My Child Development and Public Health topic is breastfeeding. I decided to research breastfeeding because I experienced it first hand as a first time Mother and I am always interested in learning about new experiences.
My breastfeeding experience was traumatic. My husband and I attended Bradley birthing classes throughout our pregnancy and I was confident that I would breastfeed my baby until he weaned himself off of the breast. I read a ton of books and articles but nothing prepared me for reality. I struggled with getting my baby to latch, I experienced post partum and couldn’t physically support my baby due to a severe case of tenosynovitis “mommy’s thumb”. I felt extreme pressure from my OB, Mom and lactation specialist to keep trying. My Mom and Husband had to literally hold my brand new baby in order for me to breastfeed because it was too painful to bend my wrist. I felt awful when I gave my baby formula and cried the entire night. After three stressful weeks and unsuccessful breastfeeding attempts, I decided that I would pump in order to provide my baby with the nutrients that he needed. Proud to say, I pumped for 7 months before my supply dried up. And it was the happiest day of my life! I never knew that pumping would be so time consuming, draining and tedious with sterilization.
After reviewing the article, ” Breastfeeding a Baby In China”, Wiens (2011) discusses breastfeeding versus formula feeding in China. Statistics show that China has better breast feeding rates than the US and Europe, however, Chinese Mothers feel a tremendous amount of pressure to formula feed after hospital births (Wiens, 2011). I find this very interesting because it is the total opposite in the US. I truly feel that the pressure to breast feed led to me feel so inadequate as a first time mother. Although research proves that breast milk is full of high caloric nutrients, formula is advanced and formula fed babies are just as healthy as breast fed babies.
Although my breastfeeding experience was not the best, I will try it again once we decide to add to our family:)… I hope that my story inspires other Mom’s to embrace their breastfeeding experiences for what they are. Each person is different and we all have a story to tell!
Reference: Wiens, V. (2011, August 29). Breastfeeding a Baby in China. Having a baby in China.com. Retrieved from http://www.havingababyinchina.com/reference/breastfeeding-a-baby-in-china/