Friday, December 09, 2005

Dash is weaned; a rant at boob-nazis

For good or bad, 50% of mothers in the United States today begin formula feeding at their child's birth, and by 6 months, 70% are formula feeding. If your child is nursing at six months or nine months or even a year, big CONGRATULATIONS!! are due both of you. You are in a small group of 30% who are able to keep breastfeeding going in the U.S.

My decision to wean my son and switch to formula was NOT lightly made. My daughter was exclusively breastfed until she was nine months, and I found that it was an easy transition. However, with Dash, it really was a struggle to produce enough milk to keep up with his demand. I was working and pumping in both cases, so I don't know what changed (my age?). So this time, I altered my diet, I took vitamin supplements, I took galactagoges, I had consultations with lactation consultants, I spoke with and emailed La Leche League representatives but despite all my efforts, my supply kept dropping.

There were also nosy people in my office who asked me once or twice a week, "so how long are you going to be pumping?" or "you've really been at that pump long enough, don't you think?" Comments like this really stressed me out. Also, Dash was getting bottles all day at daycare, so when we swiched to the boob at home, it wasn't always his favorite thing, which was stressful for both of us. When Dash was five months old, in a 10-hour period I only expressed 5 ounces at work, and I knew that was it for me; it wasn't even enough to fill one bottle and he was taking 4 to 5 bottles a day. I did some informed research and found what I decided was the best formula to start him on. He still nursed upon waking and before bed until right before he reached 6 months, then he rejected nursing entirely and I gave it up. I WISH we were still breastfeeding. It was so convenient, a wonderful way to bond, and inexpensive. But it didn't work out like it did with my daughter.

Moms, please, let's attempt to be supportive of all the hard decisions that we make as moms! Parenting is hard enough without being attacked your peers.

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