I have been hearing/reading a lot about breastfeeding recently.
I am a huge advocate of breast feeding. In my mind, breast is best. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with formula, but it's not for me our my family. I don't judge other moms that choose to go the formula route, or that choose to do both. But, for me - breastfeeding is the only way to go.
I have always wanted to nurse my kids. I think it stems from my aunt, who breastfed all 4 of her children when I was at an age to understand (youngest I was 6, oldest I was 14) . She is the only one I knew that breastfed, and I always looked up to her.
When Julien was born, I was very sad that I couldn't put him to breast right away - but I understood he needed to be in the nursery to be checked over. When he was transferred to CHEO - it broke my heart - not only was I seperated from my child, he almost died, and I wasn't able to have him nurse. I was given a pump to use in the hospital, but you yield such a tiny amount iin the beginning that they were supplementing with formula. In my head, all my dreams of breastfeeding were gone. I was still pumping, and sending in what little I could get from the pump. They were mixing it with formula. When he was 9 days old and not hooked up to machines anymore, the nurse tried to help me latch him - it was a no go - but he downed a bottle of BM. At this point, I thought I would be a pumping mom. We came home the next day, and he wouldn't latch on - again, to the bottle we went. However, in the morning when I had no milk left, no formula in the house and couldn't pump - I gave it all I had and knew that he would have to figure it out. IT was amazing - he latched right away - there was no fighting, no tears and it was the most amazing feeling I have ever had.
I was astonished at the emotions that came with breastfeeding. Not feeding breast milk , but actually nursing my child. To know that he could get all the nourishment he needed from my body, amazed me. The fact that 10 days of tube/bottle feeding and he could figure out what to do - amazed me. We went on to have a teriffic breastfeeding relationship until he was a year old! There were a few times where I wished that he was bottle fed so I could actually leave the house without watching the clock, but in the end I am thrilled with what we accomplished.
When I was pregnant with him , I again relished the though of breastfeeding. To me, there is no better way to feed my child. I have on occasion given him a bottle of breast milk, but it feels so foreign to me that I really don't like to do it. I was lucky this time - I got to hold my baby right away, and as soon as he was cleaned up I was able to put him to breast. HE happily suckled away for 30 minutes, and then we switched - and again he happily suckled for 20 or so minutes. Our breastfeeding was well established from the start -which I am so thankful for.
I think that no matter what way you choose to feed your child, you will have a bond with them. You are providing their nutrition - what better way to bond? But for me, I would have been very disappointed if I couldn't nurse my kids.
Kyle is almost 5mths old and hasn't had anything other than breastmilk. When he is 6mths, I will introduce solid foods for him (purees of veggies/fruit/meat and possibly cereal) and I hope to continue nursing regularly until he is a year old - and go from there.