Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's just easier

I have heard so many women say they don’t know if they are going to be able to breastfeed.  It just seems like so much “work” and “bottle feeding just seems easier”.  Easier?  I think someone may have given you the wrong idea!

There are many reasons some women choose not to breastfeed, but please don’t be fooled into thinking formula and a bottle is going to be “easier”, because it’s not.  I can’t imagine using bottles regularly!  I am not trying to be sarcastic here, I seriously don't know how so many women do it!  "Breast is best" and that may be true for baby, but it is also very true for me.  I find breastfeeding so convenient and easy, and the idea of having to schedule feedings, prepare and clean bottles, and do this all day and night long is enough to cause me serious anxiety.  I am so grateful I have been able to nurse my kids.

True, in the beginning some women can experience some difficulties and discomfort when first nursing.  The first couple weeks of nursing are spent with both mother and baby learning to breastfeed and it can be harder for some mother/baby couples.  In these situations, finding a good lactation consultant as soon as possible can be the difference between breastfeeding success and failure.

But once breastfeeding is established, it becomes the most convenient and easy thing to do.  It doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, you have milk for your hungry baby at a moments notice.  Anybody that has had a baby crying for food knows you can’t feed them fast enough.  Listening to them cry while your prepare a bottle sounds like torture!  Sure, Most of the time you probably get the bottle ready before they start crying, just like I usually nurse before they are that hungry.  But there are those times when baby wants to and I am so grateful in those moments that all I have to do it pull up my shirt.

So do I nurse because it is better for my baby?  Yes.  Do I nurse because I enjoy the bonding experience it provides?  Yes.  Do I nurse because it is the natural way my instincts tell me to feed my baby?  Yes.  But I also nurse because it is the simplest, fastest, most convenient way I can feed my baby no matter what is going on in my crazy life and I need that!  Why make my life more complicated than it already is?  Besides, I’m lazy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why do I nurse in public?

So many people don't understand why I choose to nurse in public.  I thought it might be fun to answer a few common questions.  Let me know if you think I missed any.

Why do you nurse in public?
Simply, because my baby is hungry.

Why not go to a bathroom?
Why don't you eat in a bathroom?  Because it's disgusting, that's why!  I am not going to feed my baby in a small room filled with flushing toilets.  Enough said.

Why not go somewhere more private?
1st, because my baby is hungry now and I don't want to make them wait.  2nd, because I am comfortable where I am and don't want to stop what I am doing, gather my stuff, and possibly leave the place I am at just to find a private location... that is not a bathroom.

Why not use a bottle?
Because my baby prefers my breast.  Because it is time consuming to pump and wash bottles.  Because I don't want to have to carry around the extra baggage of bottles and ice in my already overflowing diaper bag.

Can't you at least use a cover?
I could, but my baby hates it and always grabs it off their head.  Also, it is hot and I don't feel like adding another layer of anything to me and my baby.  And did I mention the overflowing diaper bag?

But what if someone sees your breast?
Chances are they see more breast exposure walking through the zoo on a hot day or walking down the magazine isle at a store.  I am feeding my baby.  If someone sees that, oh well.

But what if you offend someone?
I understand there are people that may be very uncomfortable with seeing part of a woman's exposed breast.  Unfortunately, it is not my job or obligation to worry about every stranger who may or may not be offended, it is my job to look after and feel my baby.  If someone is offended by me taking care of my child because of some deep cultural or religious reason, then so be it, I have offended them.  I can live with that knowing that it was not my intent and that the comfort of my baby takes priority over that of a stranger.  But if it is some hypocritical person that has no issue watching nudity and sexual content on tv but can't handle watching a breast being used for it's intended purpose, then they can just get over themselves.

So why do I nurse in public?
Because it's the best thing for me and my baby and I put my child's needs above my social awkwardness or the threat of offending some stranger that may walk by.

Related post: Try not to hide