Men must wonder about women's obsession with breastfeeding. We evaluate and read reviews on breast pumps with the same fervor that men read reviews on cars. We lament about milk blisters, complain about sore nipples, and scream with agony when our babies suckle on a cracked nipple.
Why go through all the pain?
How about just so you guys don't have to wake up at night for night feeds.
I don't know about other women's desire to breastfeeding. I'm not talking about the benefits of breastfeeding, but really the desire to succeed in a task that can--for many--be very difficult and where the formula to success differs from individuals to individuals. For me, it was because my own experience at breastfeeding was a complete mess with Kai. He had a fiery temper and he was an impatient baby. He also had problems latching, plus his crying, screaming, and fussing was stressing me out. Furthermore, the lactation consultants that I met at the hospital were not helpful at all. They all had a go at tugging my nipples, as if that would make them grow longer overnight and make it easier for Kai to latch on.
I called Terence almost every hour, tearfully telling him about yet another unsuccessful attempt. While he supported my decision to breastfeed Kai, he also told me it's not the be all and end all. We (our generation) were mostly formula-fed babies, and each and everyone of us turned out to be very intelligent (HA!).
After two months of trying to breastfeed and supplementing with formula, we decided to stop breastfeeding and use formula milk for Kai. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. I felt it was a good decision then, but I always had misgivings about not being able to breastfeed him longer.
Kit is a very easy baby to look after. He latched on with no problems and this time, I have plenty of girlfriends who were successful with breastfeeding and whom I could turn to for help.
There are times when I think this (or my) obsession with breastfeeding is silly. Because after all, as mothers, we have plenty of love to give to our babies and children; breastfeeding is just one of the ways we show our love. It doesn't mean we are less of a mother if we can't.