you always hear about the pressure on new moms to breastfeed. but as a boob-feeder, i kinda think the opposite is true.
the formula industry is not given enough credit for regularly manipulating our maternal self-doubt.
sure, in breastfeeding literature they make it sound like one drop of formula will give your dumb, obese baby another reason to hate you when he or she grows up — assuming they don’t die in infancy from some immune deficiency. but in the real world, it’s a very different story.
as soon as my baby came out of the womb, the nurses were pushing formula supplements on her. the first night we were together as a family, i apparently agreed to send her away and to give her Similac out of the bottle. this is a big no-no in the world of breastfeeding sticklers, for the male audience, who quit reading this blog several months ago.
i do not remember any of this, mind you. i had just lost most of my blood and i would’ve agreed to a tattoo of Similac on Molly’s forehead at that point. i just remember the nurses wheeling in a tiny baby who was spitting up formula. whhhaaaa? who authorized this?!
this is not to mention that since then, every time i move around my house, i trip on some sort of promotional formula bag or bottle or powder or gadget.
anyway, the point is that i couldn’t get eight hours of colostrum in my infant before they were telling me that my supply (ugh! that word!) was inadequate. she hadn’t even lost weight at that point. it was just a routine service? but i am suspicious.
even before my milk came in, each nurse at the hospital said it with their eyes when they weighed Molly in her first few days: O.M.G. YOUR BABY IS STARVING! AND YOU ARE DOING IT TO HER!! MUST SUPPLEMENT!
some were more direct.
“you might want to think about supplementing.”
this kind of start puts a lot of pressure on a girl, especially because breastfeeding is hard work — and if you’re not completely anxiety-free, it’s twice as much work. basically, if you don’t believe you’re making enough food, you won’t. it’s a pseudo science. except it’s 100 percent real. i guess it’s mad science?
today was Molly’s big weigh-in, and all week i’ve been a mama on a mission. i’ve felt like something is chasing me. what a rush!
if i don’t get that feeding in, i’ll have to supplement with formula, and if you supplement, (SUPPLEMENT!) you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot with this supply and demand game of breast milk. EDIT: I recently have heard some encouraging stories from women who have supplemented and it did NOT, contrary to breastfeeding books, bring INSTANT DEATH to her baby OR her breast milk supply.
formula manufacturers! stop trying to get after me with your mind games! leave us be!
in fact, you know what?! I don’t think YOU are making enough food for your baby. how does that feel? way to go. you are STARVING BABIES. perhaps you should consider supplementing. have you received my promotional gift bag full of 100 percent natural boobs?
ok, so back to Molly’s weigh-in.
Molly gained six ounces this week — ON THE BAD SCALE!
baby earthlings need to gain between 4 and 7 ounces each week to be considered within the normal, non-panic range. Molly was a little hog this week. mommy is happy. the B-Cups are vindicated!
and it’s a good thing, too, because i was going to ignore the doctor’s request if he told me to add formula. i decided last night that Molly was fine, regardless of what the doctor’s scale said at that particular moment. how’s that for dangerous defiance? i’ve matured from holding my breath until i pass out.
some of you may be wondering: What’s the big deal? it’s just a little formula.
the answer is: Oh, nothing really. i just don’t like people telling me what i can’t do. it was 90 percent of my motivation for not getting an epidural. seth gets credit for the remaining 10 percent. it has nothing to do with my baby’s health. just stubbornness and pride. and also, i am pretty thrifty, and formula seems slightly more expensive than free. so.
in other words, I DON’T CARE IF MY DAUGHTER WASTES AWAY TO NOTHING — I SHAN’T NEVER GIVE IN TO FORMULA! BREASTFEEDERS UNITE AGAINST THE MACHINE! RAGE, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!
the kicker of this month-long boob drama is this: My doctor threw out the 7-1 reading from a couple weeks ago as a botched weigh-in job by the nurse. when he crunched the remaining numbers, he found that since she started visiting him, Molly is well within the normal range, if not gaining a little more than average this week.
he lamented the fact that his office did not have one digital scale for all to share, but he was relieved that we apparently had addressed the problem.
we both sat there for a second trying to figure out why i was there and why he had invited me.
then he told me how proud of me he was for breastfeeding.
“have you supplemented with formula?” he asked.
“not yet,” i said.
“reeeally,” he said. “way to go. you’re doing it the right way.”
doode needs to get some new scales, though. srrrsly.
No related posts.