I was recently surprised to read that, in the United States, only 33 percent of mothers “exclusively breastfeed [their babies] to three months of age…and only 14 percent to six months.”
Considering that a standard maternity leave is three months long, I find it really hard to believe that only one-third of mothers make it that long with breastfeeding.
I have to wonder, though, what constitutes “exclusive breastfeeding.” When Felix was a couple of days old, my pediatrician was worried about his weight and insisted I supplement with some formula. Looking back, I’m sure Felix’s health wasn’t in any danger (he has remained a super skinny kid, and our new pediatrician has never been concerned). At the time I was of course a nervous new mother, and I heeded the doctor’s advice.
Once we had that six-pack of Enfamil in our pantry, it was a slippery slope. I let Daylon give Felix the rest of the bottles over the course of the next month, when my nipples were bleeding on a daily basis and we feared that one was going to come off all together (true story).
So although Felix still nurses like a maniac at 26 months and hasn’t had any formula since he was four weeks old, I suppose that I am one of the majority of moms who didn’t EXCLUSIVELY breastfeed for even three months…in fact, I only made it two days!
For those of you who breastfed…how long did you make it? Did you ever give your baby any formula?