Yes girls… there is.
Not for you or me mind you, but for a newborn infant it is available.
It’s called Mother’s Milk!
For many years before I had my first daughter nursing a baby was really frowned upon. Women were told that their child wasn’t getting enough milk or it would wreck their body or it wasn’t good if you were nervous or it just wasn’t the vogue thing to do. They encouraged new mothers to dry up their milk supply and get the kid on formula as quick as possible or else their child wouldn’t develop properly. Frankly, I believe they were all on the take from the companies who made the formula!
So along comes the 1970’s and all of a sudden there is a change in the status quo. Women started to realize that the benefits of nursing outweighed anything the docs who promoted formula could say. It was a revolution and the Le Leche League became very popular!
I had my first daughter in 1977 and was hell-bent on nursing my newborn. It had nothing to do with all that bonding stuff they talked about or how wonderful the antibodies in mother’s milk can be… we were broke and I was lazy. There, I said it. Why would I want to get up with a crying baby in the middle of the night to heat up a bottle with some formula in it when I could just grab my daughter and a spit cloth and feed her? Made sense to me! What they didn’t tell me was that learning how to nurse a child isn’t the easiest thing in the world when you have just given birth and your uterus is still contracting and you have a hundred and fifty stitches in your belly. OUCH!
And the baby wouldn’t latch on!
Okay, I was determined. The nurses tried to help with a funny nipple that was attached to a piece of glass that fit on my breast to make it easier for the baby to grab onto. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. They would give her sugar water as a supplement and I was starting to feel really depressed about this. With the depression came extreme anxiety. What was wrong with me??? Cave women did this! Wet nurses did this! Why couldn’t I do this??? And with the overload of hormone emotions I would stress myself out so much that I would almost cry.
Thank God for my Pediatrician!
He was 75 years old and was one of a few docs who totally supported the nursing movement. After all, he was old enough to remember when nursing was the status quo! The first office visit with my daughter was typical. Healthy baby, good and pink and then the weigh-in showed that she had lost a pound. I WAS FRANTIC! I WAS A ROTTEN MOTHER DEPRIVING HER CHILD OF NUTRITION! She might loose brain cells or get sick or who knows what else. I almost broke down and cried in the doctor’s office. And then, this gentle elderly doctor gave me the best bit of advice that I was ever given about nursing…
“Chris,” he said, “first babies survive in spite of their mothers.
The baby didn’t read the manual on breast feeding!”
He convinced me that all would be well if I just relaxed and gave is a little time. It was typical of nursing babies to loose a little weight until they figured it out.
It took a little time but my little girl finally DID figure it out and she began to thrive. I look back at pictures of her at 3 months old with the rolls of baby fat and puffy cheeks. She grew to be a beautiful woman as did her three other sisters who I also breast fed.
I have a few more stories about nursing my youngin’s but I’ll keep those for another blog. Until then all you young mommies… keep at it. Don’t let anyone sway your determination if you want to nurse. It was one of the best decisions I made in my childbearing years.