My Breastfeeding (Pumping) Story
My opinon: the most important thing to a baby is a happy Mom, and although as a doctor I think human milk is best, as a Mom I assume that every decision a Mom makes is with the love for her children.
My story: I had my daughter when I was a graduate student. She was intense and fussy at my breast, and it seemed like she never slept -- a classic case of colic. Thank goodness my Mom was there to show me how to side-lie nurse and reassure me that with the appropriate safety precautions, nursing while co-sleeping could calm us both. After she left, I would feed my daughter every time she cried, sometimes every 30 minutes. The resulting oversupply meant too much foremilk, green milk, green poop, and a horrible diaper rash (thank you kellymom.org for great advice when dealing with this!). On the upside, this primed me for pumping when I went back to school/lab, but it wasn't easy -- my advisor called me in to his office at 16 weeks to say I needed to step up my productivity. I countered that I could see how my pumping schedule was killing my productivity, but making milk was my #1 job.That's when he suggested I write down all the things that I had to do to pump and share that list with my partner (and that's how he inherited dropping the baby at daycare, as well as all the bottle and part cleaning/sterilizing duties). Now I am a resident physician, often working 14-16 hour days. I just returned to work after delivering my second child, this time a son with a calm temperament. I'm lucky to work near a children's hospital with several private lactation rooms. My perception is that some of my co-workers think my commitment to pumping is obnoxious, and that bothers me, but not as much as the idea of artificial milk.