Breastfeeding Confessions

April 13, 2008 · 3 comments

My husband and I went to a “moving out” party this weekend in Philadelphia. We had a great time but decided that number one – we are too old to stay out past midnight anymore and two when you are looking to eat chocolate cake at midnight instead of a cheesesteak with salt, pepper, ketchup, you don’t deserve to be out past midnight! But I digress. A high school friend of mine is moving out of one city (Philadelphia) and moving into another (New York). She’s gotten herself a new job in the Big Apple and is moving out of her Philly home. Her house is located around the Art Museum. She’s had several parties and for one reason or another my husband and I have never been able to attend. Since she was moving out of the place, I felt we better get our butts down there for this last party.

All my high school friends were also there. After a few drinks and meeting a bunch of people we didn’t know, the high school crowd ended up outside in the backyard and we pretty much had the space to ourselves. Most of my girlfriends have kids but over the years I can’t remember talking too much about the ins and outs of childcare with them. For whatever reason, the topic of breastfeeding came up. “Did you breastfeed?” I asked. The gauntlet had been dropped. Silence. THE QUESTION was asked. I honestly didn’t know what they were going to say. For some reason this particular subject had never come up with us and now, years later, it was out there.

I held my breath and out it came. The admissions. Yes, all but two (myself included) had breastfed! Or at least tried it. For a bit. Ok, for a couple weeks for the effect of that stuff, whatsit called, oh, yeah, that colostrum stuff. My one friend who had the triplets, yes the triplets, had lastest the longest at about 8 weeks. All the breastfeeders had the same adjectives to describe their breastfeeding experiences. “Really hard” “Latched on at the hospital and then wouldn’t latch on at home” “Baby wasn’t gaining weight and needed to supplement” “I wasn’t producing enough milk” “breast pump was hard to use”.

Now, this was by no means a scientific study but it got me to thinking, why does everyone give us the idea that breastfeeding is going to be so easy? I’m wondering if my group’s experience is similar to what the common experience out there.

Let me know about your breastfeeding experiences. Was it as easy as you thought it would be? Did you give up after a few weeks? Was is a wonderful and fulfilling experience? Would you do it again?

I’m gonna go to bed early tonight and try to recover from my night out. No Tudors for me tonight. Thank goodness Showtime replays during the week!

Drop me a note.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

BabyShrink April 14, 2008

Thanks for posting about this, I think the pressure and propaganda (ok, i said it!) about this are wayyyy too much for a new mom. We should all be able to make these decisions without fear of condemnation by the society at large…too many Moms have to struggle with postpartum depression and all sorts of other stuff, partially because of these unrealistic expectations….that you should be a perfect mom, super-mother, etc.
Breastfeeding or no, your baby needs Mom to be happy and healthy and reasonably well-adjusted. That’s more important than anything.

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Simple Family Supper lady April 22, 2008

Thanks for being bold enough to ask that question and for posting!!! Did I have the impression it was going to be easy?? Was it?? Well, I have four children and breastfed all of them. There is a learning curve… it got easier with each one. I also think that the first 4-8 weeks is the most challenging….. I don’t remember thinking that it was going to be totally easy, I did take a class and READ a lot about it. I sought out a friend that was a seasoned nursing mom and leaned on her for support! My Mom and Grandmothers didn’t breastfeed…. I think it is important to have the support of someone who knows how to breastfeed and how to deal with common challenges. Even though my mom didn’t nurse us (past a week or two) she was so encouraging when I had my first. She would just encourage me to “keep at it and just make it till he is 2 weeks old” then when I made that mark she kept up the encouragement “just focus and keep up till he is 4 weeks old” Guess what? By week 3 we were past the major bumps! She kept me going by giving me “small” goals. I couldn’t handle the thought of breastfeeding for a year or more at that point… 2 weeks I could deal with.

I am actually now a peer breastfeeding consultant….. I always say that just because we have the equipment and they have a mouth doesn’t mean either of us know what we are doing!!! Just like a baby isn’t born walking even though he/she has legs…. it takes time, and a baby learning to walk will fall down… but given time will be RUNNING!!!
Expect bumps along the way… get back up and keep trying! Is is worth it??? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!

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Just Batty May 7, 2008

I just stumbled onto your blog and thought this post was interesting. I breastfeed my son, he’s my first and five months old now…

that said, breastfeeding was way easier than I thought it would be! I requested the advice of a lactation consultant in the hospital and everything was smooth sailing from there. ?? Maybe I’m lucky. I pump and bottle feed as well and he has still only gotten breast milk.

I say, for everything parenting, the way you choose to parent should be because that is how you want your children raised. Who cares what anyone else thinks! If you choose to breastfeed then do it! If you choose to use formula do it!

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