One of my best friends had a beautiful baby boy this week. As I look at the pictures of this new little life, I am reminded of my own experiences after the birth of my daughter and recent conversations with friends and family. The first few days/weeks of a baby’s life are both glorious and extremely challenging. For many women, one of those challenges is breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is hard. For some, it comes naturally and easily. For most people I know, there are a lot of struggles along the way. Baby doesn’t latch appropriately. Mom has too little milk or too much milk. Mom gets painfully sore. Mom feels overly tied down by not being able to leave the baby or becomes exhausted from having to be the only person getting up for feedings in the night. Baby doesn’t want to nurse under a cover, making nursing in public a challenge. I could go on.
A recent article I read talked about how the push for breastfeeding in the past few years has perhaps been taken too far by some people. While breastmilk is the best nutrition for babies, that ideal just isn’t possible for all families. As in all areas of healthcare, it is important to give moms all the information and then respect their decision on how to feed their baby.
Even if not explicit, I think there is a certain stigma of shame in some areas of our society for women who do not breastfeed. A friend recently went into a huge detailed explanation to me of all the things she tried before switching to solely bottle feeding. I felt so sad reading her email. She shouldn’t feel the need to explain what happened, as if she was a failure in some way. She loves and is feeding her baby the best way she can, which is all that should matter to anyone.
So happy birth week to a sweet little boy! And happy feeding, bottle or breast, to all you moms with babies out there!
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!