I will be the first to tell all of you that breastfeeding is best for babies. I breastfed both of my children (son and daughter), the younger one (daughter) for much longer than the older one (son). My daughter has always been the more resilient of the two. She doesn’t get sick as much and if she does catch a bug, she recovers really fast… much faster than her older brother.
For some reason, my son was not very willing to breastfeed when he was born. He would kick and scream whenever I would try so I was limited to exclusively pumping for milk. He was a big baby, born via C-section at 9 lbs. He would scream so loudly whenever he was hungry and I never had enough milk to satisfy him so I had mixed feedings with a formula. My daughter was a different story. She loved breastfeeding (directly and via bottle) and I actually breastfed her for 6 months almost exclusively (about 85% of the time). She was born a bit smaller than my son and was confined at the NICU for 10 days after being born due to a respiratory problem. I patiently delivered breastmilk every single day to the hospital.
So yes, I’m a believer in the benefits of breastfeeding and I agree that it’s the best for babies. I was not able to sustain it for years like other mothers but nevertheless I am all for it.
Why am I posting this? To share how good breastfeeding is for your babies and to encourage you to do so because I have seen the positive effects for myself. But wait, there’s more.
I gave my kids growing up milk (yes, the powdered milk formula) when they were in the later stages of infancy (after 6 months) up to their toddler years… till they turned 2? Then they switched to regular fresh milk. I wasn’t producing too much milk during my son’s time and I had to leave for an international business trip when my daughter was 6 months old. Die hard breastfeeding advocates may now chastise me for not being patient enough to keep it up, for not breastfeeding until like my kids are 2, 3, or 5 years old. But who are they to say what was best for myself and my family at the time? If you’re not living my life, you have no right to judge the decisions I have made.
Seriously folks, breastfeeding for a longer time does not make one a better mother than others. I am writing this because this is how breastfeeding advocates make me feel — that I had gravely sinned by giving my children the evil milk formula from hell. I get comments like there are milk banks etc etc. It’s like I’m inadequate somehow because I did not breastfeed for x number of years. Puh-lease. I’m not about to go soliciting breastmilk from strangers just because I ran out — but that’s just me. I speak for myself when I say I don’t even know where these are coming from and I doubt these organizations check each and every milk donation for whatever. Call me ignorant and slap me with the scientific findings that back it’s still better to give them breastmilk even if it’s not my own (it’s not like I’m unaware) but the fact is I don’t want to feed my children milk from strangers. My prerogative. Period.
Why is this topic coming out now? It’s mainly because of the furor this ad campaign from Mead Johnson is creating among the mommy bloggers in my timeline…
Instead of spending all this energy damning the company and the campaign to the pits of hell, let’s try our best to spread the word and educate parents about the benefits of breastfeeding without being so condescending about it. I really think that would be more effective than going ballistic and switching to war freak mode which will just push people further away from the cause. :/
My children are now in gradeschool and they like drinking fresh milk which I buy in 1-liter tetra packs from the supermarket. Judge me now or forever hold your peace.
P.S. I am not generalizing ALL breastfeeding advocates. I just had the misfortune to encounter really extreme ones whose high and mighty attitudes I do not appreciate.
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