As it took hubby and I three and a half years to have Little Pumpkin Doodle breastfeeding was the least of my concerns. After making it past the 1st trimester, I thought, wow, I’m really going to have a baby! So I put myself into full baby mode and started nesting. First on my agenda was to buy cute baby clothes, second was to start looking for a pediatrician.
Before starting the search I did what most people do, and started asking friends, women on the street and reading blogs for tips on what I should ask while interviewing doctors. Feeling very proud of myself I was fully armed and ready to interview doctors with my two page questionnaire.
Breastfeeding judgment & our pediatrician
I’ll never forget the appointment where we met our future pediatrician. I asked her several questions and then she asked a question of her own; “You’re going to breastfeed, right?” She clearly saw the look of panic on my face when I said, “yes” a little too loud. I didn’t mean it, and quickly recanted my yes, to an “I’m not sure.” The pediatrician replied quickly with the phrase “no judgment!” I found it funny, since she clearly was judging me. Believe it or not, we ended up selecting the “no judgment” pediatrician. I didn’t care that she judged me, I wanted the best, and doctor “no judgment” was the best in town 🙂
It wasn’t that I was against breastfeeding, it’s just that I thought it was creepy! All kidding aside, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I had surgery 5 years prior to conceiving and was advised it would probably prevent me from breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding an older child
I admit I have judged other moms for breastfeeding an older child. My husband and I visited a close friend and her neighbor stopped by with their 2.5 year old. The neighbor started breastfeeding her child while speaking with us. Yes, I admit, I judged that mother. My first thought was that if a child has a full set of teeth and can ask for milk, then its time to stop breastfeeding. But after what happened to me, I realized that it’s no fun when you’re the one being judged.
Giving birth at a pro breastfeeding hospital
I had the option of giving birth at a hospital 5 minutes from our home, but selected an OBGYN closer to my work, therefore only giving me one choice of hospitals. What I didn’t know is that the hospital I chose to have my daughter was a pro-breastfeeding hospital. I know it was my fault for not doing enough research, but I had a lot of things going on at the time. I even had a panic attack on the initial hospital tour with my hubby. Looking back, the realization of finally becoming a mother after so long had started to hit me.
I didn’t produce much, if any milk, and every time I asked for supplement, a nurse would politely say, “Why don’t you try the other breast.” At one point my friend, my father and I had all asked my nurse for supplement when she became upset with us and walked away. It wasn’t until they checked LPD for jaundice, and realized she’d lost 1.5 pounds (total weight of 4lbs 5oz) causing her to go under the bili lights, were they accommodating with the supplement.
The nurses made me feel like I was a horrible women for not providing breast milk, and that I was whining and couldn’t handle the pain. I wanted to yell, I’ve had three surgeries and waited 3.5 years, I’ve paid my dues, now feed my baby! If I had to do it all over again, I would have selected another hospital.
Balloon animals and breastfeeding
LPD was born 6 weeks early and I was overwhelmed and not mentally prepared to breastfeed. While relaying my breastfeeding experience in the hospital to one of my BFF’s she told me that when she had her baby a lactation consultant, which she later named the lactation “dictator”, treated her breasts like she was making balloon animals at a children’s party.
I’ve concluded some women want and are able to breastfeed, some women aren’t able or don’t want to breastfeed; but either way it’s none of my of my bee’s wax.
Did you feel the pressure to breastfeed your child? I would like to hear from you. Don’t be shy.