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Monday, March 19, 2012

Why no one breastfeeds anymore...


     I happen to have "liked" many parenting, breast feeding and birth pages on Facebook.  One thing I have noticed about ALL of them is that despite posting daily about normal behavior in babies, especially breastfed ones, about how to successfully breastfeed, and more,  at least once a day and sometimes as much as every hour a mom asks the page a question that baffles me. 

"My baby wants to eat every hour or two at night and I need sleep. Why is she doing this and how can I stop it"

"My baby is using me as a pacifier. What can I do?"

"My baby nurses once a day and I give him LOTS of solids and water and juice and bottles of formula while I am at work. My supply seems to be dwindling, how can I get it back up?"

"My baby is 2 days old and not acting satisfied after nursing, so, I let him nurse for a minute and then give him a bottle of formula. How can I get him to nurse more?"

These are just some of the questions I have seen and they all can let me know a few things about modern society that help me to know exactly why hardly anyone breastfeeds or why they quit early if they do.

 We are under the impression that a baby should eat quickly and remain satisfied for hours after a feed(like the modern formula fed counterpart), we believe that babies should go to sleep immediately once placed in a crib and should sleep soundly for most of the night(8 hours is good, but 12 hours is best), we believe that sucking beyond feeding and for comfort is for pacifiers only because breast aren't pacifiers(even though pacifiers ARE breast substitutes for when the breast isn't available to be suckled), we are under the impression that breastmilk isn't supply and demand and should turn on and off like like a faucet(even doctors and nurses don't seem to get this one).....

Then, you add in the fact that "breastfeeding is a private thing reserved for mom and baby alone and hidden from view of the world.", that daddies "absolutely CANNOT ever, ever bond with baby unless he gets to bottle feed at least a million times.", that " breasts are sexual ONLY and only for your husband to touch because a baby touching them is child porn and exposing he child to sex.", that "breastfeeding is GROSS and that formula is WAY easier and full of SO MANY vitamins and minerals that breastmilk doesn't have"., and "everyone and their mom and sister and grandma and best friends and dog had formula and are JUST FINE even though they all have breast cancer, hypertension, strokes, diabetes, asthma....and so on." .....

Every ad you see has a bottle fed baby, every show you watch has a bottle fed baby, every family you see in town is bottle feeding their baby in public, every doll you own has a bottle, every book you read has a bottle fed baby...

Your mom keeps telling you that baby isn't satisfied if he wants to eat every 2 hours and you should formula feed, your grandma thinks it's gross and tells you to formula feed, your hubby doesn't want you to nurse in front of ANYONE and wants you to formula feed, the doc thinks baby is a little lighter than average and wants you to formula feed, your best friends baby was formula fed and slept all night from day one(she also allowed baby to scream until it passed out from day one)...

So...If you have believed these things, saw these things, heard these things and were told these things....

It's no wonder we all quit. How could you not? It's just failure waiting to happen and IF, IF you happened to nurse beyond the first day, week, month or deserve a standing ovation.  Think of everything you overcame. The obstacles are MANY. The help is few.

How can we counteract ALL this that is SO against breastfeeding? Can you think of some ways?