To breastfeed or not?
One of the most vivid dreams during my pregnancy has been about breastfeeding. I’m in labor, then suddenly a new baby is in my arms. The baby is very hungry, and I have no idea what to feed the poor child. Then I realize my body came equipped for this sort of emergency. “Oh, yeah, I have these! Phew.” Then I wake up, feeling slightly less nervous about impending motherhood. Nature will take its course, I tell myself. I hope …
Writer Hanna Rosin of The Atlantic found herself musing about breastfeeding and talks about her struggle in Sunday’s St. Petersburg Times. In Rosin’s circle of friends and playground moms, the women don’t question whether “Breast is best.” But Rosin says she has chosen to keep breastfeeding her youngest child, despite some inconsistencies among experts on the issue.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, though it doesn’t discourage the use of formula, clearly prefers breastfeeding. “Both breast milk and infant formula will help your baby grow. But breast milk is the best first food for babies,” the FDA says. The agency offers a laundry list of reasons why breastfeeding is better, including the mother’s quicker recovery from childbirth and a better guard against sickness for the child.
Every parenting magazine I’ve read so far has encouraged breastfeeding. So far, my doctor hasn’t pushed the issue, but I am carefully weighing the pros and cons, and also considering the half-and-half approach, using formula as a supplement.
-- Dory Knight-Ingram