In response to a piece posted on Delancey’s Place:
In the interest of balancing the scales, let me be clear – my intention is NOT to fire up a debate or rekindle any preexisting controversy. Nor do I want to agitate well-meaning, informed readers that I will undoubtedly offend.
I did, however, find this piece extremely thought provoking. Particularly on behalf of PPD experts or loved ones who dearly wish to lessen a mother’s anxiety.
If you read it, you might be surprised by the contents. It may make you angry. It may worry you. It might make you downright queasy. But more likely, it will enlighten you and hopefully, help you see that if you read enough information, you can make a case for just about anything. For example:
“When we nurse our babies, we feed them not only the fats and sugars that fire their immune systems, cellular metabolisms, and cerebral synapses. We also feed them, in albeit miniscule amounts, paint thinners, dry-cleaning fluids, wood preservatives, toilet deodorizers, cosmetic additives, gasoline by-products, rocket fuel, termite poisons, fungicides, and flame-retardants.”
Here’s the entire post from Delancy’s Place excerpted from a new book, “Breasts” written by Florence Williams. The excerpt is titled “Human Female Breast Milk” (with the disclaimer that I have not yet read this book, but will soon.)
And so I repeat what I have said for over two decades: Mothers have enough to worry about. I, for one, would like to take the breastfeeding vs bottle feeding dispute off the table for discussion.
Just feed your baby.
Forget the statistics, they are sometimes slanted. Forget the articles, they are sometimes biased. Forget the recommendations, they are the result of population samples that may or may not apply to you. Forget the rationalizations, the arguments, the facts and the personal preferences, everything is twisted to support whatever is being said or written. Sure, there is truth behind much of what you read or hear. Of course there is. But the bottom line is that it all takes you to the same place.
Love your baby. Hold your baby. Whisper to your baby. Touch your baby. Talk to your baby. Smile, breathe and be gentle with your baby. Keep your baby warm, safe and rested. When you feed your baby, remember to soothe, gaze, speak softly and touch. Let the love flow.
I promise you, in the long run, it really doesn’t matter.