To the Editor:
Thanks for the great article on breast-feeding! My daughter, Juna, is 21 months old, and we love nursing. I have worked since she was 6 weeks old and pumped my breasts at work.
I had no idea about nursing; I wasn't breast-fed and had no experience with it. I only knew what I read in books. I signed up for a breast-feeding class at St. John's, where I delivered my daughter. When we left the hospital, we got a bag of goodies for the breast-feeding mom. It included several cans of formula, coupons for formula and part of a book about breast-feeding. I was surprised. Did they give me the bottle-feeding bag? I would have loved phone numbers for a lactation consultant and the La Leche League, and a whole book on nursing. Why would the breast-feeding bag include formula? What would a woman less informed than me do with it?
When my daughter was sick for the first time, I called her pediatrician. His nurse told me to feed her bananas and water and to stop breast-feeding. I was shocked. Why would I stop nursing my sick child? I, of course, didn't stop. I called a lactation consultant at St. John's, and she told me the opposite: no food, just nurse and make sure the baby's not dehydrated. This worked fine and is what I have continued to do. Breast milk is free, and it's best for babies.
Stop it with the weird looks: at the zoo, at the bookstore, at my grandmother's funeral. Why is our culture so weird about it? When my daughter is hungry, I am going to feed her whether my breasts are showing or not. And I'll fight for that!