Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mother's Day Approaches

Mother's Day is this coming Sunday in the United States, and Garrison Keillor has these words to share in his column at

She knows when you're in trouble. And you will get into deep trouble someday. Count on it. Someone will file a lawsuit against you and subpoena your e-mail and it will all come flooding out, your dark secrets, your nefarious dealings, and your friends will cross the street to avoid you and your brothers and sisters will fade into the woodwork, but your mother will still love you. Like an old lioness, she'll come running even if you're 2,000 miles away.

Reading this, it really rings true with how my wife and I have come to feel about our own progeny. When you meet your baby for the first time, he's a tiny, little stranger and you wonder if you'll ever feel that overwhelming love that so many people talk about. After a year with our boy, we're absolutely dedicated to being on his side come whatever may. We never knew we could feel that way about anyone besides each other.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Breastfeeding Reflections from Clever Mom

Clever Mom contributes the following regarding breast milk:

Dr. Sydney Spiesel wrote about a recent breast-feeding study for They studied breast feeding in Belarus, and discovered that breast feeding played no role in reducing respiratory infections (but did reduce diarrhea and eczema), and in no way affected the behavior of the child at 6.5 years, or the mother's satisfaction with her marriage and family. The author is shocked, I am not. Dr. Spiesel concludes that the child is likely to do best if the mother chooses a method of feeding that works best for the family.

I believe that breast feeding is best for babies, especially newborns. And I think that new moms should be encouraged to give it a shot, because it starts the baby out with a food that definitely will be easily digestible (there are lots of different kinds of formula because some babies can't digest/are allergic to regular formula.) It also saves tons of money, is better for the earth, and helps new moms drop baby weight quickly. But I think the health benefits are very overblown, and I think it creates far too much stress on inexperienced mothers to expect them to care for an infant, go back to work, and be a baby food factory all at once.

I think breastfeeding is likely easier than formula feeding for stay at home moms, but for me at least breastfeeding and working full time was far more stressful than it was worth. I realized that since I spent 2 hours a day pumping and cleaning pump parts, 9 hours working and commuting, and my baby slept for 12 hours I only spent a single hour a day with my baby. So when he was 7 months old I hung up my Medula and got an extra 15 minutes in the morning and hour at night with my sweetie (and I didn't spend my lunch holding bottles to my boobs.) Women flocked to the workforce in the 60s and 70s because they had the option of feeding formula, and I think women are turning each other into guilty slaves by demanding that if they go back to work they still must breast feed. Granted, I think it is great that employers are offering lactation rooms, but I don't like the currently predominate school of thought that you are only allowed to go back to work if you dedicate yourself to pumping full time and working full time.

So basically I think moms should try breastfeeding, but you should ultimately go with the feeding plan that works best for your family. I also think it is important to frequently reevaluate your decision, to make sure that "not a drop of formula will pass through my baby's lips" is really a goal that will make you and your family happiest in the long run.