Ada will be 6 weeks old tomorrow, and I think I’m going to try a first bottle-feeding session with her– that is to say, my husband will try a first bottle-feeding session with her. I’ll pump some milk and we’ll see how she takes it.
This is prompted because I should start picking up a few articles here and there at the Fayetteville Observer soon, which I enjoy, and I want to see how Ada does.
I’m such a purist at this point, after nursing my first child for so long, that I wouldn’t mind if my second never had a bottle at all.
I pumped milk from the time Azita was 1 month old to about 9 months while I finished my degree at UNCP.
The few times Azita ate with a bottle while I was still in the house were almost upsetting. The nursing relationship is so unique and almost sacred to me at this point that it feels like I’m betraying my kid by giving her a bottle!
Silly, perhaps. Its just that when you have nursed a child and you see the differences in the reaction after breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, its not hard to recognize the bottle as the second-best choice.
When I nurse Ada, as with Azita, her entire tiny little body relaxes, she gets warm, and comes off with that little milk-drunk face. I just love it. I remember with Azita, after drinking from the bottle, she just didn’t have the same satisfied feeling emanating from her. She would also drink much more often during the day from a bottle than she would nurse. It was like she needed to compensate for the fact that I wasn’t there.
All this being said, I’m a total advocate for women pumping when they need too and nursing when they can– that’s what I did with Azi. Pumping could be a hassle– I was happy to stop when she could eat enough solid food to keep her full while I was working or at school.
Pumping enabled me to continue my goals and get my degree, and not feel like being a mother was forcing me to give up the other things I wanted. I didn’t want to feed formula even if I was gone.
When I would walk in the room after several hours of separation while I was in class, Azita would nurse and smile and look at me and all was forgiven.
I’ve heard many working mothers say things with similar sentiments– that nursing enabled them to keep a bond and closeness, and feel less guilty for continuing their careers or side jobs. Our society has this impression that nursing and working aren’t compatible or are too hard.
I’m thankful that that’s not true. Sure, its not easy and there is some sacrifice from the mother. But isn’t that true of all parenting?
So now, with my little Ada, I’ll probably only pump maybe one bottle a week, compared to the daily grind of 2 or 3 bottles a day with Azita. And I like that.
I’m happy to do it this way this time, my life will just be easier. But if I had a full-time job, I’d choose to nurse at night and pump during the day like I did with Azi.
Who knew that someone who doubted if she even wanted her own children would be so content as a stay-at-home mom? As a teenager I thought that having children and nursing and staying at home got in the way of women’s equality in the workplace and women’s rights and all that good stuff. I was never going to consent to being “just a housewife”, in my view back then.
Well, no mother is just a housewife, but that’s another point.
Nursing and pumping can be pretty empowering, when you feel like you are pursuing your career and at the same time giving your kid the best nature can offer– giving her what only you can.