In my practice, I run into women of all kinds who either love or hate breast-feeding. Most new mom’s start breast-feeding and experience some mild breast tenderness and a little bit of anxiety but are overall successful. Many enjoy breast-feeding and all the things that it entails like bonding and spending time with a new baby.
I have started coming across a group of women that I think need a voice that we often don’t acknowledge or recognize. It’s women who want to breast-feed but don’t enjoy it because it ‘s painful, or the sensation of nursing doesn’t agree with them in some way. While still other’s wanted to nurse their babies but have rigid work schedules that do not allow for the baby to nurse longer when they needed to.
Prior to having my baby, I was a very rigid no nipple-shield person and tried not to pump. This had been my philosophy. But since seeing more moms and all the lifestyles that they live in, I have since realized that not everyone likes breast-feeding, they don’t love it but don’t hate it.I found myself to be one that just liked breast-feeding but didn’t love it.
With my first child, I thought that I had somehow missed something and the hormones that a mom normally got which made you love breast feeding had missed me. Also because I worked and was away from my baby for several hours at a time, and sometimes I had to rush my babies along, I would pump instead. I was grateful to be able to nurse but never found in myself the love of nursing.
Please forgive me all my wonderful lactation consultants but my thoughts on breast-feeding have changed to do whatever keeps you breast-feeding. Whether it’s pumping or even using a nipple-shield, I would encourage the mom to continue breastfeeding so the baby gets the nutrients (remember this-without nursing directly you don’t get the babies saliva to change the antibodies in mom though). If it means pumping the entire 1st year of life than switching to formula - do it - it is worth it.
So I give a huge shout of admiration to all the mom’s and women who nurse or use a pump even if it doesn’t give them the satisfaction that so many of their counterparts got. We know every woman has a different experience with breast feeding.