Formula vs breast milk. I have decided to write about it as soon as I witnessed the stress women were facing with today’s society view on breastfeeding.
I was a breastfed baby, and always heard positive talks about it from my mother. This pretty much summarizes my knowledge on the subject. Besides my mother, none of the mothers in my family breastfed. By choice. Because in France, we are not ashamed nor pressured to say “I do not want to breastfeed my baby”. No judgement whatsoever. On the other hand: the USA. The country is well known for having a strong opinion about it. It is a public opinion often broadcast on TV-shows and movies.
Personally, I felt like giving it a try. I educated myself on the subject towards the end of my pregnancy. I didn’t want to pressure myself by reading tons of potentially scary stories. I wanted it to come naturally. And it did. I loved it.
But, the more I nursed my daughter, the more pressure I felt from the outside (among Americans). For personal/medical reasons, I had to feed my baby half breast milk/half formula. I sometimes felt embarrassed talking about it. I would here: “do you still give her formula?”. Well, you know… my baby has to eat at some point so…Yes I still feed her with formula. I felt like I had to justify myself for it.
Long story short. It was clear to me that the two countries were not on the same page. Pamela Druckerman (author of Bringing up bébé) confirmed my first impression: “French mothers barely breastfeed. About 63 percent of French mothers do some breastfeeding. A bit more than half are still nursing when they leave the maternity hospital, and most abandon it altogether soon after that. Long-term nursing is extremely rare. In the United States, 74 percent of mothers do at least some breastfeeding, and a third are still nursing exclusively at four months.”
She is an American in Paris, I am a French in Boston. We had the same feeling.
Until I decided to do some research to understand what was really happening. And here are the numbers from governmental sources:Read More »
Carrying and having a baby is quite an adventure. The challenge is physical, emotional and nervous. We know it.
But let’s pause and go back where you were before baby arrived. You had the idyll life as a couple, and it may be your motivation to go a step forward. Or it may not but, you had it going for you anyway.
Baby’s arrival disrupts the couple balance.
No matter how arduous this is, mothers have prepared (consciously and unconsciously) for it, pretty much all their life. Nobody can deny women are (at least physically) intended to give birth. We’ve prepared for years and bonded 9 months to be ready to meet baby.
Dads do not possess the ability to build-up the same mental and emotional strength. This must be brutal for them. They are way behind us and need to catch-up very fast, what we’ve built for all this time.
Do you feel the contractions? Here they are. Finally !
You try to follow your birth plan, if you have one. I, personally trained and prepared myself with and for hypnobirthing.
Long story short, I had quite a long labor with different phases: 30 hours and 1 hour pushing.
Yet, I was mentally and physically prepared.
Oddly, the one hour pushing felt like an easy game. Baby and I worked together, we were connected.
I gave birth.
And here she was, in my arms, on my chest. Like to pursue the connection we had built, to tell me “we did it mom”, she stared at me, with her eyes wide open. Balancing form my left to right eye. We were physically discovering each others. She was extending the bonding we created for 9 months. It was strong.
After minutes of intense fusion, they took her to the scale and did everything she was scheduled for, like every newborn.
I found this to be a tricky moment. Alone. Of course, daddy is with the baby. You still have work to end with the OB and the medical team. Read More »
All I had was what I’ve always heard and what I’ve always been told. Pretty much everyone can relate to that.
From the very beginning of my pregnancy I felt amazing. Well, almost from the very beginning.
I will use the word “adjust” a lot in my blog. So let’s start now and say: I needed to adjust my mind for a few hours and, maybe a few days. This baby has been truly discussed, thought, desired and conceived with love.
I don’t know about you, but when I saw this + sign on this piece of plastic, but yet life changer, my heart jumped and I sure needed to sit down.
At that moment, no matter how prepared and ready I was, everything became unsure and I lost my confidence.
This is where the balance we have in our couple became important. I told my husband probably 5 minutes after I figured out. I was scared he will panic. He was of course (on paper) ready to have a baby. I say -on paper- because I don’t think a man is ever “ready” to have a child before he is confronted to the baby, but this is an all different subject I will write about.Read More »