I am so incredibly tired of the mommy debates.
swaddling vs. not swaddling
the “Cry It Out” method vs. rocking your baby to sleep
co-sleeping vs. crib sleeping
Pampers vs. Huggies
SAHM’s vs. working moms
organic vs. plain ‘ol Gerbers
I could go on and on. Every time I get online it’s like the self-proclaimed “crunchy” moms are trying to take on the world via every social media site available.
Does it really matter? I mean, seriously. When my baby turns 25, will she be upset with me because I didn’t lovingly make every meal of carrots and sweet potatoes? Will she stop speaking to me when she finds out that we gave her a pacifier that second night in the hospital? Do any of these things make me a bad mother?
The answer is no.
I haven’t even mentioned the most heated, and perhaps most infuriating, debate. I’ve avoided the topic on this blog simply because I don’t really want to deal with the backlash, but I’ve been inspired. It’s Fight Night here on Cotten Tales, and tonight we’re featuring the heavyweights:
Breastfeeding vs. Formula
dun dun dun…
I am so sick of the breast feeding moms who feel the need to share why “breast is best,” as if we didn’t already know. Come on. We all read the pregnancy books.
I’m so sick of the formula feeding moms who act like they’ve been bullied on the mommy playground. For God’s sake, stand up for yourself and your decision. We’re all big girls here.
The ability and willingness to feed a baby with your breasts does not make one woman superior over another. And really, is it that big of difference? According to the Ohio State University, that answer is no as well.
I have strong opinions and arguments for both sides of this debate. Instead of subjecting you to another rant one way or another, I want to share my story.
I planned to breastfeed. This decision stemmed from peer pressure – my mom breastfed me and my sisters, Courtny was advocating for breastfeeding, my mother-in-law was a lactation consultant at one point. I felt like I didn’t have a choice, even though I personally had reservations.
I researched obsessively throughout my pregnancy. I needed convinced that breastfeeding would be doable for me, and that it was worth it for our baby. I read the forums. I listened to other women gush about how wonderful breastfeeding is. I even bought a book by the La Leche League to read on our babymoon.
That book was the worst purchase of my life. I stopped reading when it said that a child should naturally wean themselves between the ages of 4-7 YEARS. If it wasn’t an electronic book, it would be floating in the Gulf of Mexico by now.
But I kept at it. I was going to breastfeed if it killed me. I didn’t want to let anyone, especially my unborn child, down.
Dorothy was born via c-section after a pretty traumatic labor. As soon as we got into a room we attempted to breastfeed for the first time, just like every book says to do. In a nutshell – it was an epic failure. I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’t move, let alone wrangle my raging baby. And my night nurse was TERRIBLE (the one and only bad nurse we had, and of course it was our first night with a new baby). But again, I kept at it.
The next day we met with the lactation consultant for most of the day. She pulled out all the stops, showing me different tricks and ways to hold my baby, but I was still failing. She then told me what every postpartum woman wants to hear (you know, since you’re feeling so beautiful 24 hours after giving birth) – I apparently have flat nipples. Awesome sauce.
We tried nipple shields (I believe these came straight from the devil). We tried the breast pump. We tried everything available. Dorothy just couldn’t latch well to me. The lactation consultant finally suggested that we supplement with formula.
So, Courtny and I would literally fight Dorothy to breastfeed on each side at every feeding and then ultimately gave her Similac. It was exhausting. Dorothy would scream bloody murder until she got the formula, and then she became a completely different baby. I began to feel like I was selfishly starving her because of my own desire to breastfeed.
When we got home from the hospital, it was becoming more and more apparent that breastfeeding was not going well. I was at my wit’s end. When Dorothy was four days old, I decided that I would pump exclusively. At least that way she would be getting my breast milk, but we wouldn’t have the battle every two hours.
Pumping lasted all of one day.
By the end of it, I was throwing the pump parts across my living room. I had a complete and total meltdown. I couldn’t do it. I was stressed to the max, and the last thing I wanted was to whip out my boob in public. It was at that point Courtny and I decided to formula feed Dorothy.
Plus, my milk only came in on one side – pretty sure that wasn’t going to work out.
We’ve never looked back. We made the best decision for our family, plain and simple. Our daughter is happy, healthy and full, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Plus, daddy being able to help out at 3 a.m. is definitely a perk.
So regardless of how you choose to feed your baby, as long as you’re not filling their bottle with Mountain Dew I would guess you’re probably doing a pretty damn good job. Your baby doesn’t know if you’re doing it wrong. In their eyes, everything you do is perfect.
Keep at it mommas, and please tone down the debates. We’re all in this together.
On to another topic: I have a barely-used breast pump for sale to the highest bidder… 🙂