I Took a "Dangerous" Drug to Breastfeed: Does That Make Me Extreme?
I don't consider myself extreme, but according to this post in the Daily Beast I am an extreme breastfeeder.
I took drugs to increase my milk, I pumped in the middle of the night, and I took weird herbs. If the writer only knew that I also fed my son with a tube at my breast for FIVE months, I think she might self combust.
Call me fanatical, extreme, crazy or sane. I don't care. I did what felt right. I hope you did too, whatever form that took.
I wanted to breastfeed my second child, after formula feeding my first. I did what I had to do, including all the things this writer says are extreme. Drinking strong herbal tea and hooking myself up to a pump at 3 a.m. do not rank high up on my fun things to do list, but neither do changing barfy sheets in the middle of the night or carrying a heavy car seat, but I did those things too! I must be an extreme parent all the time.
I also took Domperidone for one year. Domperidone is a drug for acid reflux which seems to increase milk production. It is not for sale in the U.S., and the Daily Beast article states there are no research studies that show it works. Breastfeeding expert Dr. Jack Newman would argue otherwise.
There was a recent study in Belgium that found a correlation between Domperidone use and sudden death. This study has resulted in the American FDA becoming even more hard line about the drug's use in the U.S. and Health Canada issuing a warning about its use in March of this year.
Dr. Jack Newman, who is my personal breastfeeding guru (not everyone's I know, but he is mine), believes that his years of clinical expertise prove that Dom works for women with low milk supply. He argues that the Belgian study was poorly executed and interpreted.
I'm not sure what to make of all this. I believe, want to believe, the drug worked for me. But don't believe me, I'm extreme.
It feels like there are a lot of anti-breastfeeding messages going on. Did the media attention from the Time Magazine cover and the Elizabeth Badinter book create or release a backlash against the pro-breastfeeding message? I don't know.
I do know that labeling parents as extreme only hurts us all. It gives some people a pedestal upon which to judge others. You can call me extreme, fanatical or crazy for sipping tea, pumping or taking a drug I was prescribed. I can call you the same for sitting on a cold bench in an ice rink five times a week, but I won't. It's your choice, it was mine.
I think we all do extreme things as parents. We do it to achieve our goals, whatever they are. We do it because we think we are keeping our kids safe, or making them more successful or because it is what we know in our hearts is best for our children.
Would you take the drugs? Or the herbs? Have you ever done anything extreme in the name of parenting?