Recently in my travels across twitter I found an article very well written about a Mom who was planning on co-nursing with her partner.
Of course my eyebrows instantly went up… How can a woman who is not the one to physically carry the child breast feed?
Apparently it is very simple…yet not at the same time.
These are the two articles who go into depth explaining how it all works.
I whole heartedly support any Mother’s Right to breastfeed. I did it, until my daughter decided at 6 months she didn’t want the breast anymore. I wish she wanted it longer, but it also cleared up some family drama surrounding my personal choice.
This is where my personal confusing feelings enter the picture.
As someone who is very close to a family with an adopted child I don’t feel it is needed for the child to be breast fed to form that special bond with Mom. To be perfectly honest I feel that it is a selfish choice for the Mom. Selfish might be way too strong of a word, but formula fed babies have no problems, again I go back to the family with an adopted son. He was raised on formula and started solids and soups at 3 months. His metabolism is fantastic, weigh has never been an issues… Some times I seriously wonder if it was better for him.
The relationship between Mother and Son is also stronger then any family I have ever seen. The lengths she will go to for him and vice versa is incredible. It is a true love of parent and child, no breastfeeding required. When he was a child it was the same thing. He was brought home at 10 days old to his family and from that day forth he has been, and always will be, the most important person in his parents lives.
I understand the self inflicted pain of not being able to breastfeed in natural mothers. I can understand the pain of being a partner and not only having to choose who will carry your child but also play the more traditional “Mom” role for the initial life stage of your joint child. I would want to breastfeed my partners and I’s child as well! But having to take drugs to trick my body into doing something unnatural just isn’t my personal style.
While I am in no way a religious, god fearing woman I do believe everything happens for a reason. I believe the adoptive family I am close with was not able to have a child on their own so they were given the gift of the son they now have.
If a couple are not able to have a child while that is the most heartbreaking thing in the entire world, it is not the end of the world. For 9 years before The Padawan was born I was told I was not going to be able to have children. The day I looked at that stick and found out I was pregnant I was so happy I didn’t think of all the scary moments. I was being given the one gift I had started to believe I was never going to get.
I do not mean to diminish any pain felt by any family who are unable to conceive naturally or unnaturally. I would not wish that upon any human being.
But rather than a new adoptive Mom focusing on the breastfeeding aspect of bonding, why not focus on other areas? Instead of importing illegal drugs in from Switzerland why not invest in some good old fashioned bottles and snuggle down into a feeding routine like that? While breastfeeding is a special time it is completely over rated. You can provide food for your child with a bottle and make that your special time.
Love shouldn’t only come with food. Something I am sure these Mothers understand completely but it confuses me I suppose.
Why set yourself up for pain when you don’t have to? Why is the focus of love with infants so wrapped up in breast feeding?
Why is it not more acceptable to feed a baby formula? Some natural mothers cannot produce, which is not the fault of the Mom, it’s simply genetics. My Mommy was a milk cow and a baby having MACHINE! Her pregnancies, labors and everything else would make a Nun swear. Okay bad analogy since Nun’s don’t have kids, but stick with me.
I guess what I am trying to say is one can be a Mother without having the child suck on your boob. Being a Mother isn’t defined as how long you breastfed, or how much your child weighs, being a Mother can only vaguely be measured by how much love you show for your child, biological or not. We don’t have a number or unit of measurement made for the amount of love some Mothers feel for their children. I know for myself my love for my Padawan grows exponentially every single day. Every single smile amps up the love; ever diaper I change, every boo boo I kiss… Every second I love that little girl a little bit more. That isn’t because we breastfed. It’s because she’s my daughter and I love her. Even if she was adopted… She would be my daughter. My flesh and blood.
The one thing that makes me so mad I could spit is when people don’t accept the adopted child into the family. Some times this can be Grandparents, Aunts or Uncles but they always treat the child differently and it disgusts me.