Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 31: Parenting Dogmas

In my previous blog I ended off with saying that I would be writing about the sleeping aspect of babyhood and my body’s sensitivity to mind activity. But first, I would like to make a side-note on a point of much debate which is ‘breastfeeding vs. formula-feeding’.

My previous post was about breastfeeding and my experience with breastfeeding but this should in no way be interpreted in me advocating breastfeeding in contrast to formula-feeding.

Both have their strong points and depending on what situation you find yourself in the one might be a better option than the other. I am in a position where I can and want to breastfeed but I easily could have been in a position where I would have formula fed – it all depends on the context/situation you find yourself in.

In parenting circles there tends to be a strong conviction towards ‘doing everything natural’ (eg. Natural birth, breastfeeding). If you don’t follow this ‘natural’-doctrine you are made to feel like you have failed not only as a mother but as a woman in general. For me breastfeeding was painful in the beginning and then got better, but for some people it doesn’t get better. If I had stayed in pain I would have switched to formula feeding because there’s just no point to compromise yourself to that extent simply so you can keep yourself in alignment with your idea of ‘being natural’. You’d then easily secretly start resenting breastfeeding and back chat about it and every time you feed your child that’s exactly what the child will be picking up on. Not only are you then poisoning yourself with backchat but you will resonantly alter your breast milk which will then adversely affect your baby. In your mission to ‘do good’ you end up accomplishing the reverse. [For more perspective on this point, I suggest listening to Mind, Body and Food – Quantum Systemization] Having and taking care of a baby is a drastic change to one’s life and adapting to this change does not always come easy. To insist to someone who is for example going through post-natal depression to breastfeed the baby, can push them deeper down the deep end. When you opt for formula-feeding, feeding is not tied to the mother exclusively but anyone can feed the baby and thus assist in taking care of the baby. In the beginning a feeding schedule of a newborn baby can be really hectic with little space for resting. It would then make more sense to formula feed as you can spread the load and the baby will not feed as frequently since formula is digested slower. This would then allow more space for the mother to adjust and if she wishes she can always take up breastfeeding later or do a combination for the two or stick to formula. But since the mother is mostly the primary caretaker of the baby, it is of utmost importance that the mother is stable. Insisting on breastfeeding because “it’s best for the baby” while driving a mother mad – is not in the best interest of the baby. It’s only in the best interest of sustaining your conviction.

I for instance opted for a C-section and breastfeeding – and when this was shared with people (especially nurses and doctors), I got a lot of strange looks and faces. They thought it was weird that I had opted for an ‘unnatural birth’ while opting for ‘natural feeding’. As if you either do natural birth and breastfeeding or c-section and formula-feeding. You’re either a ‘natural mom’ or an ‘unnatural mom’. I mean, that’s like a really black and white view on childrearing and parenting.

So that’s just something I wanted to share – it’s not about ‘which one is right’ or ‘which one is wrong’, but for each person to assess in self-honesty what would be best considering both the baby and the mother.

Since my ‘sidenote’ turned out rather lengthy, I will leave this as a blog on its own and continue with my story in the next post.
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1 comment:

  1. Yes, I did "natural" birth so to speak but said no to breastfeeding. I did try it but it did not get better for me so I realized that I did not even want to hold him because pain was associated with it even when I was not breastfeeding him- but just to hold him pressing on my exploding full of milk breast. I tried some home remedies but it did not suite me.


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