Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
I’ve never bought into the whole nipple confusion thing. Maybe it’s because my babies latched on immediately to both bottle and boob (this, following a sea of drugs from labor and c-sections). And perhaps I’m bitter from the natural community scaring me senseless as I went into labor with Fia. Tales of drugs, pacifiers and bottles were all the ways your baby wouldn’t latch on, despite scientific evidence to the contrary (at least with labor drugs, like the epidural). This week I got a slight chuckle out of the latest study: pacifiers actually promote breastfeeding. Ha!
Before I get too smug, I will echo what my fellow blogger, Berit wrote in her post on this (click here to read her blog): Rules are forever changing–and yes, it is maddening! Each study seems to contradict another one, which contradicts another one, until it comes back full circle and negates them all. So I won’t smirk…yet. What I will say (and echoing Berit again) is to go with your mom gut. Here’s why:
If I had listened to the nipple confusion thing, Phil would have never given Emmett or Fia a bottle for the first 6 weeks. It would have been all me, all the time. I would have been frustrated and completely tethered. I have mom friends who have been tethered for the first year because they didn’t introduce a bottle those first few weeks. By the time it was “right” to introduce one, it was too late. The babies refused and only took the boob. I think that can lead to some of us moms (uh-em…myself…thus hypnotherapy) becoming martyrs about having to “do it all.” In this day and age, with dads pulling almost equal weight (ha!), let them into the world of feeding.
Phil and I decided he’d give a bottle because it would be good bonding time. It’s his ritual to give the last bottle before bedtime, as I slip away and get a jump start on my sleep. Neither of us would give that up for anything. He loves it. As do I. And I’m sure it helps the babies know their dad even more.
What’s funny about the no-pacifier-now-maybe-debunked-theory is that for both my births, the nurses passed them out like candy at a parade. It was like Flying Nurses–they’d breeze through, chucking them into cribs. Okay, not really. But the paci’s were everywhere. Then, inevitably, a lactation consultant would come in and give me the nipple confusion spiel. Since Fia’s birth left me feeling like I had been hit by a bus, I was too confused to care. With Emmett, I chose to ignore. We’ve all been better off for it. In fact, I am trying to get Emmett more addicted to his pacifier. Fia sucked on hers like a lollipop. Still does at nap time. She’ll go to PA (Pacifiers Anonymous) soon. Emmett on the other hand tends to suck for a bit, then spit it out. Come on baby, you got addictive genes in this family. Use them!
To put the entire feeding and soothing process (NO PACIFIERS!) on the mom not only becomes exhausting, but I think it can also rob a Dad or other loved ones of special moments they might not get otherwise. Not to mention the risk of the baby refusing everything but the boob.
So I take “observational” studies like this with a grain of salt. Like Berit, I am going with my instinct. It has served me well thus far.