Turn on Fox to catch blogger Alex Elliot on The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet discussing her post about the NYC and MA ban on formula samples in hospital diaper bags!
(Will update this post with my thoughts in a second....)
Okay, first of all, congrats to Alex on a wonderful, well-spoken appearance.
My breastfeeding struggles are well-documented. To recap: Big baby, milk came in late, weight loss in excess of 10%, Noah got his first bottle of formula in the lactation consultant's office at five days old. Turns out my fibrocystic breast disease and scar tissue from cyst aspirations impeded my milk production, dooming me from ever having enough to exclusively breastfeed. I pumped, I took supplements, I nursed around the clock. I went back to work and my supply dropped through the floor, and I dried up sometime around month 5, in a fit of tears, sadness and a bit of relief.
I agree with Alex that I don't understand why the hospital bags need to be such an either/or proposition. Nursing pads and milk storage containers? AWESOME. GIMME. A formula sample and some coupons? Thanks! I'll stick these in a drawer in case we need them at some point.
My first lactation consultant -- the one who admitted I needed to supplement, and supplement NOW -- described the formula in hospital bags like "sending someone home from rehab with crack in their suitcase." I opted not to see her again.
I agree with Alex that we are grown women. We can take in advice and information (even conflicting information!) and make our own choices. This assumption that we're going to pick formula because it's what came with a free tote bag assumes that we are all a bunch of...I don't even know. Uneducated teenagers who don't know any better? Workaholics with a flight of nannies who can't be bothered? (And I'm making these generalizations extremely sarcastically, because please. The idea that young mothers or working mothers are incapable of making the "right" choices for their children is a load of crap in and of itself.)
Breast milk is amazing. It's wonderful, almost miraculous stuff. But like Alex said, formula is not rat poison either. I'm not going to sit here and wonder if Noah would still be speech delayed if I'd managed to stick with nursing a little longer, because that means I have to wonder if Noah's speech delay is my fault for going back to work for those few months, or if I didn't eat the right things during pregnancy, and YOU KNOW WHAT?
We moms have enough pressure and choices to obsess and worry about already. Give us our choices, give us support and information, give us encouragement.
Not a stupid "I Eat At Mom's" onesie.