Our society drives me nuts sometimes. Oh, I understand that we live in the best country in the world, but for a society so educated and technologically advanced, we sure have lost touch with nature and nurturing one another.
Tomorrow I'm driving 45 minutes from home with my girls to give a literal breastfeeding demonstration with Ava to a new mom. This is the fourth time in about a year that I've been asked to help a new mom deal with what everyone told her should come naturally but doesn't for most.
I'm a pretty laid back person, I think. I have opinions like everyone but I'm also shy and reserved around people I don't know.
Except when it comes to breastfeeding.
I don't know how the fire got lit with me on this subject, but it has. Perhaps it is the statistic that something like only 19% of women nurse their babies past 3 months. Or how overtly sexual boobs have become in our society, practically losing all sense of their intended purpose, thus making breastfeeding seem secondary or not important at all.
Why do so many moms quit nursing before their newborn is even six weeks? While lactation nurses at the hospital are wonderful, most haven't nursed a child in years. Even I had forgotten some aspects of breastfeeding a newborn until I had Ava.
Nursing a newborn for the first time (and often babies that follow later) is frustrating. It can be scary for a new mom who's already so unsure of herself and whether she's doing all the right things. I'm amazed how many new moms don't know that they WILL peak at about 7 weeks. They are not destined for milk tankers the remainder of their nursing days. Their beautiful infant isn't always going to frantically flail arms and legs while searching desperately for a breast that's right there for the taking. Marathon feedings DO slow down. They speed up now and then but eventually there's an actual routine.
The poor mother I spoke to today just sat in the dark and cried last weekend. Her mother didn't nurse her and the lactation nurses at the hospital just told her textbook crap that isn't necessarily true. 20 minutes on each boob at every feeding? nonsense! Neither of my babies ever nursed past 10 minutes. It is absolutely daunting to any woman who thinks her entire life must revolve around feeding a baby.
I'm not taking issue at all with women who choose not to nurse. It is every woman's right to choose. Most women want to nurse their babies but for whatever reason some cannot. No, I'm pointing fingers at the weak attempt by our society to encourage what is truly the very best for babies. That means giving the support, respect and education new mothers need but few recieve.
Did you know that in Norway, women breastfeed in public all the time with nary a glance or side remark from passersby because it is that common? Nature and nurture. How absurd that it isn't as accepted and common in our own country?
My sister is my hero because though my nephew didn't nurse well, she switched to pumping for him for a year. That is incredible and I'm tremendously proud of her because though it was a pain in the butt, she did it anyway...for him.
I'm rambling, I know. It has been a long week and I'm dealing with a bit of an infection in my right milker. Perhaps it has made me a bit touchy? :)
I get sad for new moms who have to struggle more than is necessary to try and do what they feel is right for their child, only to give up because no one hears their silent plea for help. Mothers are judged so harshly, why can't women unite more and be supportive? Educate one another while allowing for mistakes or differences in opinion and parenting techniques?
*sigh* Time for two Tylenol and sleep. Hope I haven't ruffled too many feathers!