An Experience in BC

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An Experience in BC

I was born and raised in the GTA but currently reside in BC where I have had my 2 children. I have not been able to exclusively breastfeed either child past 1 week due to dehydration and jaundice. I sought all the help I could with both babies which included multiple ICBLCs, drugs, supplements, focusing on hydration and good nutrition, involved pumping schedules, chiropractors and Pediatric dentists. In the end I have no explanation why I could not feed my babies breastmilk. Donor milk is available by prescription only and I did not feel right taking that limited resource from sick babies when mine were healthy. Informal milk sharing amongst peers carried too much risk as I did not know anyone able to share personally. Formula is why my babies stayed healthy. It's not as good as breastmilk and the impact of the statement is that I did not provide the best nutrition to my babies in their first year of life. I'm glad my story is not the norm and that most parents can breastfeed with the proper supports and protection from marketing. I do want to bring forward my case though because I suspect there are many more of us than is known. We aren't diagnosed. We are left with guilt, deep disappointment, shame, fear and more as a result of the perception of failing our babies. Until we can identify why some women can't breastfeed despite all available tools, support and motivation we shame them with messaging such as on this site and we don't deserve that. Why is every article about how bad formula and it's industry is? Could we not expand the topic to exploring why some women can't breastfeed when they want to? Focus on in home supports, home visits, rental fee for breast pumps and access to ICBLC covered by medical, and access to specialty care for the thankfully rare case such as mine would go a long way. When we tell women that "breast is best and if you can't you are doing something wrong or not doing something right or you aren't working hard enough or you are merely seduced by the convenience of formula how can we not expect post partum depression, anxiety, poor bonding and partnership stress? please let's consider that there are those out there that need formula for their babies despite their deepest wishes to feed them at the breast. I would love to see more research into the actual prevalence and mechanisms of true low supply so that others like me can have more than hoaky blogs and contradictory info to guide them.

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