Monday, August 5, 2013

Bloggers Chat about Breastfeeding for World Breastfeeding Week

Liz: August 1st through 7th is World Breastfeeding Week. If I remember correctly the whole month is National Breastfeeding Month. I wish we lived in a world where we didn't have to have weeks and months to remind us about our feeding options for children, but I think that's the goal - acceptance and support. After reading a post from the Huffington Post about bloggers suggesting we support all moms and their feeding choices, I knew that it would be interesting to dialogue with my fellow Mama(s) about their choices and how they made them feel.

How many children do you have and how old are they?
Liz: Two boys, Silas and Sage, 3 and 1.

Lisa: Two girls, Pixy and Banshee, 5 and 3. One boy, Cubby, in utero.

Robyn: 3 boys, Bailey, 14, Sean, 8 Kasen 5, and 1 girl, Reagan, 1 month

Did you breast feed, formula feed, supplement breast with formula...?
Liz: I formula fed with both of them. I initially tried breast feeding but wasn't able to do it.

Lisa: I breastfed both of the girls for 11 months and they weaned themselves. With Pixy, who was a tiny 5lb thing, I supplemented with formula to fatten her up.

Robyn: Breasfed all the way. Step-son Bailey was formula fed.

Why did you make the choices you made?
Liz: I had high risk pregnancies after having a stroke in 2008. I took medication that decreased blood clotting and apparently influenced milk production. After both boys were born I tried to feed them both for about 3 weeks. I put a lot more effort into it with Sage because I thought maybe I hadn't tried hard enough or long enough with Silas. But as soon as I stopped taking my anticoagulant medication my milk completely dried up both times. So sometimes it feels like formula was a choice and other times I think it was a choice made for me by my body.

Lisa: Honestly, we are a military family on a budget. I knew that formula was expensive and I figured I would give breastfeeding a try. It was difficult, because all the women close to me had formula fed and I didn't get the support I needed. This was something women with no other recourse did, not someone from this century. But, I stuck to my conviction to try and if it didn't work, there was always formula. I am all about rolling with the punches.

Robyn: It just seemed natural. Plus, breastfeeding burns calories!

How did you feel about your choices?
Liz: With Silas when I finally decided to only FF I felt guilty like I was doing my kid a disservice. Even though I knew I'd done everything I could. When I decided to FF only with Sage I felt less guilty because I'd been through it before and knew that feeling guilty was silly - it wasn't like I was not feeding my kid.

Lisa: I was at peace with all of my choices. My body said it was "all systems go" to breastfeed and I felt I did it well. Every once in a while, I do feel guilty that I didn't ask the girls to breastfeed longer, but honestly, if they were ready to stop at 11 months I wasn't about to force the issue. I think we have all turned out great.

Robyn: I felt great knowing that my body was put here for a purpose (not just for dudes to check out my rack).

What do you wish you could tell other moms who are facing the challenges related to choosing how to feed their child(ren)?
Liz: I teach child psychology classes and even though the books don't talk about this, I do. We talk about feeding options. I talk about BFing and the services available to help (lactation consultants at the hospital, BFing classes before baby's born, La Leche League mentors, etc.). I also remind students that sometimes, moms don't choose to FF and relay my experiences. I also talk about how sometimes Mom is sick and can't BF and these are all things we need to think about before we look askance at someone who's feeding their kid in public in a way that we didn't choose. I would love to tell Moms of the world to put all the Mommy War social comparisons aside and just support each other. You know how hard it is to mommy (and if you don't yet, you will). Why add that extra stress of being crappy to each other over feeding strategies? Feed your kid. Bam.

Lisa: Do what you think is best, regardless of what information is out there. When it comes to mommyhood, there is no right answer! All children are different, all Mamas are different! Why should we pressure each other to fit a certain mold? Some women will be able to breastfeed with no problem, others might require the help of formula. As mamas, we can never truly prepare for everything, but we can educate ourselves and support each other, to make the right choices for us. Mommyhood is not going to be stress-free, not by a long shot, just get it done and be happy.

Robyn: To grow into the idea of telling society to beat it! Sometimes it's not just the mom's decision, it's what works best for the family. Find the support you need (friends, family, other moms, groups, discussion forums) when you make the decision of breast or bottle. Once you have support, you'll feel more confident that you're doing the right thing.

How would you answer these questions? If you're a mom, what was your feeding experience like and how did people respond to it?


  1. I agree with Lisa: breastfeeding is free. I haven't had children yet, but when I do, I will do everything possible to breastfeed. I wouldn't want to throw down money unless I have to. I also feel that there is no right or wrong way to raise a child. The only thing a child truly needs to have is love, and you can love a child whether you breastfeed or bottle feed. Thanks ladies! :)