If the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization all agree that breastfeeding is optimal, why does it seem that doctors are always trying to push f*rmula? I received f*rmula samples, coupons, and gifts from my doctor, the hospital, and from the f*rmula companies in the mail. I gave birth at a birthing center in a hospital with a midwife and was clear about my desire to breastfeed, but I still left the hospital with a goodie bag from a f*rmula company instead of information from a lactation consultant, as they no longer had one on staff.
When Dylan was two days old, the nurse insisted she was hungry and the pediatrician instructed us to supplement with f*rmula until my milk came in (the next day.) I knew that newborn stomachs are tiny and that small amounts of colostrum are all they need in their first days of life, but nonetheless I left the pediatrician's office feeling awful, like I was starving my brand new baby.
We took Dylan to see a GI specialist today. She isn't gaining weight, and the doctor asked if I thought I was producing enough milk. Yes, I think I am producing enough milk. I feed her every three hours, and we're fairly certain they she's not gaining weight because she has been vomiting for the past two months. The doctor prescribed medication for reflux, ordered another upper GI series, and said to hold off on solids. Jim asked if we should give her anything like Pediasure to offer more calories, and she said, no, that's for older kids, but that it might be a good idea to supplement nursing with f*rmula.
Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure that supplementing f*rmula for a child who nurses on demand is a good way to decrease the demand for milk and in turn decrease the supply. In that scenario, I'm fairly certain my milk supply would diminish. What the heck, doc?
I still get f*rmula coupons in the mail, even though the companies know I am am breastfeeding; (you fill out cards.) They spend a lot of money and effort trying to entice breastfeeding moms to give up nursing, and many do, especially during the first few weeks when breastfeeding can be difficult. Sadly, once a mom decides to switch to f*rmula, the freebies and coupons dry up faster than her milk supply, and she must then foot the bill for pricey f*rmula while new coupons are sent to breastfeeding moms instead. It's a shame. Obviously, f*rmula companies are looking to recruit customers and increase profits, but I wish doctors would stand by their recommendations and really support breastfeeding instead of joining the chorus of voices pressuring women to doubt themselves, their bodies, and their instincts.