breastfeeding how-to class a few weeks before my due date. It wasn't the creepy plastic practice babies or the public boob touching that bothered me. It was the fear that the "lactation specialist" was very clearly trying to instill in a room full of already terrified parents-to-be. The first half hour was devoted to a PowerPoint presentation on all the horrible things that would go wrong with our children if we didn't nurse them: They'd get cancer, they'd be dumb, they'd get colds, they'd have ear infections, they'd be antisocial and probably very poorly behaved. Oh, and they'd be obese. My kid wasn't even born yet and already I had to worry about his lack of portion control? Next we watched a movie that could have been titledBreastfeeding and the City, in which four moms sat around sipping tea and chatting about the joys of nursing. My husband and I snuck out before the credits and went for Italian food.

When I mentioned this ridiculousness to a coworker, she didn't bat an eye. In fact, she advised me to write myself a letter before I even gave birth, telling the mom me that it was okay to stop breastfeeding — because when the time came, she warned, I would be so racked with guilt about even thenotionof not nursing that I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I remember thinking she was nuts. I thought I was above all that mushy mom stuff, that I wouldn't be swayed by the Breast Is Best brainwashing spewing from every baby website — and doctor's office — I visited.

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But Iwasswayed — in fact, I nearly toppled over. It's easy to fancy yourself a certain type of mother when your child is an unnamed bump in your belly. But once you meet him and see how tiny and sweet and dependent he is on you, the stakes get much higher. You're vulnerable, impressionable, and sleep-deprived, and it becomes impossible not to replay every article you've read on the supremacy of breast milk over formula. Or obsess about how the decision you make today will affect your kid 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. Suddenly you start listening to everyone's opinion — the pediatrician's, sure, but also your mom's, and even that of the mom in the waiting room who asks if you're breastfeeding, then smiles approvingly or flashes an alarmed, what-kind-of-mother-are-you look, depending on your answer.

Saying Goodbye to Breastfeeding

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I had my son, Alex, at 11:04 in the morning. By 1 p.m., he was latched on and happy (though, according to the breastfeeding class, I'd already failed because so much time had passed before feeding him). I was seeing stars. I'd heard that nursing could be difficult for many women to master, but I'd figured,Not me. I beat cancer!I'd been a college athlete; I'd taken the damn breastfeeding class (half of it, anyway). How hard could it be? Well, nothing could have prepared me for the knife-piercing pain that shot through my body every time my son wanted to eat, which, P.S., was every two hours.

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By day three, my nipples were so bloody and cracked that I happily paid a lactation consultant 0 to come to my apartment and teach me to do this thing that I was allegedly born to do. She was worth every penny. She showed me several positions and tricks to make it not feel like I had a sucker fish pulling on an open wound. She also showed me how to use a pump to pull milk from my breast into a bottle, since one nipple was too mangled to expose to the air, let alone to my very hungry kid. And with her adjustments, everything worked perfectly. I could almost (almost) see how women might enjoy nursing. Then she left, and things went downhill fast. I made enough 911 calls to her over the next few days that I started to feel like a stalker.

Eventually, using her recommended creams, shields, and gel inserts, I learned to endure the agony that came with most feedings. About a week in, I got mastitis for the first time: I suffered a 104-degree fever, uncontrollable shakes, and severe pain for two days. I couldn't understand how I could have a clogged anything, since my breasts seemed to drip like leaky faucets 24/7. Then I got mastitis again, and I lost it. Why was this process, touted as being so healthy and beautiful andnatural, turning me into a sickly, pissed-off cow?

It was the third bout of infection that finally sent me to the doctor who saved my life, and my sanity, by reassuring me that I had choices. Choices as in formula. Which, contrary to what some extremists insist, is not poison. Nor is breast milk some magical elixir that will give a kid superpowers. In fact, my sisters and I were breastfed until we were a year old, and two out of three of us wound up getting cancer. (Oh, how I wish I could go back to breastfeeding class to share that tidbit.)

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I am in no way anti-breastfeeding, but I now know that it's not for me — and that that's okay. I just had my second baby, and after nursing for 36 hours, I stopped. I needed to go back on my cancer drug, sure, but that's not the only reason. The pain was nauseating, I didn't enjoy it, and I wanted my husband to be able to split the middle-of-the-night feedings with me. So I switched to formula, which my daughter gulps happily. And I have zero guilt about it — though it took me a lot of trauma to get here. As a new mommy friend recently told me, "Formulais not the F word." And she's right. Alex is now 21/2 years old and thriving. He's had only one ear infection, is not overweight or antisocial, and, if you ask me, he's a genius. But what do I know? I'm just his mother.






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Date: 19.01.2019, 00:59 / Views: 51455