Reflecting on the way I looked at breastfeeding during different stage of my life will ad the coarse value to our 'Raw Parenting Goldcast'. When I had my first child at the age of 21 no one could go near my boobs. 'At that time' being freshly retired from the career of a competitive runner, I wasn't ready neither physically or mentally, to be offered as a snack. Deep in my heart, of course, I wanted my baby to have the best of the best, so after “NO GO” breastfeeding sessions surrounded by nurses teaching me various techniques, the only possibility tested by my pain threshold was to use the plastic cups for the nipples. Not in a million years I could imagine the pain it might inflict on you, as the snap of the tiny newborn's jaws! I was in tears for weeks while my husband at the time was feeding on “raw model parenting” moans such as: “Any decent mother would offer the breastmilk to her baby, but all you think of is your running!” Literally! It's true that two phases of approximately 10 km a day will never help your milk production, as it's true that he is my ex-husband now. Admittedly, I did pursue my 'running comeback' just too soon after the birth, ohhhh well...the motherhood in twenties. Often times new mothers feel huge societal pressure to parent certain way, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Not only we get pressure from peers, colleagues, family, even strangers staring at us the way like this foreign subject is alien to them, but on top of that, in many cases the doctors influence us the way that is not closest to the nature. Learning from my first child's upbringing, I fed my second baby nearly 4 years with my milk. Comparing between the health of my two baby's, my second baby was never ever sick, as opposed to my first one, who 'poor thing' went from Stomach flues, numerous Bronchitis, ear infections, through every child common illness. Honestly, from the very beginning I do not remember a month when we didn't have to go to the Doctor. That's where I got complete psychological allergy to medications and Doctor's philosophies. Basically, as soon as you do not follow and nod your head to everything the Doctor orders, you are advised pretty much that your child might develop “this and that”, and basically you are putting your child in harm's way. I can't generalize! Yes, I'm talking mostly of Doctors based in United States, but the same mentality is very intrusive to European Medical establishments. Again, there are millions of Doctors who are out of presumptive box, and I was really lucky eventually to find the right ones. I will not even enter into the sensitive subject of 'vaccination'. Let me just stick to the very slippery theme of why breastfeeding has a price of gold. Or better yet, it does have a price of gold for all population, maybe not for long lasting marriage (LOL)! As I mentioned, my second child was not only much healthier (which is so mean and awful to say, comparing one's children 'better-worse', but this comparison serves purely medical purpose, as this is the only evidence we can base our opinion or presumption upon. I love all of my four children the same, and try to treat them the same way in every matter. I even signed my 3 years old for Arabic lessons, just because my 5 years old studies Arabic language at her school. Back to the subject, not only that my second purely breastfed child was super healthy as opposed to the first one fed by Enfamil Lipil and Similac (Swiss Brand at that time), who developed allergies, and was often sick, but also the breastfeed one behaved much healthier. As a parents you can observe your children's behavior the best. I might be wrong, and yes-each child is completely different, but I genuinely felt huge difference. Therefore I decided to keep breastfeeding my other two children No.3 & 4 as long as the nature will inquire. And here I'm breastfeeding the sixth year in the row, all together 10 years!( I probably have 0% Calcium in my bones). In addition, since the birth of my No.4 (2014) I breastfeed both of my children (Tandem Breastfeeding).
I'm loving it! My partner not so much.....can't blame him though. There are choices in life. The one choice is to get married, the almost following choice is to have a baby. Well, just small-talking the ancient philosophy down! It really is a huge decision for every mom to decide if breastfeeding, or formula. I was always selfish person and also wanted to keep my boobs perfect for a long time. Once I had a first baby, learning the mistake I made by extreme running, I would never make the same choice. I did not cut off the baby from my boob either, it did on its own 'cuz the salt in milk content, hormones and whatever other toxin from cardio-sports, that makes mother's milk taste yucky to the baby. After only six weeks my baby started spitting the milk out and refused to take the breast. Anyhow, generalizing for everyone's situation:” No matter what US- mothers do for a job, we all think first of all about survival. It is natural way of life. In deed, after I stoped breastfeeding I lost all the baby weight and looked stunning one again. I guess that's the thinking of most young moms. Now, after all that experience, I would rather be poor and out of shape, but have the baby breastfed. Is that a good thing? I have no clue or research done, but by nature, experience and knowledge it is. Oh, again I forgot about the marriage part. It might be a divorce hazard;) but c'est la Vie! With long term breastfeeding comes hand-in-hand the issue of sleeping policy. This isn't an advice by any means, because I do sleep solely with my children. One can imagine what impact this has on my partnership with the father. But that's why I write this in the “Row Parent's Corner”, because what's perfect? Perfection is relative. For example, the most of the people watching me tandem breastfeed on the bus, find me inappropriate (least to say). This new millennium really turned people away from the touch with the nature. I do believe that the way new generations are forming is thanks to the way we prioritize and parent our offspring, directly and partially coming at breastfeeding as vast part of it. Good luck and strength to all breastfeeding moms not giving up! If you have a crazy, out of perfection parenting story, please write it up and send it to iMarshmallows.com