Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Stop breastfeeding!"

My 300th post -- and 40th post this month. (It's been a slow month.) I've got an interview tomorrow for my second-year internship -- wish me luck!

Things seem to be falling into place. I'd like to spend Rosh Hashana with Bina, Asher, and Ziva, my newest niece. It would be fitting -- I spent last R"H with Bina, right before her wedding. I'd also get a chance to get to know Ziva.

Bina is working really hard at breastfeeding. Contrary to what one might think, it's not always a natural, intuitive thing that new mothers just roll over and do. Sometimes you have to work at it, and bless her soul, Bina's trying hard.

Several years ago, before I started taking lithium, I spoke with my then-therapist about how I feared it would preclude me from nursing. She looked at me narrowly.

"Ayelet, do you have a baby?" "Uh... no."

"Are you married?" (Sigh) "No."

"Do you have a boyfriend?" "No."

"Stop breastfeeding!" she exclaimed. It became a little mantra. I'm a yekke, a planner, and I usually try to live 10 steps into the future. This is not healthy or even practical. "Stop breastfeeding!" became a good reminder to focus on my current health and situation.

My sister Jerusha comforted me, saying that plenty of smart, healthy babies were bottle-fed. Heck -- I was breast-fed for going on three years (my mother won't give me an exact count, just says she stopped when I started biting her and laughing) and I've got allergies, digestive problems, acne, bad joints, and bipolar disorder. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding doesn't boost I.Q. as much as previously believed, although it does have other health benefits, and it's certainly cheaper than formula.

But still I mourned. I've always thought breastfeeding was such a nurturing, intimate, loving interaction. I wanted to be able to do that for my children. I didn't think they'd miss not being breastfed, but I knew I would miss not breastfeeding them.

Turns out, I might be able to, after all. Several recent studies have shown that the amount of lithium excreted in breast milk is minimal, with little to no effect on the baby.

Find me a husband who can knock me up, and I'm ready to start breastfeeding!
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

3 comments:

  1. Some of the smartest folks I know were formula babies.

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  2. I know. But when I read about you weaning your youngest, and how yummy nursing was, I felt so wistful. And when I found these articles, I felt so happy...

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  3. Breastfeeding is all well and good - but it doesn't always happen smoothly, and it's not the end of the world if it doesn't. My wife was unable to breast feed, period. We made all kinds of wacky attempts to induce her milk flow, including taping a formula bottle to her shoulder and running a catheter tube from the bottle to her nipple, so the baby would suckle and end up drinking the formula through a 'straw.' Sorry if that's TMO. Was it ridiculous? Yes. Effective? No.

    My kids are both formular babies, like I am, and I have no complaints. Well, a few :)

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