Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Only the b(r)est for my baby

When a child is born, we only want the best for them... best hospital, best doctor, best baby toys and all the other accouterments that babies need.

As they get older, our infatuation for the best continues; the best food, the best friends, the best school, the best teachers, the best college, the best spouse, the best life.

I think our fanatical desire for the best is natural. We love these little creatures to bits and would do anything for them. What puzzles me is why breast-feeding is considered best, but only up to a certain point.

When I went to the doctor a few months ago, she wanted to prescribe a certain medication. When I asked if it was okay to take if I was breast-feeding, the doc furrowed her brow and we had the following conversation:

She: how old is your son?

Me: 14 months (which he was at the time).

She: And you're still nursing him? Any particular reason?

Me: Because it's good for him and for now I don't see a reason to stop.

She: Well, if you want to take this medication, you'll have to stop. Maybe now is a good time to tell your son no more.

In the end, I opted NOT to take the medication, and the whole exchange still strikes me as bizarre (from a doctor, no less). I often get the same reaction from other people when the topic comes up:

You're STILL breastfeeding him? WHY?

Why not?

And why not, indeed? Over and over it has been proven that breast milk is THE best thing for a baby. It protects against infections and contains all the nutrients that babies need to thrive. Neither of my kids have ever had an ear infection, and seem to avoid a lot of the illnesses that are floating around.

For Moms, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and also provides a great way for mothers to bond with their babies.

So why is it so weird that I support extended nursing? I nursed Elise until she was 2 1/2. Even though at 12 months, when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was told to stop nursing her. I didn't, and never noticed an adverse affect on her blood sugar.

I plan on nursing Mattias for a few more months. When there are only pluses and no negatives, why shouldn't I?

get it... breast-feeding is not easy sometimes. I remember that in the beginning, every time Elise would latch on it would hurt so much I felt like throwing up. With Mattias, he staged a nursing strike at 4 months. I had to pump and syringe feed him at times because he refused to take a bottle. We were going through a bunch of other things during that time and it. was. HELL. I don't think I've ever been so stressed out in my life.

But I still knew it was best, so I stuck with it. And I think we proved who the most stubborn one of all is, right?

I love this part of being a Mom. I love the bonding that comes from those quiet moments where both of us are still. I enjoy looking at his sweet face; losing myself in his beautiful blue eyes, stroking his soft, silky hair and just reveling in that wonderful baby smell that still surrounds him.

This passage of time is so fleeting that I am in no rush to get through it.

Getting bigger (and cuter) every day.


shannon said...

what a beautiful photo! (and boy!)

as i'm sure you know from your experience with elise, you'll know when the time is right for the nursing to end. i can't believe that doc said that to you! sheesh.

David and April Vinson said...

Well said! Don't ya love the support from doctors! Why do they care so passionately about NOT wanting us to nurse any more?! What's it to them? Our pedi acted like I was a FREAK for even considering nursing Nathan beyond a year. He said that their was no proven benefit beyond 4-6 months. Ok... what?!
Andrew weaned ME from daytime feedings at 13 months(cold turkey pretty much... but that's another story...ugh!), but was happy to continue in the middle of the night... UGH... so I finally recently weaned him from night time nursing too. I would have wanted to nurse him a little longer during the day, but he was way too busy for me and I was really looking forward to sleeping through the night myself! Ok... sorry... WAY long response mainly about me... sorry!