Sunday, February 24, 2013

…breastfeeding, babywearing & child birth {Part I of a Muddled Intro}

A Muddled Mama
breastfeeding, babywearing & child birth
Part I of a Muddled Intro


I've been on a bit of a hiatus from my blog. With three beautiful boys needing more of my time (and an absolute inability to prioritize; while being a top-notch procrastinator), I just haven't been able to hammer out any posts, but I have gone back and read some of my older posts (for inspiration and nostalgic reasons). In doing so, I realized that I've never really and truly introduced myself... so here is Part I of a Muddled Intro... in part one, I am going to focus on Breastfeeding.

I grew up as the youngest of three in a pretty mainstream family. My dad worked full-time and my mom kept the ship, also known as home, running smoothly. My parent's did not practice attachment parenting but I knew from a very young age that I was loved and quite blessed. As an unhindered, childless adult I could not think of any reason why I would not parent in much the same fashion. I had a wonderful childhood and I turned out great, thank.you.very.much!

Pregnancy was the beginning of my AP leanings, we were inundated with advice and books. One series by the Sears' family, particularly held our interest, for different reasons. I pored through 'The Pregnancy Book' while the hubs read through 'The Baby Book'. I scoffed, rolled my eyes & snorted in derision over various things (what, I cannot honestly remember... ). While unbeknownst to me, my other half was nodding his head in agreement.

I vividly remember (verbally) tearing that book apart, we were not going to be doing this, this, that & the other thing. My child would not be clinging from me like some primate... and they certainly would not be walking, talking and still breastfeeding.

The hubs stepped in and voiced his strong desire for me to at.the.very.least initiate breastfeeding. Fine, I could compromise with the best of them, I told him that I would absolutely try to nurse our baby (secretly, I had no intentions of trying very hard).

I started out with small goals. I wanted to feed TT the colostrum. I wanted to nurse him back up to his birth weight. I wanted to go another week. Okay, a month. Six months... so on & so forth. Until at about 10-11mos, I looked at the hubs and said “I'm going to allow TT to self-wean”. My sweet husband, smiled at me and said “I know...”, insinuating that he had known this all along! 2 years later, C-McC was born and I knew that I was going to breastfeed him until he weaned (my goal was two years... he weaned at 20months, while I was pregnant with WC).

That's right, I didn't start out as a lactivist! If it had gone my way, I would not have nursed my children! I didn't understand how absolutely beautiful, how wonderful and how necessary nursing is. I type this as a mama who had minimal problems (aside from my own stubborn desire to not initiate) nursing. I realize that there are women who cannot nurse. I also realize that most women who are unable to breastfeed, are failed by their healthcare providers and society in general. They are told that 'breast is best' but no one gives them the tools to do so.

Honestly, this double standard is the driving force for my breastfeeding passion. How can we expect women to reach the basic of guidelines (exclusively breastfeeding until 6mos and nursing in accompaniment of solid foods to two years, and beyond) when we don't offer women any help?

Formula is not (and should not be) the only answer to breastfeeding issues.

Why are our doctors not better versed in various breastfeeding issues and solutions... (especially, GPs, OBs and Peds)?

Why are resources such as Newman Breastfeeding Clinic not covered under OHIP (or your provincial healthcare)?

It bears repeating, we tell mother's that 'Breast is best' and then we set them up for failure (by not having any resources in place to help them nurse their baby, by telling them at every chance that they should just feed them formula, by telling them that they're making too much/not enough).

Are you a lactivist? How do you you support breastfeeding?