Here a local Clevelander’s childhood experience about not being breastfeed.
“My birth mother abandoned me a week after birth, in rural Thailand. I was left in the already starving hands of an impoverished family too poor to feed me. They managed to find milk, often rotten. At four months of age, with blind trust, they relinquished me to a stranger who delivered me to a new strangers, workers at an orphanage. At age 7 months, another set of caregivers transported me to the United States where I was received by my loving parents.
I spent the first 4 months of my life starving; I did not nurse; I drank sour milk; no one washed their hands; I did not experience “skin on skin” or “kangaroo care”; there was no Baby Bjorn; no one “wore me” and I was lucky to be held; I cried it out and I cried a lot; I did not get tummy time, infant massage or developmentally appropriate stimulation; I did not know where I belonged; I had no less than 10 different people caring for me by the time I was 7 months old. There was no carefully implemented parent-infant bonding experience because the caregivers kept disappearing.
Despite this – I survived; I grew, I smiled, I said first words, and I flourished – because they loved me. I had 10 short but life shaping years of my dad before he died, leaving my mom and I to figure it out – but I survived – because they loved me. I graduated schools; I got jobs; I’m healthy; I’m a nice person – yay! Because they loved me.
I’m not a medical or post partum/ neonatal professional. I’m the newborn baby who didn’t get all the stuff we’re losing sleep over – and I would like to say that life is messy; your best work is to lovingly bring that new person into the world in whatever way is best for you and the family – they will survive and they will not grow up at risk of being sub-optimized. You have many years of being pressured to not microwave their food; to not feed them food packaged in plastic or filled with dye; to apply sunscreen; but don’t poison them with harsh chemicals; and don’t let them use technology but make sure they are equipped to get ahead in life; and for heaven’s sake – no face tattoos.”