Upon having my first child, I had every intention of nursing. I'll save you the details of the experience, but let's just say, it didn't work out.
I felt horrible. After all, I was pretty sure that every little choice I made at that point was going to mean something dramatic for my baby's future. And why shouldn't I? After all, there are about a million claims on the benefits of breastfeeding and a million more on the detriments of not.
I will forever be grateful for my pediatrician who at my child's three week weigh in said to me, "You know, your value as a mother does not depend on whether or not you breastfed." Thank you, Dr. A. That one statement was exactly what I needed at that point.
Again, with child #2, I didn't nurse. This time my reasons were more mental than physical, but I still felt guilty; I don't remember someone ever telling me I was a bad mom for not nursing, but I'm sure I told myself that a number of times.
My husband, of all people, found this interview this week on KUER, and if you care about this issue, have a good 50 minutes to spend listening (I folded laundry during), and are nerdy enough stand public radio, I would highly recommend it. Basically, this professor wrote a book about how most of the studies done on breastfeeding are largely inconclusive or flawed and in a shocking twist the Le Leche League Lady sort of agrees with her.
Note: Some of the callers are pretty great. My favorite is the older-sounding lady who claims that her one child who wasn't nursed felt left out. Wow, really? Or maybe it was because that child had a lisp? I'm not totally clear on this.
A little bit like Republicans and Democrats? The two sides will probably never agree.
I'm still a little unsure about whether or not to nurse baby #3. You are all going to think I'm a terrible, selfish, no good person for asking this (and maybe I am), but is it wrong to nurse for the boobs and the weight loss? Just a question.
Another Note: My husband found the article and showed it to me. He did not listen to it, nor does he care about this issue. He would want me to make this distinction, trust me.