Friday, July 9, 2010

How BABY LIES Hurt Mommies

When the new Mommy isn't sure what to do, she turns to the book for answers to her questions. After all, it's written by an expert, or so she presumes. The book promises her that she can prevent all the problems others have if she follows the rules, so Mommy does exactly what the book says. She's glad it's all spelled out so clearly! She writes the schedule down, and follows it perfectly.

Baby's crying is much more difficult to ignore than she expected though. It upsets her and Mommy doesn't know what to do. The book claims that if she gives in now, her baby will forever be a tyrant, and she will be exhausted from trying to satisfy his ever-increasing demands. So she sadly withholds her milk from him until the book - and the clock - permit her to feed the baby. 

The new mommy doesn't realize that her desire to respond to her baby is not a sign that she is weak or emotional, it's just the way women are made to be. But the God-fearing man who wrote the book and certainly must believe God didn't make mistakes, claims a woman's desire to comfort a crying baby is "dangerous." He sees her nurturing response not as a God-given gift, but as a design flaw. How confusing! She doesn't realize that she is the expert. She alone knows the baby in her arms better than anyone else. The man who wrote the book doesn't know her baby! But his book makes it sound like this will work for ALL babies, as long as you follows the rules.

Mommy plans to nurse her baby for a year. She doesn't realize that because she so closely follows the schedule, her milk supply is slowly dwindling. She doesn't understand that by holding off the baby's feedings according to the clock and not to the baby's needs, her body is not getting the frequent stimulation - nature's signal - to make more milk. It's as if her body thinks the baby doesn't need it as much. The new mommy doesn't know that the AP moms - those Ezzo criticizes -because they nurse their babies as freely and generously as they kiss and cuddle their babies - are ensuring an ample milk supply by allowing plenty of stimulation to the breasts.

Ezzo doesn't know anything about how lactation works, so he doesn't understand that the more a woman nurses, the more she is flooded with prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that make her feel even more loving and motherly. It's almost as if he doesn't want her to have those loving, nurturing feelings.

According to the God-fearing author of the parenting book, the God who doesn't make mistakes made babies in a state of "metabolic chaos." He says it's Mommy's job to stabilize his metabolism using a feeding schedule. Thus begins their life's journey together, mommy working to repair baby's broken metabolism, getting the baby to cooperate with the schedule, and demonstrating to him who is in charge. She knows she must show him who has control, and demand his cooperation, or he'll soon control the whole family, interrupt their sleep, and ruin her marriage.  Since he doesn't do anything but eat and sleep, she must begin by controlling his eating and sleeping schedule. The baby may become very unhappy and cry a lot, which only proves to Mommy that the book is right: He is already uncooperative and trying to have his own way.  If she lets him think he can have his way.

The book reminds the new Mom that her goals are not just for short term goals like breastfeeding, but ultimately she parents for long term goals like teaching her children to be caring and compassionate. She must begin NOW to teach him that he is not the center of the universe. This is accomplished by ignoring the baby. As long as his physical needs are met, she can let him cry because anything else he wants are not "needs" so he is not permitted to demand anything more. Mommy is confused. She sometimes wants things that aren't necessarily physical needs.  Sometimes she wants conversation. Sometimes she wants to be held. Is that wrong? Sometimes she just wants to hold her baby and nurse him until he falls blissfully to sleep in her arms. She wonders how she can communicate to her baby how much he is loved. Would she feel loved if her husband walked away from her when she was crying?

Sadly, she doesn't know what she doesn't know. They could have enjoyed each other's company right from the earliest days! Nursing her baby, rather than becoming the central focus of  the babies routine, could be something that was shared as freely as kisses and cuddles. Babies are not suicidal metabolic nightmares that need control, they are small humans who will develop their own rhythms in life! Because the book says Mommy will get worn out and resentful if she nurses more often,  she never does, so she never understands why the AP mother who nurses her baby 2-3 times more often than she does, is not worn out. The AP mom nursing has 2-3 times as much Prolactin, the "Mothering Hormone" coursing through her veins. The loving God Who Doesn't Make Mistakes, doesn't want Mommy to feel burdened by her child, but joyful in mothering him. With frequent nursing she is rewarded with an abundance of calming hormones.  Oxytocin, the hormone of love and trust flows as freely as her milk.

She doesn't know night nursing helps maintain her milk supply. She doesn't know how sharing a bed with her baby allows her to get more sleep. She hasn't been told about the studies on sleep, and how mothers who sleep with their babies also share sleep cycles with their babies. This means that rather than being woken from a deep sleep to crying from across the hall, co-sleeping moms rouse when their babies do. As soon as baby latches on the breast, both will return to a deep, sound sleep. She doesn't know that nursing mothers are aware of their babies even in sleep, and like all mammals, she will curl around her baby protectively, never laying on him. The babies who die in parents beds are not breastfed. The babies who die in cribs are alone. She doesn't realize that when the baby sleeps with her, he will happily sleep anywhere. She doesn't have to get him home to his own bed before nap time. She could have much more freedom if she wasn't tied to the dictates of the clock.
Like the book says, as baby grows up, he learns he is not the centre of the universe. He learns about loving others from what he sees in his family. When his new baby sister arrives, he turns a deaf ear to the sound of sister's crying just like mommy does. He has learned that indifference is the proper response to emotional suffering, while only physical needs get attention. Over time, he develops a variety of somatic physical ailments that get Mommy's attention. An eating disorder develops, as the struggle over food gives provides a lot of power over a worried Mommy.

1 comment:

  1. Right on! I hoped we were past all the scheduling nonsense; it's so disturbing to hear it's still there, still being repackaged. I'm so glad I ran across this blog.