I've seen the news stories on the mayor of NYC mandating that hospitals lock up the formula and encourage new mothers to breast feed exclusively. This bothers me because it feels as though my choice of how I want to feed my child is being taken from me. Isn't the United States the "free country" where we are allowed to make what we feel are the right choices for ourselves and our families? Does the government REALLY have the right to step in and dictate to me what is best for me and my child?
This smacks of the government saying I don't know what is best for my family. They are going to step in and tell me I am a bad mother before I even have a chance to bring the child home. What a blow to my self-esteem!
I remember when I was pregnant with Jakes and my Drs office went over everything I would need to know during the pregnancy and even chatted a bit about what to expect after delivery. When I went in to have Jakes it was with the expectation that I would have an epidural so as not to feel any pain and then to pop my new infant right onto my breast when he was cleaned up.
What a dream world did I live in? Yes, I had my rose colored glasses on!
After burying my mother, I arrived at the hospital during a full moon which lead to a very busy delivery center. I was in full labor and ready for my drugs. But they were so busy, they couldn't get to me just yet. Hang in there they said, it won't be long before the drugs and you have a long way to go yet.
I was scared, sad, depressed, excited and happy all at once during Jakes delivery. It had already been a long couple of stressful days, with a long stressful month leading up to this day. I couldn't wait to meet my son! I wanted my mom to be there to meet my son. I wanted DRUGS!!!
After they got me settled in a delivery room things progressed much more quickly than they expected. There was no time for drugs, no time for anything but listening to my body and working with it to bring my son into the world. And all I wanted was drugs and my mommy. I got neither.
Once Jakes was in my arms, I presented him to my breast for our first bonding session. This did not go well. I was tired, exhausted, sad, depressed and excited all at the same time. How is it possible to feel so many emotions all at the same time?
Jakes wouldn't latch on, he just wanted to sleep. me too, kiddo, me too! So I asked the nurse to take him to the nursey so that I could sleep. She looked at me like I was emotionally derranged. All I wanted to say was "if you knew what I did today, you'd do it too! so don't judge me."
I continued to try to get Jakes to latch on, even once we were at home, he wanted nothing to do with me. He did take the bottle very nicely and the formula agreed with him. He was not an overweight baby, ever. In fact, he was always so small the Drs worried that he wasn't eating enough. Other than that, he was a healthy and happy baby who met his milestones on time.
I am afraid that other new mothers will be made to feel as though they are less than a good mother because they choose to bottle or breast feed. Everyone should be able to choose how they feed their child and they should be able to make that choice without being made to feel badly about their choice. But they should be educated about all their options.
If the hospitals and their staff are going to educate new mothers on the benefits of breast feeding, I think they should also be educated on the benefits of formula for their babies. I don't think the hospitals and their staff members should be allowed to show a preference for either feeding method. I think the only ones allowed to show a preference for a feeding method should be the mother and possibly the father of the baby. It should be an educated choice for the family.
But the government should NOT be allowed to dictate to ME about doing what I think is best for myself, my child and my family.