This is the second post in the series – The Other Side – by my friend Mama M. The opinions expressed in this post are HERS and do NOT reflect the opinions and beliefs of The Eco Chic. And for the record – The Eco Chic and Lil’ B are still continuing their breastfeeding journey at 624 days! Please be respectful with your comments and remember that there are two sides to every story. – The Eco Chic
Let me get straight to the point. I didn’t breastfeed my little girl.
My giant leap into mommy-hood was a surprise. Health issues led me to believe a child was not possible. That’s not to say I couldn’t GET pregnant but that a pregnancy would never develop full term.
I have diabetes and I’m very holistic in nature. I am a vegetarian and I try to eat a lot of organic, fresh food. I take only the most necessary medication after researching side effects and other potential risks. I prefer remedies that come from the Earth that cannot be patented because they are natural. But breastfeeding didn’t feel right to me — it didn’t seem natural.
The Eco Chic tells me all of the time the benefits nursing. I KNOW she believes it to be the best thing for her own daughter… so much so that she did something (and to this day, I’m not sure what) when she forgot her pump on a weekend trip.
Millions of websites encourage moms-to-be to breastfeed with facts and statistics but not once did my doctor or one of his nurses, anyone at the hospital baby classes, my friends, my family or my coworkers ever encourage me. I remember I googled it a few times during the last trimester of my pregnancy and saw that due to my circumstances, it wasn’t “safe.”
I want to say a few things about breastfeeding that I have learned—mostly from The Eco Chic but also in reading forums with literally “on line fighting” between adult women. After this blog is published, I will never talk about it again.
1. It is a deeply personal choice to breastfeed and nobody especially another mother should EVER make a mother feel bad about her decision to breastfeed… or not. It is a choice and not a requirement to be considered a good mother.
2. Breastfeeding does not make your child smarter of healthier in the long term. Yes, it provides great nutrition but my daughter is very smart. She speaks two languages, she’s in second grade math and she is only six years old, (brag much?) She is rarely sick and thank God not suffering from any chronic conditions. Your child may have the exact same aptitude and was breastfeed. Formula did not make my child dumb and breastfeeding did not make yours a super-genius.
3. I believe education is key. I got my “medical degree” from Web MD and quickly decided that due to being diabetic — breastfeeding was an automatic no-no. The truth is that nobody clinically educated ever approached me and discussed this as an option or encouraged me at all.
I knew this blog would be hard for me to write since The Eco Chic is my best friend and is passionate about this issue (as are most of her readers). I am not suggesting that my opinion is right… I just wanted to express how someone who did not breastfeed sees things.
We can all learn something from … The Other Side. – Mama M
Thank you Mama M for sharing with us today. I would like to add that for most of us our experience with doctor’s and nurses is quite similar to Mama M’s. Neither my doctor’s or nurses encouraged (or discouraged) me from breastfeeding or formula feeding. There was a lack of education in this area in all aspects of my pre-natal care. I vaguely remember my doctor asking if I was planning on breastfeeding and it was one of the questions they asked at the hospital during pre-registration. But at no point do I remember any professional telling me that it was the ‘right’ decision for me and my baby. My personal decision to breastfeed was health related – with claims of reduced allergies and asthma (both of which I suffer from) I wanted to provide my children with every opportunity to NOT develop these afflictions. Did it work? As of now neither of my children show signs of asthma but both have allergy related issues from time to time (who doesn’t!). Why do I continue to breastfeed at 20+ months? Because she’s my last baby and she (nor I) are ready for weaning. We do go days where our sessions are very minimal – if at all – but she continues to ask for her ‘muck.’ – The Eco Chic
Add your comments (be considerate of others) about your experience with breastfeeding and what influences were made by your own health care professionals.
Intersting web resource (from Kelly Mom) regarding breastfeeding and the diabetic mother. http://www.breastfeed.com/articles/overcoming-difficulties/diabetic-moms-2688/
There were many similar articles when I searched for “Breastfeeding and Diabetes” on the web.