Baby Boot Camp: Boob or Bottle?

Sona Charaipotra

Baby Bottle
Flickr Photo by Alessandro Perilli

As a new first-time mom -- yes, I'm typing this with one hand -- I'll be exploring the often stressful, always magical first six weeks of little one's life with the scoop on things like car seats, cradle cap, cuddle time, and other newborn issues in CafeMom's Baby Boot Camp.

So last week I destroyed my breast pump. This wasn't a vengeful act. At least not consciously.

I was on the couch, nursing Kavya, while diligently sterilizing the various pump parts by boiling them on the stove. I kept hearing swishing and the occasional sizzle, but I just thought the dishwasher was being obnoxiously loud. Later I discovered that I'd essentially boiled the pump to its untimely death. 

I immediately ordered a replacement. As much as I hate pumping, it's the only thing that's been saving my sanity. It gives me -- and my husband -- the option of giving the baby a bottle. At night. Or during the day. And I need the break. Because otherwise, I feel like I'm breastfeeding all. the. time. Newborn nursing is demanding, to say the least. But I'm sticking with it, because I know all about all the benefits for baby and for mom.

In fact, when I was at the hospital when Kavi was born, I freaked out about the idea of supplementing with formula, as my pediatrician (who is also my mom) recommended. And everytime my husband brings it up as an option to give me a bit of a break, I reject it outright. Because I want Kavi to have the best. And according to La Leche League, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and all those other proponents of the boob, breast is best. I know formula is a viable option. I know there are lots of perfectly healthy babies and grown-ups who were formula-fed. Heck, a generation or two ago, it was the norm. But I have fallen into the cult of breastfeeding, and I can't get out.

Sometimes it's lovely. Sometimes it's not. But I'm sticking with it, at least for six months. It's something I want to do, for Kavi. And for myself. But man, I can't wait for that new breast pump gets here.

Do you pump to give yourself a break or your partner a chance to feed?

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