There’s a hub-ub of breastfeeding talk going on – this at Strollerderby, this at Blissfully Bitchy, and I know I’ve read more, but as I sit here pumping with one hand and typing with the other I’ll just get on with my thought.
I’ve been really pondering this for two days now. Alex and I started off nursing and have ended up exclusively pumping and using bottles. I can share my story if you want, but it’s not necessary for what I’m hoping to learn from you.
My mom did not breastfeed me, she had some sort of shot in the hospital that dried up her milk (purposefully), and had me on formula and rice cereal when I was a week old (per the advice of her L/D nurses) – One representation of a 70s mindset to feeding babies.
(Punch line – we can now find all kinds of info on how that can jack your blood sugar – I can be proof of that.)
My grandma (mom’s mom) did not breastfeed because she was told by her doctors that it would increase the risk of breast cancer – she used formula. One representation of a 40s mindset to feeding babies.
(Punch line – she had to have a radical mastectomy in the 70s. Thanks for your advice doc. (Sarcasm))
As I was feeling frustrated and a little sad that at 14 weeks I think the critical period has passed for Alex to ever nurse from me again it dawned on me:
No one in my immediate family has breastfed a child since my grandma was born in 1915. That’s NINETY TWO years of family culture there. I’d have to go back to my Great Grandmother to find a woman in my close family who could nurture me and help me.
I have had exactly one of my peers breastfeed around me enough to give me *any* clues what it was like.
I know many choices I have made have been a direct result of what my mom did. Her birth story of having me was always very positive, honest (yes it hurt), measurable (she’d had endometriosis – death wishing cramps for a week for no reason vs. death wishing cramps for a day that would result in a child – she’d pick labor any day), and non alarming. With this background, I never feared labor and my biggest beef with my own labor story is how much people tried to interfere, the pain was manageable (one day of suck vs. the 292 days of suck preceding it – fair trade).
My hypothesis is that the women who are successfully primarily nursing (and for this I mean straight from the breast, not pumping like me) at 6 months are women who have mothers who breastfed. I believe a good mother/daughter bond is better than a lactation consultant any day (notice I said “good”, clearly if you have a mom who harps on your ass and makes you feel like crap – a bad lactation consultant is better than her.)
If you will answer a few informal questions, I will pull out my college statistics book and learn how to figure correlation again to see if it seems to make a difference if you come from a line of breastfeeding women or formula women as far as longevity of breastfeeding goes:
1. Did your mom nurse or use formula with you/her children (elaborate as necessary).
2. Did you choose to nurse or use formula with your child/children (elaborate as necessary).
3. If you nursed, how long did you nurse your child/children (elaborate as necessary).
(And if *any* of you respond with “heck, my mom still nurses me … Well, I’m just speechless 🙂 )