Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sharing Breastfeeding

On the Today show on Friday was an interesting story about wet nurses. They definitely covered the ew factor, but also had a woman on who had wet-nursed 40 babies. She spoke about how milk banks pasteurize their milk, so many of the live antibodies which breast milk is so renowned for, are killed by the process. They also had a La La Leche League Leader there who clearly stated that LLL does not approve of the practice.

Well I'm glad I'm not an LLL Leader anymore, because that means I get to share my own opinion!

I know someone who hurt herself shortly after giving birth, and had trouble breastfeeding. She was thrilled to have a sister who was able to do it for her, until she had recovered enough to hold her baby without fear of dropping her.

I also had the privilege of experiencing this myself. I was babysitting for my friend's toddler, who took about one minute to nurse herself to sleep, after I offered. I was so happy to be able to respond to her need in a way that was so natural to me.

While watching Today, my older son (ten years old) came into the room and started watching with me. He feels it's a bad idea because then the baby will start bonding with the wrong person.

I agree that a breastfed baby bonds with the person the breasts are attached to. But on the other hand, we all know of children who are more attached to their day care providers than their own parents. Many people shrug that off as being a necessary evil. So why isn't a baby's first food seen the same way?

Personally, if I were not able to breastfeed, and money wasn't an issue, I would probably try to find someone to pay to pump for me and give me the fresh milk to bottle feed. I appreciate the value of breast milk, but would also be terrified of my children bonding with someone else more than me.

That's why I'm a stay-at-home mom.

And that's another reason why we homeschool.