6.30.2010

Breastfeeding Rant...be prepared. :D

I am so irritated. This post will probably snag a few butthairs, but please if you are offended by anything I write, please know that this was NOT my intention. I have a hard time finding the "right words" when I'm upset. Heck, I have a hard time finding the right words EVER.

So what's the malfunc?

The hubbin and I are donating our old car to charity. We don't need it. It doesn't run anymore since the battery died and the transmission is shot. The tranny has already been rebuilt before so there's no point in putting more money into it since it'll probably conk out soon anyway. Let it be someone else's issue. The other night, he grabbed a bunch of things from the car and set them on the kitchen counter. One of these items was a "gift" from the hospital I'd received when I was pregnant.


Great! It's breastfeeding friendly!<---That was my first reaction. I'd been getting cans of formula and other formula pamphlets and leaflets...I was excited to see something for the crispy mom [because apparently if you breastfeed, you're crunchy....WTH?] I had just thrown this in the backseat after an appointment so I was curious what was in it. Breastpads? Nipple cream? Seeing as how it was endorsed by Enfamil, I shouldn't have been surprised.


[If you choose to supplement, use Enfamil LIPIL, our closest formula to breast milk]

Uhm...WHAT?


No, your eyes haven't deceived you. That, my friends, is FORMULA. In a bag that is labeled as BREASTFEEDING RESOURCES. The sabotage begins HERE. 

UGH! Am I the only one who is severely irritated by this? As if being a new mom isn't hard and stressful enough.  You make the great choice of deciding to breastfeed during your pregnancy and they send you home with FORMULA after so many of your prenatal appointments. If you have a SHRED of doubt in your mind, how easy is it going to be to reach over and grab that handy-dandy can of formula they send you home with? And with as much INCORRECT and downright BACKWARDS information there is out there, you'll think you're doing it wrong and you'll start thinking you're starving your baby and then fill them up with this crap.

They don't even give you a chance. 

FACT- There is no formula out there that is similar to breastmilk. NOT. EVEN. CLOSE. You are literally trying to compare steak flavored dog food to an actual steak. Yes, you can eat it, but is it the same? NO. Yet they tell you it is.

Here's what I've come across when it comes to other moms and breastfeeding. They decide to breastfeed and are excited about the journey. It's either their first kid or they FF their last one so they want to do it differently. Once the babe is here, there's a PLETHORA of incorrect information out there. Most docs don't know a THING about breastfeeding/breastfed babies and try to compare them to formula fed ones. The first milk to come in isn't even "milk" at all. It's colostrum. It's super important. Even though every book out there says your milk comes in a few DAYS after birth, people start freaking if they don't see a milky substance coming out. I didn't get my milk until a few days after coming home. And I knew INSTANTLY when it came in. lol. Until then, I didn't worry about Austin "starving". He was getting all the nutrients he needed. Yet at this point, mom's freak out and start making bottles of formula.

Babies have these wonderful periods called growth spurts. They grow, dontcha know? And during those growth periods they are NEVER. SATISFIED. I believe the term is cluster-feeding.  Had I not known better, I would've grabbed that formula can and stuffed him because I'd be worried that he was starving and "I wasn't making enough milk".

If I hear that "excuse" --for lack of a better term-- one more time..I think I'm going to scream.

A kid's stomach is NOT as big as we'd all like to believe it is. And here we are pumping ounces upon ounces into them, stretching out the stomach which leads to more problems later on down the line. Childhood obesity is one of them. If you "teach" their bodes that they need "this much" food to feel full, then sooner or later "thismuch" isn't going to be enough and they'll need "thismuchmore" to feel full. It's a horrible snowball effect and I've seen it first hand in my 10 year old cousin. The kid is 10 friggin years old and weighs as much as I weighed two years ago. OMG.

Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand system. The babe sucks [demand] and your boobies do the  milk thing [supply]. Those cluster feeding times are your kid's way of telling the boob factory to up the production of milk. Get it? It makes TOTAL sense. I've heard a lot of complaining that the breasts don't feel "full" ever. Trust me...that's a good thing! That means they are regularly producing and being emptied out. Anytime I've felt full is when I've missed a feeding or two and haven't pumped or anything. This usually happens every Saturday night that I have a game. As Im separated from the kidlet for awhile and don't have the time to pump.

Wanna know when you should worry that you're not producing enough? When the diaper count goes down. When you notice that you're not changing 5-6 pee/poop diapers a day, THAT'S when there might be an issue. Remember, what goes in MUST come out. So if the diaper count is fine, you're golden!

AND ANOTHER THING! Stop tracking your child's progress via the percentile charts!! Those charts are for FORMULA. FED. BABIES. So more often than not, they DO NOT apply to your breastfed baby. What you want to see is steady growth and a good diaper count. Repeat after me... "no. percentile. charts. diaper. count. only. " There you go! You've got it! :D

The worst thing to do to your supply is to supplement. I'm sorry. I've said it. When you choose to supplement, you are telling your body that during "thisfeedingtime" you don't need milk. Remember, supply and demand? To UP your supply, you've gotta UP your demand. If you feel like there's a problem, have a babymoon. Curl up with your baby and just nurse. Shelve all responsibilities, whatever you can do, and just nurse. I know when I went back to work I saw a change in my supply. So while I'm at work, I pumped every 3 hours I was separated from him. [nursed at 10am, pumped at 1pm, pumped at 4pm, nursed at 7pm] and when I was at home, I did nothing but nurse him. I also added fenugreek tablets and mother's milk tea to my daily prenatal vitamin [which you should still take]. I also began eating oatmeal for breakfast. Not only does it do your body good for fitness, it's great for your supply. Rather than supplementing, I wish more mother's would research ways to safely and naturally up their supply.

One thing that scared the bajeesus out of me when I first came home was this: My aunts told me that once my milk came in, if I didn't pump every hour on the hour for ten minutes, I'd lose my supply and then I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. Do you know how that made me feel? LIKE. CRAP. But I thank God for my BFing advocates over at Cafemom. The first 6-8weeks is your body regulating your supply. Doing this pumping actually messes everything up. If you can afford to shelve it [and I could since I wasn't returning to work for 3 months], don't even THINK about pumping for the first 6-8 weeks. And pumping isn't even that amazing. Nothing works better at getting that milk out of there than your sweet sweet babe. Typically, your pumping output is 1-2oz out of both breasts.  Yes, that's TOTAL. I average 2-3oz each time I pump, but I only pump for 30min max and that's BOTH breasts.

Here's a great rule of thumb that I JUST now figured out. I was suspicious of overfeeding my babe while I was away and at work. A babysitter of ours had gone through 12oz of milk in 6 hours one day and most of that day he'd been sleeping. I was worried that as he got older, I wouldn't be able to keep up with pumped milk. But thanks again to my cafemom breastfeeding gurus, I figured it out. Here's a link. But basically...for every hour that your babe goes without eating, that's 1-1.5oz in the bottle. For example: If Austin ate at 1 o'clock and is hungry again at 3, his bottle should only have 2-3 oz in it. If he didn't eat until 4, then it would have 3-4.5oz. Make sense?

Babies are usually fussy after a bottle because they don't have to work at getting the goods. It literally just flows out easily. Also, the watery foremilk and fatty hindmilk are combined. Think of it like this: If you slowly ate a small plate of food, you'll feel fuller sooner. If you gobble that ish up, you'll THINK you're actually hungry afterwards but really it's just that your stomach hasn't signaled to your brain that you're full yet. What we do around here after a bottle is give him a paci [which he didn't get until his latch was perfected..like 4 weeks] or we remove "nursing" from the equation by turning him over to lie on our arm or sitting him upright to burp him so he just forgets about it. If after every means of trying to settle him have failed, then we'll offer one more ounce of milk..but nothing more. Because usually...he spits it up!

Okay *stepsoffsoapbox* I'm done ranting and raving. Breastfeeding is a lot of work and it's not for the faint of heart. I realize that now. I'm even more passionate about it than I thought I'd be. And when I get things like the "breastfeeding kit" that's really geared towards formula feeding...it makes my butthairs stand on end.

That is all folks.

xoXo,



PS. I'd also like to add that your baby rearing choices are just that YOURS. I fully support you doing whatever it is that you feel compelled to do. I'm a passionate person and when I feel strongly about a subject, that tends to come off as me being "haughty" or "holier-than-thou". PLEASE know that I support everyone in their decisions and I never want to make anyone feel bad! :D

12 comments:

  1. Great post! It can be quite discouraging now-a-days with so much advertising for formula. I KNEW that I wanted to BF my last son. But he was born at only 5 lbs and almost immediately they seemed to want to push the formula to get his weight up. One minute the lactation consultant would come in and try to help me and then after that the nurse would come in with the bottle of 'special' formula for him to eat. It was very discouraging - so much so that I will be choosing a different hospital if I have another one.
    Thanks for sharing your feelings on the subject. I agree with you - I think getting the correct information is one of the most important pieces to the puzzle of success that is bf. :)
    Have a great day!

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  2. Love the phrase "makes your butt hairs stand on end"! Gonna have to remember that one! =)

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  3. Hi! Interesting article. I'll have to say, I had lots of feedback on this one. So much so, I actually wrote a blog "in response". If you get a moment, I'd love for you to hear another side of your story. Happy Blogging!

    http://itrocks2bmom.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-woulda-breastfed-if-i-could-so-get.html

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  4. Rocks2B -

    Unless you're re-checking Kiranda's blog for comments, you're not going to receive this but oh well. I'm going to say it anyway.

    You can breastfeed. Your babies can breastfeed. Before formula, mothers had no choice. And guess what? Mankind still survived. 50% of women say/think/claim they "couldn't breastfeed." If that were true, our species would've died out centuries ago. Do you think there has been some huge biological change between women today and women 1000 years ago? No. But the HUGE change is the invention of formula, and every since then, women have believe they were incapable of self-feeding their children.

    Except in cases of very premature babies or a birth defect like cleft palate, babies can breastfeed. Sometimes a mother is on a medication that crosses into the milk, that is another good reason not to breastfeed. All other excuses are just flaky.

    Here is what REALLY happened in your situation:

    You tried to breastfeed, but you had a stranger touching your boob and telling you how to do it, but not showing you. You were newly post-partum with a husband who wasn't fully supportive. You were thrown off your game by how much work a new baby would be. You were not properly informed about colostrum and the true size of your baby's stomach.

    When it didn't come easy and happen right away, you knew formula was an option. Rather than trying, asking, researching, and taking a deep breath, you turned to formula because you thought your baby wasn't getting enough to eat. Formula took the place of breastfeeding and your body got the hint and stopped producing.

    100 years ago, someone in your position didn't have formula to turn to. They had moms and sisters and aunts to assist them. I'm sorry if you didn't have that support system to show you better techniques and help you succeed.

    THAT, my dear, is why you couldn't breastfeed. For lack of knowledge, support, and assistance. Not because your baby didn't want to, or your body was somehow unable. I'm tired of hearing that excuse. All these women who say, 'I tried, but I couldn't.'
    No - you tried, and you DIDNT. Formula can take partial blame. Because rather than having no other choice, therefore giving you incentive to keep trying breastfeeding, you have this sub-standard powder that comes flying to the rescue.

    Formula was invented in the 40's for moms who had to go work in factories because the men were at war. These women enjoyed getting out of the house and having a job, and when the war ended they didn't want to go back to the house. Housewives saw the "liberated" women, and decided that they, too, would not be tied down. Formula became the new black and breastfeeding was look down upon as something only "poor people" did.

    Thank God times have changed. Unfortunately, now we have women who think they're somehow malfunctioned and cannot A: give birth and B: feed a baby. Hows that for woman's liberation??
    Society teaches us "You can do anything you set your mind to" - except, apparently, give birth or breastfeed.

    I'm glad the women 1000 years ago were a little more patient than we are today, or else mankind WOULDN'T have survived.

    (and formula sure aint helping things)

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  5. Well... even tho I am a huge proponent of BF, I will say that 1000 yrs ago the death rates for infants were a whole lot higher than they are now! Sure, the babies who latched survived, and more babies survived than not, which is why we have propagated the species. But some babies really cannot latch or have weak sucks. My sister in law worked super hard at it but the only way she was able to continue BFing was to pump and feed the baby through a tiny little plastic tube, and keep trying and trying and trying to BF. Eventually he learned, thanks to her perseverance. But it took months of 24/7 dedication on her part. He had a weak suck and a bad latch. 1000 years ago he may not have made it. Formula does has its place... but it need not be so ubiquitous.

    But the second part to this comment is this: Enfamil can go suck it! With their sneaky BFing packets! I got them too, and it is sabotage plain and simple. In our society we often take the easy way out, and this is no different. Its all about what is convenient for us... and sorry, but that includes day care. 2 cars and a nice house are convenient. So we put them in the care of strangers 8 hrs a day and go out there to be fulfilled in our careers and to make money, 'cause its nice to have money and its nice to feel "worthy" in the eyes of society.

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  6. Me no like Enfamil. And I'm right there with you on Daycare. I'm so glad that we have the opportunity for our baby to be raised by his parents. When DH is at work, I'm at home. When I'm at work then DH is at home. It's beautiful and A will get a lot of lovin from his parents. I just wish every family was able to do that!!

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  7. I've breastfed all 7 of my children. And I too always get the cans of formula. I don't let it get to me though, I just simply donate them to the local shelter for abused women and their children.

    When I hear people say that 'breastfeeding is too hard' I wonder, how can washing and sterilizing bottles, making sure the formula is mixed properly and stored at the correct temperature, easier than popping the boob in the baby's mouth?

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  8. I came over from the crunch hop, and I love this post. I am breastfeeding my 2nd child currently, and this time wasn't as easy, but our hospital has a lactation department there and they helped out a lot. But when the lactation department wasn't in, the nurses were pushing the formula on me. My daughter refused to latch on until my milk came in, she wasn't eating at all. It was horrid. The pediatrician, who is a complete breastfeeding advocate, had me supplement for just the one day, and gave me a specific amount to give her, because she had lost so much weight from not eating. He said as soon as my milk came in to stop all formula and that is what I did. Now she is a happy breastfeeding baby thankfully.

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  9. Great post! I know I'm a bit late but had to comment. I am SO GLAD that I researched and read blog upon blog on top of my pregnancy/childbirth books so that I was aware of these issues before giving birth, but I know women who fell into traps and it's so sad... and even more infuriating. The stuff I've heard about nurses pushing formula until babies spit up because milk isn't in is unacceptable - Medical professionals should KNOW this stuff! My baby was jaundiced and I was lucky to have a good hospital but I know at most places I would have been scared into introducing formula before we were even discharged.

    ... I'm going nowhere with this comment. I just want to say great post, and the more people spreading the truth on this issue the better.

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Tell me how you REALLY feel. C'mon..just TELLLLLL me. I love your comments.

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