Dealing With the Opposition

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about birth experiences and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

While unusual, I didn’t have the most traumatic of birth experiences. Peanut certainly did not come how we had planned, but all in all, things went well. The first thing I tried to do after getting over the shock of birth a baby in my bathroom was breastfeeding said baby. I specifically remember taking off my dress (did I hand her to someone? I must have) because it was getting in the way. Never mind the 10+ paramedics all standing around me—I’m trying to feed my baby.

Sadly, I couldn’t figure it out at home. So we went to the hospital and I had a lovely nurse help me nurse her for the first time while I was waiting to get stitched up. She immediately latched and latched well. We had a few hitches with her not wanting to wake up to latch and not being able to get a lactation consultant to help (grumble grumble), but breastfeeding was going very well in my eyes.

But there was an unexpected consequence of our birth experience—the change an “emergency” situation makes in the doctor’s eyes. (I’m going to insert here that this is my opinion and is based on very little actual research.) When Peanut’s hematocrit levels were slightly high, the pediatrician immediately said we needed to give her Pedialyte. I remember it feeling so wrong to me, but this was back before I learned I could disagree with a doctor, so I gave it to her. I knew it was important that she didn’t have bottles (to avoid nipple confusion) so they let me use a syringe while I was breastfeeding.

It immediately felt like every breastfeeding session was a huge ordeal. Not only did I have to get her latched correctly, but then my husband needed to help me get the syringe ready and in place. They did a second test that came back normal, but still insisted on us continuing the Pedialyte. Finally when they tested her hematocrit again they said it was normal now and we could stop. Honestly, I had already pretty much stopped by that point. I was starting to feel like her hematocrit levels weren’t really high to begin with, but again, just my opinion.

In the end, the whole mess with the Pedialyte didn’t hinder our breastfeeding relationship. I felt bad about the fact that she had something besides breast milk for a long time (like when people tried to tell me that she wasn’t exclusively breastfed, which I believe she was), but that has quickly dissolved into a worry of the past. She threw most of it up anyway.

I still feel that if we weren’t classified as an “emergency” situation that they needed to “fix” straight from the get go, that maybe they wouldn’t have jumped to the Pedialyte so quickly. While it took me time to get over not having my ideal birth (ha!), I still do not believe that it was such a bad thing for Peanut to have been birthed that way. I don’t think that they needed to put the IV I didn’t want in, I don’t think they needed to give me a Pitocin shot from my supposed bleeding issue (which magically turned into “wow, you’re hardly bleeding at all” after that shot. yeah, I think not), I don’t think that Peanut needed to be bathed the instant that we entered the hospital.

All of this just confirms the fact that I want to have a planned homebirth next time around. Next time, I will surround myself with only people who support my choices for birth and breastfeeding. I will not deal with a nurse who can’t or won’t help me, I will not deal with a lactation consultant who doesn’t really help, and I will not deal with doctors who aren’t doing everything in their power to help my breastfeeding relationship. I shouldn’t have to deal with anything when I am giving birth to and breastfeeding a baby.

Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.


One thought on “Dealing With the Opposition

  1. well, you went ahead and had a baby unsupervised. . what were you thinking? That Doc had to “diagnose” something so he could treat you and get paid 🙂 Good on you for seeing the ways you want to surround yourself with positive people/situations in the future. . . I’m sure this is already something you’ve put into practice through your mothering, and you’re not waiting until your next birth to implement it. Birth shapes us so dramatically as mothers and almost redefines us as people!

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