Saturday, May 12, 2012

breast and bottle

Breastfeeding has become a hot topic in the last while.  First, in Australia an add was taken off the air after a dad was bottle feeding his infant stating that was the reason he didn't smoke.  A good message:  He doesn't smoke because of his little one.  But the La Leche League freaked and forced it off air saying it didn't give a good message because he was bottle feeding. 
Then, the opposite when Time Magazine released its recent front cover with a model on it breast feeding her 4 year old son.  The controversy over that was EVERYWHERE, from Facebook to talk shows. 
I take a different stance on this issue.  A stance that I have maintained since the beginning.  You need to do what is right for you and your family. 
Do I bottle feed?  Yes.  Do I breast feed?  Yes.  Do I think one is better than the other, or worse?  HHmmmmm, that was is a bit difficult.  We all know breast is best, but let's be realistic here.  It doesn't always work.  If it was that easy or instinctual, there wouldn't be 100 books written about it, and the formula guys would be out of a job.
When my daughter was jaundiced she wouldn't breastfeed.  She was just too sleepy.  But, the only way to get rid of the jaundice (without having to stay longer in hospital and be under the UV lights) was to get her to eat and poop it out, and so that meant bottle feeding.  But we didn't give up.  I pumped and we gave her that, we bottle fed her formula, and we worked at the breast feeding.  Suddenly, just after 4 weeks of age, she figured out the whole breastfeeding thing.  It was glorious!  But that didn't mean that we stopped the bottle feeding.  No, we continue to do both.  Bottle feeding allows my husband to be involved and has allowed him to become bonded with our daughter.  Breast feeding allows her to get the best nutrition that I can give her, and helped us bond as well.  Bottle feeding allowed me to go back to work early at 3 months, and have my mom come in to look after her.  Breast feeding helped her to not get the gastroenteritis that I got because she received my antibodies.  There really are benefits to doing both.  It is a nice compromise.
The biggest issue here is how people make other people feel about their decisions.  The La Lechers are too lung up on exclusively breast feeding.  We need to be realistic.  If you can breast feed, great.  If you need to supplement, fine.  If you can't breast feed and only bottle feed, great.  In the end, if your baby is healthy and growing, who cares?  People just need to relax a bit.

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