Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nutso for Nursing

Today's entry in the Washington Post's On Balance blog discusses breastfeeding. I am all for breastfeeding. I did it for 11 months and while I can't say I loved every minute of it, I did find it to be very beneficial and I have every intention of doing it again for my next child (don't get excited, I am NOT pregnant).

However, there are a few points in the article that I find kind of yucky. The whole concept of Outsourcing Nursing is really appalling to me. For me, nursing was about my bond with my daughter. If, for some reason, I couldn't nurse, I am sure I would be upset, but I am also sure that I would introduce formula before allowing someone else to nurse my child. And, even though I still have several bags of milk frozen in my freezer, I plan on chucking these instead of donating them for someone else's use. Again, a concept that kind of skeezes me out. Yes, I thought it was weird that at LP's day care they would wear gloves when giving her a bottle of breast milk, but it is bodily fluids and I can't say I necessarily blame them for not wanting to touch it.

Another part of the article talks about La Leche League's guidance on nursing an adopted baby. I actually stumbled across this myself a few months ago when looking for information on increasing my production. It seems really really odd to me that you can will your body to produce breast milk; Because I can tell you that I sure as hell tried to increase my milk production toward the end there through mental telepathy and it didn't seem to work. Women who give birth to babies have a hard time nursing, I can't even imagine the frustration associated with an adoptive mom trying to force herself to lactate. There must be better ways to develop a bond with your new child.

Nursing or providing breast milk is not the only way to show your baby love. Better to focus on the things you can control than expend valuable energy trying to force something that isn't working or isn't meant to be.

1 comment:

Molly said...

I must say I find the whole using someone else's breast milk idea a bit icky, and you are right, it is a bonding time with your child. However, at least the service is there for those that do want to do it and I know that breast milk has more nutrients. I didn't breast feed Ned, he was bottle fed from the word go, and so far he doesn't seem to have suffered from it, although there were times that I wished I could feed him myself for that close bond. But I always felt it was a magical time feeding him anyway, even though it was from a bottle.