I listen to the debates about breast feeding and let me say, people can be downright militant in their beliefs on this one. I would love to say that it doesn't matter. I was not breastfed and look how I turned out. But, in my case, I think my argument doesn't hold water. Let's look at this.
I was allergic to milk, breast milk, formula, even soy. At the time they didn't have all the new fangled non-dairy, Frankenfood sort of formulas like they have now. So, I went right to cereal. (GASP! "Solids" right from the get go!) Of course I would like to say that I turned out just fine regardless. I no longer have any food sensitivities unless you include smelly pee after eating asparagus, but I think that is pretty much a universal thing.
However, did I turn out just fine? Endometriosis which was diagnosed when I was 18. Looking back I believe I suffered from this disease from my very first period when I was 10 years old. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which went un-managed for over a decade resulting in the irreparable damage to 90% of my thyroid gland. Poly Cystic ovaries made it more difficult for me to conceive, added extra weight around my middle and hair to my face and belly. These are all autoimmune system related are they not? They say that breast feeding is supposed to support a healthy immune system. I did not get that support. (Let us not forget the eczema, exercise induced asthma or seasonal allergies either.) I have been able to manage and finally understand the medical issues I am facing as an adult, but I do not know if any or all of them could have been avoided should I have been nursed as a baby.
This sounds like I am making a hardcore plug for the breast. The truth is, I cannot answer the question, "Would breast milk have made a difference in my life?" Therefore, I shall remain neutral on the subject. I plan on nursing for a few simple reasons. #1) It is one of those motherly things I would like to experience if I am able. #2) I know it is good for the baby (good as in, not bad for the baby, not as in, it is better than formula). #3) With the exception of the cost of the pump, it is cheaper than purchasing formula.
So, I will be attempting to breast feed. I say attempting because, as was the case with my own mother, not everyone can do this. I will give it my best shot. I will talk to lactation consultants, I will even contact the LLL (GASP!) because they will have important information that may help me. The militant opinions I will have to let wash over me and let it all go in one ear and out the other.
My challenge will be getting Light Blue to take both breast AND bottle equally well by the time daycare starts at 8 weeks. I have heard to introduce both right away. I have heard only breast for the first three weeks. I have heard that I am not the one to give the bottle since he/she will prefer the breast from me. I know working mothers do this all the time. The pumping and storing and planning ahead and bonding and fathers being able to help with feeding, etc. I think that all of this is my biggest concern about the whole baby thing. I am not worried about labor or C-sections or PPD. I am worried that the stress of figuring all this out will diminish my supply. Oh yeah, and according to a book I am reading on the subject I have flat nipples. They do not poke out when pinched, they sink in. This is supposed to make it more difficult to both feed and pump. I am not tossing and turning at night worried, just concerned.
If you asked me what my fears are in regards to motherhood in general they would be #1) pumping/working/nursing and #2) teenage daughters. I do not know if I will have a son or daughter but Holy Christ has anyone seen the movie Thirteen? (Holly Hunter as the mother, fabulous true-life movie of the horrors of young teenage life.) Oh my God what the Hell am I going to do when T's precious "Daddy's Girl" fantasy grows up to be an adolescent? *groan, shudder*
OK, got off track a bit. 19 week appointment this afternoon at which time we will schedule the big anatomy ultrasound and hopefully discover the answer to Light Blue's gender.
Oh, and do not even get me started on the whole cloth vs. disposable thing.