My youngest sister just called, she of the three-month-old baby. The hospital has been hounding her to bring him in for a follow-up hearing test, even though he passed his first one in the hospital, and my sister doesn’t want to do it.
Why? Because she has to not nurse him prior to the test, and she doesn’t see the point in driving a hungry, wailing baby across the city for a seemingly unnecessary test.
So the people who are pushing for the test told her that she is welcome to bring a bottle of formula to give to S-Man during or immediately after the test. And my sister was all, “Oh, I don’t give him formula, I just breast feed.” And the nurse there was HORRIFIED, she gave my sister a little lecture about how she MUST give him formula as a top-up, and however was her baby SURVIVING on breast milk alone.
This is my sister’s second baby so she was all, “Whatever, crazy lady, now go away,” but I think you can see how a first-time mother might be swayed by a member of the medical profession saying something like this. It totally smacks of this post that I just read a few days ago at Captial Mom — the same thing happened to her, and it was so upsetting.
I do not understand how the message that “breast is best” is totally getting through to Canadian mothers…and yet not to Canadian doctors and nurses. Something is wrong with our system, isn’t it?
I now wonder why I chose to breast feed in the first place. Was it the internet? Was it parenting magazines? Maybe the What To Expect books push nursing? I know it wasn’t my family – none of the women had nursed a baby in generations. It wasn’t my doctor, who bottle fed both her babies and was not interested in nursing.
And lordy, it wasn’t the staff at the hospital. I can’t count the number of recovery ward nurses who pushed me to bottle feed, who said that my baby was crying because I wasn’t making enough milk, who warned me that my kid would never thrive without external milk. For shame! After Little Miss Sunshine was born, I was randomly selected to complete an exit survey, and I waxed on at length about how the recovery nurses required a course in breast feeding, both so that they could provide adequate instruction and support, and so they wouldn’t fill new mothers’ heads with nonsense. For heaven’s sake!
I guess it just shocks me that in this day and age, when almost every new mom I know is either breastfeeding or at least making the attempt, that the medical profession is still so full of anti-breastfeeding propaganda. That a medical person could be out there spreading information that is simply not true, that the majority of mothers know is not true.
One of the hardest things to learn as a new mother is to trust your instincts; that you know your baby the best. That doctors are only people with opinions, and they aren’t always right.
Thank heavens my sister already knows that. SHEESH.