Jackelyn’s Breastfeeding Story:
Overcoming Negative Attitudes Towards Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding for me meant overcoming the very negative attitudes my own mother had about it. She had been taught that nursing was somehow “not nice” and that formula was the “modern” way to feed a baby, proudly showing me the little recipe from the hospital on how to mix my formula with Pet Canned milk and Karo syrup and/or dextro-maltose.
I’d watched her go through the whole ritual with the boiled water and sterilizer and bottles and nipples and lids and I knew it was an enormous hassle, as well as not the best food for a human infant. I was a biology major and knew full well how much better my milk would be for my baby and that nursing had advantages for me as well.
While my mother claimed the new Playtex bags and holders would be “really easy” to use, we planned to nurse our baby. Except for a bottle for water when it was quite warm, I never bothered with bottles at all. I did freeze some extra milk in those “handy” bags, but baby number one was very adamant about wanting her food in the original containers!
When my daughter was about a month old when we went to my mother’s for a visit while Daddy took his CPA exam over several days. She doted over her first granddaughter and fretted over my “primitive” nursing pursuit. She nearly fainted when I popped a fresh bag in a nurser and filled the bag with tap water! She all but accused me of infanticide, although the water was perfectly safe.
Late that night, I heard my mom sneak into her kitchen and boil all my nipples and equipment. I reminded her the next day that I sure wasn’t going to boil my own nipples and that the baby was perfectly healthy. In fact she was never ill until after she was weaned at about 10 months.
Weaning was pretty simple as my milk dwindled when I became pregnant again at nine months of age, and she was using a sippy cup well. (It took seven years to get pregnant the first time, and less than a year the second!) She wasn’t even jealous when her sister nursed at her wise old age of 18 months.
Baby number two was less fussy about getting milk from the breast or stored milk from a bottle. She even accepted formula for a meal or two when I had to discard milk due to a medical test and ran out because the test was an emergency.
Both babies were naturals at nursing and demand fed, but one was a two hour or less eater, as I was as a formula baby, and the other would go at least six hours but eat much more.
My mother continued to find nursing a little embarrassing and still had some negative attitudes about it but even she had to finally admit how healthy the girls were and that it really was lots less trouble to just plug in and feed.
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