Having a child is amazing but SO SCARY!! In the hospital, the doctors told me I HAD TO supplement with formula to remove the jaundice or Lydia can suffer horrible long-term repercussions. I cried and cried because that was not my plan for her once she was born. Then a lactation consultant came to my room, said her babies had jaundice, and there is no research to support that babies with jaundice need formula. Why were the doctors telling me this? Why did they say something that could have potentially ruined my nursing experience? When Lydia was four months, the doctors told me that I HAD TO start feeding her baby food. I didn't feel fully ready. Did I really have to? I did my research, and learned that breastmilk is a 'perfect food.' Babies can easily live off that alone for the first year. Why was I told that I had to feed my baby solid foods? The doctor's recommendation also went against recommendations made by the American Pediatric Academy, which states - breastmilk/formula exclusively for the first 6 months. Why were the doctors who I paid out-of-pocket for telling me things that just weren't true?? They also said my baby's first food had to be rice cereal. Yeah, not true. From the research I did, we trashed the rice cereal and really began solid foods at 6 months - with real foods (fruits, veggies, etc.)
This was so frustrating for me because with all my childcare experiences, I never had to make the ultimate decision...but I had this little life in my hands, and I had to make all of these decisions that could affect her for the rest of her life. And right around that point, the 4-month mark, I said fuck the dr's advice, fuck what other people tell me to do with her...I need to parent with my heart. I need to be responsive to her needs in the best way I could. And all of a sudden, Richard and I felt confident about the choices we made as both informed consumers and parents. Again, it's not judgment. I just wish that all parents believed they are able to make informed decisions.
So what's my point with all this? I am not judging individuals for the choices they make. I'm only suggesting people question things. Don't just pull the Pampers off the shelf because that's what you're supposed to do. Do those things because you've thought them through and realized that that is what's best for your family. Don't have your child sleep on his/her back because that's what you're supposed to do. We all slept on our bellies and we are happy and healthy (Lydia began sleeping on her side at an early age). Don't just feed jarred food or Similac or use a pacifier because that's what you're supposed to give your child. Do that because you think it's best... And when you actively make decisions for your family, you can say - this is what is REALLY best for my family.