Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Expressing Concern

Even though, more mothers in the US have “latched-on” to fact that breastmilk is best.

They refuse to “latch-on” their babies! You mean, breast-feeding? Forgedaboudit!

Read for yourself:
Breast Pumping on Rise as Moms Choose Not to Breast-Feed - TIME,8599,1971243,00.html?artId=1971243?contType=article?chn=sciHealth
Breast-Free Breastfeeding, Exclusive Pumping’s Growing Popularity

NEWS FLASH: Breastmilk from a bottle is not the same as breastmilk “real time” from the breast!  Breastmilk changes in composition; during the feeding, throughout the day, not to mention, day to day. The beginning of the feeding is different from the end of the feeding. The morning milk is different than the night milk. Today’s milk will be different from tomorrows. A nursing mother constantly colonizes antibodies and literally immunizes her baby every time she nurses. Comfort hormones are released during the feeding that the mother and baby receive simultaneously resulting in a sleepy, calm baby and relaxed mom. That’s the beauty of breastmilk, directly from the breast!!

REALITY CHECK: Most pumped milk, especially after freezing long-term, will quickly be "out-dated, poorly-timed, age-inappropriate and non-immune”. Sure, it’s better tolerated than formula, but once it is stored and/or frozen, the baby is missing out on many of the beneficial physiologic properties. For instance, someone in your house is sick and you are nursing, your breastmilk will protect your baby from the severity of that illness. But if you are bottlefeeding your baby breastmilk pumped 3 months ago, he/she will not be protected. Breastmilk is a “live” body fluid. Many elements do not survive long-term storage (longer than a week) for example: antioxidants, host-defense factors, Vitamins A, C & E

WARNING: If you attempt this, statistically, you will ultimately fail. Most women cannot keep up with the volume consumed by their baby via the bottle, where overfeeding is universal. Ask anyone who pumps at work and has to contend with their daycare provider’s constant nagging for more milk.

True, some women are just blessed with enough milk for the entire state and they are usually the only ones that may pull this kind of thing off. But it is rare. Some women make it to 3 months, a few to 6-7 months. Sooner than later, they get frustrated, exhausted and “cut the cord” with their pump!

Aside from the many misconceptions that lead to this decision, it’s the emotional component that is most disturbing to me. Sadly, I don’t have enough space to address the impact on the baby (I can’t even go there right now) But what I will tell you is: women who choose to exclusively pump, tend to be very controlling and quite competitive. Often, they brag about things like: how much milk they can pump at one sitting. One time, I was asked how much milk I made. So, I pointed to my son and said, ‘You’ll have to ask him!” These women love to brag about how much breastmilk they have in the freezer. So,I would brag about how much ice cream I had in the freezer! And of course, I can’t forget this one; not only, does their baby drink down a bottle in record time but he can hold his own bottle, too!  That’s when I would say:
“That may be fine for you, but honestly, I cherish every minute we spend together breastfeeding…and so does he!”