Oh, Yes (You Can)
Five reasons (or are they excuses?) you might think you can't breastfeed - and why you really can.
If pumping isn’t possible, consider giving your baby breast milk and formula. “A baby who gets mom’s milk at night and in the morning is still getting some of the benefits and is likely to be healthier than a baby who is only formula-fed,” Rothenberg says. If this before- and after-work nursing schedule won’t work for you, at least breastfeed during your maternity leave—the early antibodies and nutrients will provide your baby with a good start in life. Bottom line: Some breast milk is better than none.
Not the nursing kind?
Here’s what a few reluctant-to-breastfeed women like you learned from their own experiences.
Julia Tai, 29, mother of Samantha, 9 months
Then: “The whole idea of somebody latching on to my breast was just strange.” Now: “A few hours after Samantha was born, the nurse brought her to me and I said, ‘OK, I’ll try.’ A month later, I really started to like it. Now I love having her close, and I’m paranoid she’s going to detach from me.”
Mindy Strauss, 43, mother of Will, 6; and Jesse, 3
Then: “I thought, I’ll never breastfeed—it would tie me to the baby too much. I thought it was what hippies did. I also worried that it would hurt and my breasts would get saggy.” Now: “It was difficult at first. But it got easier, and in a few months, I didn’t feel tied down at all—I could breastfeed, talk on the phone and cook dinner at the same time! Sure, after two pregnancies my breasts are saggy, but who cares if I ever wear a bikini again?”
Jenna Coito, 36, mother of Sophie Bella, 2; and Sasha Laurel, 4 months
Then: “A friend came over with a breastfeeding goodie bag, which included an electric pump, a hand pump, a pillow, bras, pads—all sorts of paraphernalia. I thought the whole deal seemed all-consuming and complicated.” Now: “At first it was all-consuming, but within a few weeks, the baby and I got better at it. Besides, you’d have to be sitting there with a bottle, so what’s the difference? Once I got the hang of it, I realized it’s way easier than mixing formula and sterilizing and warming bottles. It’s the ultimate have-food-will-travel.”