I will start by telling you a little story! When my second daughter, Izzy, was in the hospital, she needed to be in the ICU because she was "Coombs Positive" (my 3rd daughter, Milly, had the same scenario). I breastfed my first daughter, Ellie, exclusively for a year and knew that I wanted to do the same with my second. However, when Izzy was in the ICU, her coombs was so bad that I could only take her out from under the lights for 20 minutes at a time every 3 hours- which, with a newborn, is simply not enough time to establish nursing. The only way she was going to get rid of the coombs was by pooping and peeing- therefore they needed to give her formula to flush it all out. I continued to pump and nurse when I could, but I was so grateful for the option of formula in the hospital to meet the needs of my baby and ultimately expedite the going home process. When we got home, I did have to really work to get her to breastfeed- but we did it and she nursed exclusively for a year. I was SO grateful for all of those samples they sent me home with from the hospital- it really helped our transition home. Fast forward to my 3rd baby, who had the same situation- Coombs positive, ICU, etc.. I was able to nurse her more but felt such a peace knowing she could take formula if needed to get well and SO glad to have so many samples on hand if needed!
I am going to move on to the article that has me all "hot and bothered" not the article itself, but the proposed ban in which it discussed. Here it is: LINK Apparently there are groups trying to ban formula from hospitals, saying it does not promote breastfeeding and somehow this option is encouraging mothers to choose formula over breast milk. (they have been successful in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island) I MEAN REALLY? I clearly think Breastfeeding is delightful- I do think it is good for babies, but if you ask me why I have nursed 3 babies for 1 year each (that is 3 years of my life nursing- whew) it is not necessarily for the health benefits. I do think it is better for babies- that is clearly why God made us to lactate- however, I have done it because it is a) easy b) convenient c) cheap and d) mess-free! I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom and it is just a lot easier for me to nurse than to mix the formula, warm the bottle, feed the baby, wash the bottle, etc.. THAT BEING SAID...it is not for everyone. My sister-in-law chooses to work outside the home and for her, formula is an awesome option when she goes back to work. She nurses as long as she can and then makes a wise choice to move to formula. I say wise choice because I dont know if nursing is better for the baby if the mom is all stressed out about...nursing and pumping. I believe babies are happier and thrive when the mother is happy and thriving. I also have friends who cannot breastfeed for one reason or another and people have made them feel so guilty that they are literally miserable. I have seen it ruin friendships and I have seen mothers try so hard to nurse (unsuccessfully) and the babies are crying and not sleeping...because they are HUNGRY! Give the baby some formula and move on- I wish people would stop making others feel guilty about this issue! My sister-in-law who used formula has very healthy children, none of them are obese, they are not picky eaters, they are very smart and are loving wonderful children. My kids get colds just the same as they do, my oldest had so many ear infections they suggested tubes, they are the pickiest eaters I know, they are smart- but no smarter than their formula-fed friends- I just think there are more factors to consider than what type of milk we give our babies. I am clearly not "pro-formula" I am just "pro-healthy, peaceful, happy mommies".
SO, in conclusion I have a few bullet points- (because I love bullet points)!
- If you cannot breastfeed or do not want to, please do not feel guilty or like you are not a good mother. God chose YOU to parent your baby and you are wise enough to know how to feed them. You just love them and provide for them the best way you know how.
- I wonder how many of these activists trying to ban "A Women's Right to Choose Formula" are also activists for "A Women's Right to Choose Abortion" I dont think I need to elaborate on that hypocrisy at this time- you are smart people!
- I am very grateful for the samples of formula at the hospital- formula is extremely expensive and I have to think that these samples help many families who are already struggling to afford their new bundle of joy and the hospital bills that come along with that bundle. Any little bit helps!
- Finally, I have loved breastfeeding my babies, I highly suggest trying it. I am always happy to help if you have any questions or are having trouble with it. It is such a special time between mommy and baby and if you are able to- try it out and just take one feeding at a time!