have both bottle-fed and breastfed. In all honesty, I was ignorant
on the truths of breastfeeding until I chose to educate myself. I
feel it is so important for new parents to research all their
options from methodsofchildbirth to feeding their new baby, then an
informed decision can be made. My
first was born in 1988. I was 23.
The thought of breastfeeding did not appeal to me.
I attended a hospital sponsored childbirth education class. I barely
remember breastfeeding mentioned, whatever was said did NOT make any
kind of impression or impact. My conclusion was; if the hospital
doesn't promote or encourage breastfeeding than bottle-feeding must
Formula did not agree with my son,
he cried constantly because of gas and constipation. Ear infections
were another major problem, he had to have tubes surgically placed
in his ears at 9 months.
next was born in 1990. I did not attend any preparation classes this
time. Again I assumed bottle-feeding was okay. No one suggested
breastfeeding. I had another gassy, constipated, and constantly
crying baby. Ear infections were also a problem but not as
severe.Here I continue with my breast feeding story. My
next was born in 1993. Again I attended no classes and assumed
bottle-feeding was okay.
Breastfeeding was never mentioned. Again I had an unhappy tummy
troubled baby with ear infections and eczema.
Not once with or after my children were
born did anyone mention breastfeeding could have decreased if not
prevented the problems we dealt with. Breastfeeding never even
crossed my mind.
1995 I was pregnant again. I knew this baby was going to be my last,
I wanted to take nothing for granted. I bought my first
breastfeeding book out of curiosity. It was an eye-opening
My mind was made up - how could I not breastfeed knowing all the
I attended a breastfeeding class and read all the books I could get
my hands on. I wanted to be informed and prepared.
son, Samuel Louis, was born on 10/27/95, 16 days early by c-section.
( I had a difficult pregnancy with kidney problems and an obstructed
ureter.) In recovery I wanted to nurse my new son. A Nursery nurse
was called to assist us. She came in my room, looked at me, said I
was attached to too many wires, and walked out. I was stunned. My
husband attempted to help me but we were like the Three Stooges,
with baby making three. I was in tears.
My Labor and Delivery nurse thankfully came into the room and
Our first experience was a disappointment, I was in pain from the
incision and Sammy didn't seem to be interested in sucking but I was
determined to get this right. I was in the hospital for 5 days
because of my kidney. I had a difficult time getting Sammy to latch
on correctly. This lasted a couple of days; some nurses were very
helpful and stayed with me till we got him latched on properly while
others made quick attempts and others made none at all.
I experienced different nurses and many different opinions expressed
to me whether I asked or not.
Keeping him in my room was a constant battle; he had to be in the
nursery when the shifts changed or the paediatricians made their
rounds, or so I was told. I discovered saying "He just started to
nurse," usually got us a lot more time. I was encouraged to
supplement because of his weight loss and lack of wet diapers. I
refused. His weight loss was minimal and he was wetting fine
according to my pediatrician and my count of his wet diapers. (He
was 1 oz shy of his 8 lb. 1 oz. birth weight on day 5).
Here I continue with my breast feeding story.A
Lactation Consultant was on staff but I never felt comfortable with
her. She seemed to make her rounds while the babies were in the
nursery. Needless to say, I went home with bleeding and sore
nipples. I cried every time he latched on. It took about a week but
we corrected our problems and I was finally able to painlessly
quickly discovered I had a baby that did NOT suffer from gas pains,
constipation, eczema, or inconsolable crying.
What a difference!! I didn't realize being a mom could be so
enjoyable and I could satisfy my babies needs so easily and
14 weeks postpartum I was scheduled for reconstructive kidney
surgery requiring a 4 day hospital stay. My urologist wrote on his
orders for me to have a private room and I could have my baby
brought to me and breastfeed. I pumped and froze a quantity of milk
in preparation for when I couldn't nurse. My
hospital experience was terrible, in summary:
it took 2 days to get a pump, no
one knew how to set up the pump (I was in no shape due to my pain
meds), the nurses were angry because they felt a baby should NOT be
allowed on the floor for any reason, comments were made to me that
this was no place for a baby, and none of the nurses had experience
working with a breastfeeding mom, they didn't know what to do with
me. At this point I found a private LC. She was my lifeline and able
to give me accurate information with adequate explanations. (Mary, I
am forever grateful for your wisdom, encouragement and support.
Thank you with my heart!)
kidney problems were not resolved and more tests were and are still
required. Pumping and dumping is necessary for up to 24 hrs with
these tests. These periods are emotionally and physically difficult.
My mind, body, and heart wants to feed my baby but I know I can't.
My son's confusion and frustration are apparent and upsetting to me,
but we struggle through. The meaningfulness of our nursing
relationship is truly expressed after one of these periods. Sammy's
excitement and anticipation is expressed by the light in his eyes,
happy gooing, and waving arms
and legs when he realizes he can finally nurse.
regret not breastfeeding all my children, but I did what I thought
was best determined from the information I was given. I now realize
how important is is for parents to be educated about breastfeeding
so they can make an informed decision and question contradictions
when necessary. My
breastfeeding experiences have given me a new goal in life. I want
to counsel nursing moms, I want to help educate them about
breastfeeding and help them be secure and comfortable in their
ability to make parenting choices regarding breastfeeding. If I can
make a difference, one person at a time, I will have reached my
goals. She enjoys it immensely and I derive pleasure from knowing
that not only
have I given her the best start in life,
but that my breasts have fulfilled the purpose for which they were
intended, in addition to having saved a small fortune on formula
My name is Tammi,
I am the mom of 4.
a Breast Feeding Story!
During pregnancy the breasts increase in size, WOW you say. This
isn't for your titillation. The blood supply increases, the network
of veins become more apparent, all in preparation for the onslaught
of mothers liquid gold.
All mammalian milk is species specific and we are after all,
mammals. Even though some of us think we're God like.
Human milk is a very precious commodity.
No more precious than any other milk meant to feed it's infant, but
over the years human breast-feeding has been left out in the cold
and given bad press. Considering it is the best milk we can give to
our babies only ....% feed past two weeks, .....% past six weeks and
....% to the recommended 6 months and beyond. We are the only
species who routinely give their infants substitute milk, why??????
During the turn of the century the medical profession got all
scientific and obsessed with numbers. Victorian breasts had to be
hidden away. Breast feeding became a rather vulgar occupation,
especially in the upper classes. A breast-feeding child was marked
by the devil, because you didn't do that sort of thing! Breasts
belonged to men in the bedroom and not for babies as nature
intended. Women resorted to 'closet' breast feeding and in affluent
societies 'wet nurses' took off, big time, (surrogate lactating
mothers, prepared to feed another women's child).
Less of this background information and back to the obsession with
Human beings are controlling creatures. The idea of not being able
to see what a breast fed baby ingested in fl oz (milliliters),
trusting nature to do it's job, was a temptation to huge to be
ignored. The medics/pediatrics' avidly watched and noted how much
substitute milk disappeared from those forced bottle munching,
babies. They clock watched too. They
then applied the average time it took to drink a certain amount, how
long it took the child to scream in hunger for more, to breast
feeding infants, because it made them feel more secure in an area
where little was known. BIG MISTAKE.
Just as we all have different fingerprints, so women have different
breasts. The rules for scientific 3 - 4 hourly feeds (as it turned
out) attributed to formulae fed babies (otherwise known as schedule
feeding) may work for some breast feeding women, for most it will
not! Human milk production and its very fine balance of supply and
demand can be easily affected in the early weeks.
Our desire to have 'GOOD BABIES' leads many parents into believing
that these strict regimens teach our babies to behave. Most people
don't realize that formulae stays in the gut far longer than human
milk. Ounce for ounce, quite frankly there is know comparison.Breast milk is so pure and well absorbed it leaves the baby hungrier
quicker, with less deposits (poops).
It takes less breast milk to feed a child than it does formula.
Breast feeding babies, by design, need to be fed more frequently. In our
society this is seen as a failure, in fact the finger is pointed at
the mother. Her 'milk is thin', 'quality substandard', 'there's not
enough' are sayings often heard. The 'told you so' comments come
flying and the bottle of formula lands. Over this last century, in
particular, a women's amazing ability to exclusively breast feed her
child, as intended, has been manipulated, mistrusted and even seen
as disgusting. Don't you find it a little strange, that thousands of
years of evolution should be doubted and more trust put into the
invention of the bottle? What would you prefer to rest your head on?
I rest my case.... Formula (mostly made from cows milk) was meant
for the sweet little mooing things in pastures green. It should be
given to a baby as a last ditch resort. In well-supported
environments this shouldn't arise. Unless the women have a
physiological problem with the workings of her breasts the problem
shouldn't arise, the health system will have failed the parents, not
The manufacturers of formula have for years touted; their artificial
feed is equal to human milk, in some cases better. This is about as
far from the truth as saying men don't like breasts. In
underdeveloped countries unsanitized water mixed with formula can
kill the infants that drink it. Manufacturers advertise their
formula product for one thing only 'MONEY'. The only financial gain
in breast-feeding is the money the parents save 'NOT' buying
formula. Get the picture? Breast milk is sterile and much more!
milk is a living substance,
varying from mother to mother to fit her child. It contains every
viral antibody the mother has ever been in contact with. Babe gets a
shot of protection Everytime he/she feeds. Human milk contains all
the vitamins, minerals, iron, fats, sugars, proteins, enzymes and
water. Not one more drink has to pass babies lips, even on a
scorching hot day. A breast fed child will be less likely to suffer
from asthma, eczema and a whole host of other little goodies (saving
yet more money, this time on medical bills). I'd better get off my
Did you know that well-established breasts can produce a lot of
milk...Inextricably women can produce more for one of her children
than another? It's as if the mother and child intuitively know
together what the baby needs. A mother can even feed triplets, in
one breast-feedingsitting. Kinda makes your teaspoon of bodily fluid
look rather paltry doesn't it, just from a volume point of view!!!!!
you can begin to see and appreciate, anything to do with the breasts
shouldn't be rushed or underestimated. Just as you like to fondle,
twiddle and linger, so does babe.
Breast feeding isn't just about milk. Offering the breast, anytime,
anywhere should be normal. A babe sucking is an urge of great
magnitude, rather like you. They need to suck. They expend energy;
derive comfort, security, love and warmth. It's their first social
exchange. It exercises their jaw and aids the growth of teeth.
Demand feeding as we call it in the trade, is instinctive and
shouldn't be messed with. We should promote this fact and be in tune
with it. Sadly this is a lost art.
you can see, breast feeding is a 24 hr affair, for many reasons.
Another Breast Feeding Story
Breast feeding helps women get back to their pre-pregnancy state. It
contracts the uterus (the baby bag as we lovingly call it at home).
Helps some women lose weight.
The babes sucking, vital for the
production of milk, (another reason why it shouldn't be scheduled)
stimulates the release of milky hormones, prolactin and oxytocin.
These hormones also help a women relax. It's been proven that the
incidence of child abuse lessons in breast-feeding families.
Wouuuuu! What a Breast Feeding Story
Breastfeeding in public. Ohhh, now this is a contentious issue. But why?
If you lot like ogling, why stop just because a women feeds her
child. I was once asked if I would go and feed my baby in the
toilet, whilst nursing in a cafe. I said sure, if you'd like to
bring your lunch and join us on the toilet seat. Thankfully the
manager (a BLOKE....) asked HER to leave.......... If you round up
this information and think logically (most men are good at lateral
thinking), you'll understand what a 'cracking pair' we women have.
Nature at it's best and most beautiful. Breast feeding for many
women is a passionate affair. Tuck this somewhere safe in your mind
and when the time comes to share your life with the woman you adore
and you both decide to have children, give her all the encouragement
She'll love you even more for it. Passionately, together you can
watch your child grow, oh and her breasts..........
Breasts are beautiful; they also produce milk, the best pre-packed
convenience food out there, now that's an advertisement well worth
It took my first child and I six weeks
to get it right.
With some advice from the pediatrician, lots of practice and a grea
breast pump, I was able to get my milk supply back when it had dried
up at 3 weeks. I gave the baby both
breasts until she was done or fell asleep, then I pumped for 10 or
so minutes for more sucking/stumulation and either gave it to her in
a bottle or put it in the fridge.
It was very difficult and frustrating and tiring but all of the hard
work paid off.
I hope you were able to hang in there. Also La Leche League gives
good advice and some hospitals have meetings with mothers and
babies that are breastfeeding.