A new mom who decided to forgo breastfeeding shortly after her baby was born came to me after getting a hard time from her family regarding it. While I completely understand and agree with their points–formula is expensive (she will be using WIC to pay for it), and breastfeeding is better for the baby, especially since she had a surgical birth and was in the NICU–my job is to offer her resources to help if she wanted it (she didn’t) and support her choice.
I am a big breastfeeding advocate, and have breastfed both of my own children. With my first daughter, until she self-weaned at 3 years old, and I am currently nursing my 14 month old, who I will let dictate when she weans as well. I also am active on both the Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition, and our newly formed North Central Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition. The goal of both is to promote breastfeeding as the norm, encourage more moms to breastfeed for as long as possible, and help support them in the process. However, this is my MY choice. That’s where I step off my soap box and go to work.
As a doula, my professional responsibility is support a mom’s choices before, during, and after the birth. If she wants help and additional resources for breastfeeding, great, I have that available. If not, I also can help with formula feeding. I truly believe that every mom knows what is best for her baby, and I am here to help support her in whatever choice that is!