Thursday, April 18, 2013

You're going to do WHAT?!

Many of you are aware that I am breastfeeding AND that I am fairly vocal about how important I think it is to breastfeed my daughter.  While I would NEVER push my feelings about breastfeeding on someone else, nor would I put down a mom who can't do it, for my family it is an important choice.  Well, I've returned to work and, sadly, I am not keeping up with Little One's appetite by pumping.  Before you start to tell me that I must not work in a place which is breastfeeding friendly, you are wrong.  I am free to pump any time and do take advantage of that.  I just cannot keep up--Little One has a big appetite, which probably comes from my side of the family!  I was nearly brought to tears this week when my mother in law had to supplement my breast milk with formula and instantly felt like a breast feeding failure!

I thought--I'm just not pumping enough.  So, I tried to pump more during the week, but still I just couldn't keep up!  So, after much discussion with my husband, I decided that I would accept a friend's offer to take several bags of her frozen breast milk and free up her freezer.  At first my husband's response was, "That's gross!"  We talked for a long time and finally made the decision together that I would take the frozen milk so I could feel better about not being with Little One during the day.  After all, it's bad enough that I have to leave her with someone else while I'm working. . . .

Anyway, I was at my WIC (yes, I DO use this WONDERFUL Federal benefit; NO I'm not on welfare and NO I'm not lazy) appointment and I brought this topic up to the nutritionist.  She didn't have to say a word for me to see how she felt about me using some of my pal's frozen breast milk in a pinch.  DISDAIN.  There was definite disdain on her face AND in her voice when she said to me, "I know you read a lot of research and you're really educated so I don't have to tell you the potential dangers of sharing breast milk."   I wanted to go into a rant about all the benefits and how there are milk banks around the world to keep women from having to dump their excess milk and keep children healthy. I wanted to tell her, that all though it is TRUE that HIV and other infectious diseases can be passed through breast milk, it is extremely rare and the CDC does not feel that breast milk needs to be handled with special precautions.

I'm not the only one who has wrestled with this controversy.    While most doctors caution against this practice, others; such as Dr. Sears; say the potential risks are outweighed by the benefits.  And I'm prepared for the flack I may catch for using milk from a friend of mine.  I stand by the decision my husband and I made.