Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

Breastfeeding

One of the things I regret most about my early days as a Mom was not being able to breast feed my daughters. I pumped for the first 8 weeks which led to a viscous case of mastitis (including a 103 temp which scared the hell out of my husband). I stopped with a great deal of sadness. I think a lot about what I missed out on. I obviously bonded with my girls but I didn't get that amazing experience of sustaining them with my own body.

In a recent poll in parenting magazine they asked Moms if they would breast feed another woman's baby. (The results were 67% No and 33% Yes.) This got me to thinking a little. I guess for me it would depend upon the circumstances. Donating expressed milk to babies in a NICU... I would do that in a second. Having someone elses baby latched on... that just seems weird. Research has proven that food and contact do not need to happen at the same time for bonding (remember Harlow & Zimmerman's wire monkey) so why would you need to physically breast feed another person's child?

6 comments:

Anonymous 3:33 PM  

I feel the same way. I even feel odd about the idea of feeding another child your own breastmilk in a bottle$. To my way of thinking, it is a bodily fluid intended for a specific purpose--to feed one's own child. I think that the time spent with your baby is more important than the breastmilk anyways. If you can do both, well great. I think that all these women pumping their brains out at work and getting all stressed over it are foolish. There are no studies showing that pumped breastmilk in a bottle is any better for a child than formula. It is the time with mom that matters most, which is chipped away at everytime mom is hovered over a breastpump.
~Anon C

Mich 4:14 PM  

I thought all the studies showed that breastmilk is more nutritious than formula...

I also feel odd about the idea of sharing my breastmilk with someone else's baby. I always assumed that if we were to adopt that we'd feed that child formula for this very reason.

However, if it is proven that NICU babies benefit from any breastmilk and I had an over supply then I would definitely donate it, despite the fact that I would still think it odd.

MrsSpock 9:10 PM  

I'm with you on this one. I would donate, but would feel REALLY weird about someone else's kid latched on to me. Never mind the fact that my fibro causes vasospasms in my you know whats, and BF was a sad failure for me too.If it was my kid drinking someone else's milk- only after it had been tested for hepatitis and HIV.

Anonymous 12:28 AM  

There are lots of studies on the nutritional value of breast milk fed directly from the breast (many of which emphasize the bonding aspects of the act) and some linking pumping with an extended period of breastfeeding, but none on pumped milk fed in a bottle--especially milk that's been frozen. I only know of one study being done (UC San Diego on preemies and breast milk) but thus far it's just been a bunch of pump salespeople making their quota.

Anyone interested should read the below article. Kind of interesting take on this whole breast pumping phenomenon--like we've all been duped--here we should have been fighting for longer maternity leaves and instead we're just happy to have a sad little room at work to pump in. Way to go women's lib!

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/01/19/090119fa_fact_lepore

~Anon C

Mich 10:25 AM  

Oh yeah! That's another great topic to discuss, Kris! The topic of how crappy our maternity leave rules are in this country. Most mothers only get 5 weeks of paid leave and most husbands have to take personal time. It's awful.

Well, I read the article and I agree that we've been duped. I think women are proud by the fact that they found a way to work and still give their babies the benefit of breastmilk. Although, apparently there is no benefit of pumped breastmilk...

I'm bothered by your statement about how there aren't any studies done to prove the nutritional value of pumped breastmilk (& frozen breastmilk). I'm not bothered that you made the statement, I'm bothered that I can't prove otherwise. I can't seem to find any research to prove otherwise in my quick search. That is very bothersome to me. Why am I so proud then to have a freezer full of frozen milk?! It's my emergency stash... I just assumed it was equally as nutritious.

Hmm, I'm going to continue my search...I just can't understand why pumped milk looses its nutritional value...

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

There's full reason to believe that pumped milk is equally or almost equally as nutritious as milk directly from the breast, but there just have been no studies done to prove so. In fact, breast feeding in general has been understudied compared to other aspects of parenting and childhood nutrition. Curious is all.

Per the NYorker article, I also think it's curious that the American Academy of Pediatrics and almost any medical professional you can find will tell you that breast feeding to the first year is best, yet then we are only guaranteed 6 weeks off of work before we can get shit canned, and then we are not given any medical evidence that pumped milk is equally as nutritious for our babies. Lots of contradictory stuff happening here.

I guess my point was really that as women and mothers we should be thinking about this a little bit more before we resolve to the pump as the solution. Every mother I know who has pumped has been stressed over it, sad about it, bothered by it, etc. And those are just the ladies doing it at home--the women doing it at work bear another incredible burden that no person should have to bear. Why is this not being publicly discussed more? We spend so much time guffawing over who's breast feeding their baby in public yet practically no air time is given to every mom hiding in a pump closet at work, praying that turning herself into a milk cow at her PLACE OF BUSINESS is the best thing for her child and for their relationship. I contend it is not.
~Anon C

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Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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