*Before I start ranting: If you are here because Google or something said to check out this post about low supply, please go to another reputable website for low supply answers. Here's one.*
Dear Pregnant People,
How long have you spent researching and shopping for cribs? bouncy seats? car seats? strollers?
What about Breastfeeding? Have you done any research on that? Read any books? Looked at any websites that AREN'T sponsored by formula companies?
If you plan to breastfeed, you need to PLAN to breastfeed. You should spend at least as much time learning about breastfeeding as you do on your nursery decorations!
Breastfeeding IS natural, but it doesn't come naturally to most American women these days without a little forethought. Our culture has pushed it into the back room (and often bathroom) for so long, that our mental image of how to feed a baby is skewed.
If you don't have friends who have breastfed successfully (i.e. at least for a year, and maybe one friend who has gone past a year), you need to find some new friends. As the old Girl Scout song goes, "Make new friends and keep the old." Your old friends are sure to keep giving you great advice on whatever they always have, but would you ask someone with bad hair (me) for advice on hair care? Would you ask someone who doesn't wear makeup (me)about the best way to apply mascara? So then, why would you ask formula-feeding friends for advice on breastfeeding issues? For that matter, would you ask a friend who HASN'T had a boob job (me) to recommend a good plastic surgeon FOR boob job?
I'm SO FRUSTRATED by moms I meet -more than weekly- who have stories of "I didn't have enough milk." or "I dried up after a few weeks" who think that their bodies failed them. In reality, when you ask a few questions, it turns out that they had plenty of milk and listened to bad advice from people who had no business giving advice. This resulted in them telling their body to stop making milk. So, yep, they didn't have enough milk BECAUSE they told their bodies to quit making milk. Every time you tell someone that you didn't have enough milk you are perpetuating the myth that lots of people have supply problems. In reality, biologically based supply problems are VERY RARE. If you go to Wal-mart to buy something that is usually in stock, but they don't have it, someone messed up the supply system. Their system is computerized, much like your body. If left alone it will work great but if you put bad info in, you'll get bad results.
*I do know a couple people with ACTUAL supply problems. Yes. I know they exist*
When my own mom got bad advice in 1979, it wasn't her fault, or anyone else's that her milk dried up and I wound up on real grocery store cow milk. There just wasn't access to information like there is today. Too many people today act like it's still 1979 and their only sources of info are whatever random people they happen to know, regardless of those people's levels of expertise on the subject. We live in the information age. There are very few subjects you can't get good info on by either Googling or reading a book. Even my small town's teeny weeny library has a fairly recent copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding along with a few other books on the matter. If your library doesn't have the book you want, and your town doesn't have a Barnes and Noble, you've got Amazon.com at your fingertips. If you read an entire book on breastfeeding, you're almost guaranteed to know more about breastfeeding than your pediatrician, unless you have a darn good physician.
*Disclaimer: Don't get pissed at ME if you got bad advice and had your breastfeeding experience ruined by a breastfeeding booby trap. Maybe you really are in the less than 5% of women have TRUE BREASTFEEDING PROBLEMS. Before you decide that I'm a lucky judgmental devil who has never been in the situation of NEEDING formula, check this. If you did research and contacted well-trained people for help and still had trouble, please know that this post is not aimed at you. In fact, you probably know exactly who I am talking to.*