Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just the Breast Please

I don't pump. I don't use formula. I am keeping it simple this time and just breastfeeding.

I decided to exclusively breastfeed West before he was born. I had already planned on it. I knew that my pediatrician would encourage me to introduce the bottle.

"Have you given him a bottle yet?" he asked me when West was two months old.

"No. I don't want to give him a bottle," I said.

He looked at me from above his designer classes.

"You have to introduce the bottle. He should have a bottle once a day," he ordered.

I coward a little to his authority.

"Okay," I said halfheartedly. I knew that I wouldn't give West a bottle.

I don't know anybody who only breastfeeds. I am acting on my deep desire to feed him this way for no other reason then a feeling. After the preparation and defiance of what is normal in our society to achieve a home birth after a previous cesarean, I listen to myself now. I am listening with both ears.

I knew that a bottle would be suggested as a solution to logistical problems like taking my three-year old to varies activities. But I was confident with my decision, and now five months into it, I am still happy.

Before West was born, Zack bought bottles just in case. I pumped one bottle to please the crowd. Nate jumped up and down when the milk started flowing out into the two bottles connected to my breasts.

"Here it comes. It's coming mommy," Nate cheered.

I felt like a circus show. That bottle of milk never got used. It is still in the freezer.

West is almost five months and he just had a little taste of a banana and an avocado. I went to my first hour and a half yoga class since he was born.

"If he gets hungry feed him a little banana or avocado," I said to Zack as I left. (Note: First food is not processed rice cereal in a box.)

With Nate, I felt jealous of the bottle. Nate often refused me, and then turned around and took the bottle from Zack or even me. I felt crushed. I hated competing with a plastic beverage container. I was naively giving him Similac, which is super sweet. The first ingredient was high fructose corn syrup. He loved the sugar. I didn't think to shop around for "healthy" formula. I just assumed that all formula was healthy.

The books say that it's a wonderful gift to give to your husband to allow him to do a feeding. I can say that Zack isn't complaining this time around. I am up at 11:30pm, 2:30am, and 5:30am. It sounds like a bad deal, but with Nate, I was up anyway. Zack would get up to do a bottle and I would lay awake. I couldn't stand the crying while Zack prepared a bottle in the kitchen.

"Don't wait for the hot water, just give it to him cold," I would yell from bed.

This time around, I am not working out of the house, and so it isn't worth the hassle of pumping, storing milk, and cleaning bottles. I'm keeping it simple: just the breast please. The biggest clean up is a little breast milk on my shirt.

Another benefit of bottle feeding is freedom. I too want my own time, but my instincts to stay close to my babies are strong. I never left Nate for very long when he was a baby and taking the bottle. And, I am feeling the same way about West, and so why pump? Zack and I find other ways to meet our alone time needs. After the kids go to bed and the babysitter shows up, we sneak out of the house for dinner. And, I can do my yoga classes now! Yeah! In a small amount of time these precious months will be over.

5 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Ew, have you thought about changing doctors?

virginie said...

Hi Thais, yes this doctor's advice sounds also strange to me. If you decide to breastfeed exclusively, why the hell does he need to force you to give bottles? My baby is 14 months old now and I never gave a bottle unless some almond milk when she sleeps at my mom's place. But the only advice from my doc was : just give her water when you are not around, she has the breast anyway...
Good luck with your choice!

psychiclunch said...

Yeah, when a doctor gives you advice that has clearly been proven wrong before... that might be a sign you need to find someone else.

Breastfeeding is crucial for the foundation of any baby's life, and it is also healthy for the mother!

Yipsl said...

if you want a chance to meet other moms who breastfeed exclusively, seek out the nearest La Leche League chapter and hang out with some other breast-is-best types.

Shannon said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! You are doing the best thing for your baby and your doc. is a nincompoop.

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