"Did they pressure you into breastfeeding?"
At the time, I found the question curious, and I still wonder about it.
Child Thing #2 had just made his arrival into the world, and I was back at the doctor for a follow-up. Until the very end of my pregnancy, I had been seen by military doctors, but the last month or so I was referred to a civilian. And at this appointment, he basically asked me if my military doctors had forced the breastmilk/formula issue.
I answered "no" because I never felt pressured into it. The nurses asked me if I wanted to and gave me a brochure on the benefits of breastfeeding, but that was it. And actually, when my first baby was born and we had a horrible time learning to nurse, the hospital staff seemed to be pressuring me into switching to formula.
Surely I looked puzzled as I answered this question, because the doctor explained, "I just ask because I have a lot of patients coming from the military, and a much, much higher percentage of them go with breastfeeding."
That has left me wondering ever since then. Is his observation accurate? And, if so, why would more "military women" breastfeed than non military types?
Scott, who was at the appointment with me, said, "That's because Army wives are tough. HOOAH!"
You do have to be tough to go that route because, for me at least, it did not come naturally and was a huge pain at first. But I don't necessarily think that being an Army spouse prepares you more for challenges like nursing a baby.
Maybe it's because military wives have a harder time building careers (hard to do that when you move every few years), so there are more stay-at-home moms. And being at home with your kids definitely makes breastfeeding much more feasible. Props to all those working moms who ARE able to make nursing work, by the way...that is simply amazing!
I'm still curious about this, so I'm looking for input. I'd love to hear any theories or explanations on this topic...from military folks and civilian types. And, if you are in the medical field, have you noticed this trend, as well? Thanks, y'all. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.