Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I breastfed each of my babies, and I hated it. It is brutally hard and it never stopped hurting. Every time I put my older daughter to my breast, we’d both break out in a sweat. I decided I’m simply not good at this.
I kept trying with each of my babies, thinking it would be different, but it never was. I’d try for a few days and then switch over to bottlefeeding. My logic is: You can’t tell 20 years later if someone was breastfed or bottlefed! I see just as many ear infections in breastfed babies as in bottlefed babies. I think breastfeeding great in third world counties where they don’t have good water or formula. But I don’t think our formulas are bad at all.
The decision to breastfeed is your own to make. Although La Leche League provides a wonderful service and great support, there are women for whom breastfeeding is not the right thing. If you are one of those women, don’t feel guilty or let anyone badger you into doing it. On the other hand, if you are on the fence, I would suggest trying it. I often marvel at the people who are successful at breastfeeding who I guessed would never do it.
—Melanie Bone, MD, a mom of four “tweens” ages 12 to 15, a gynecologist, the founder of the Cancer Sensibility Foundation, and the author of the syndicated column Surviving Life and the book Cancer, What’s Next?, in West Palm Beach, FL