Why I Breastfeed, Part Deux

As I stated in my previous entry, I knew I’d breastfeed because my mother breastfed me.  But now that I’m 4 months into this journey, I’ve quickly realized the decision isn’t as easy for every mom.  So here are a few thoughts I’ve had recently:

  • Choosing between breast and formula is like choosing between a balanced diet and vitamins.  We all know the best way to eat is to have such a healthy, balanced diet you get all your nutrients from your food.  But most of us are slackers (well at least I know I am) and don’t come close to getting 100% of anything healthy from our food.  That’s where the vitamins come in.  Breast is best, but it’s not easy.  That’s where the formula comes in.
  • I think I may explode if I hear or read about one more person suggesting we take our natural, normal behavior of breastfeeding into a public bathroom.  These are the same bathroom that most people are too disgusted by to sit on the commode, yet they want us to FEED OUR BABIES in them?!?!?!  WTF!!!!!!!!
  • Let’s admit the real reason men don’t want to see breastfeeding in public – they know they’ll have problems seeing our breasts as the sex objects they used to know and love.  Sorry guys, but they do have a biological purpose, and it’s not my fault you can’t get past that.
  • I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a little modesty. Uhh ohh, did I just lose some of you readers?  If my child is hungry, make no mistake about it – I’ll feed him.  However, how I feed him depends on my location.  If I’m at home or somewhere I feel uber comfortable, I’ll whip out a boob.  If I’m in public, I’ll still whip the boob out, but I’ll also throw a blanket over my shoulder (or use the cover, I mean apron, I mean cover a friend gave me – it just depends on which matches my outfit 🙂 ).

There’s been lots of chatter on Twitter about “boobytraps.”  Cute term, right?  Click the cute pink button on the left side of the screen to learn more about them.  Well, I think there are some boobytraps that people don’t think about:

  • Overzealous LCs (lactation consultants) – when my first LC entered my room a few hours after my c-section only to learn Butterball was in the nursery being circumcised, she freaked out.  She then freaked me out by telling me I’d made a horrible decision because now that he was getting Tylenol, he’d probably sleep even more which would make our initial attempts at breastfeeding even harder.  I was alarmed and asked what that really meant.  She then began to tell me all the things I might have to do since he probably wouldn’t latch.  I then tuned her out because I was OVERWHELMED!   Had I not known my entire 31 years of life that I was going to breastfeed, I would have thrown in the towel at that moment and said “screw it, just give him a bottle.”
  • The crunchy/granola image often associated with breastfeeding.  I tweeted about this before, and it’s worth repeating – I think women need to identify with their helpers/support in order to succeed in any activity.  If you don’t know anyone “like you” who does a particular activity, it’s hard to stay the course.  So many of the lactivists I’ve encountered are also extremely pro cloth diaper, green, and natural parents.  (Not that any of those things are bad.) But if you’re not like them, you can easily begin to think it’s be easier/better to just do like the people who are like you and formula feed.
  • EDITED TO ADD – all I’m saying is that if you want to convince a teenage girl to breastfeed, you might have more success with someone she can identify with – either someone like her or someone she’d want to be like. A green, granola, well-meaning mom might not fit the bill.  Similarly, if you’re trying to convince a minority mom (another under breastfeeding group) to not use formula, you’d probably have more success with she doesn’t view as foreign.

So, I’m a proud breastfeeder. Are you?  Why or why not – please share.  If you totally disagree, please share (nicely).

Til next time……….

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3 Comments

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  1. Overzealous LCs, undertrained LCs, stupid LCs…LCs have the greatest ability to help AND HINDER breastfeeding early on. My nemesis was a hospital LC I dubbed Pollyanna after she told me it should all be easy as a breeze, gave me a couple brisk tips I couldn’t really absorb, and told me we’d be fine in a week. When we weren’t, I was luckily still sane enough to get mad at her for being cheerful instead of helpful, rather than deciding I would never be able to breastfeed. 😛

  2. I cannot believe that LC did that!!! God! I mean, they are humans too, but they have got to be on better behavior. That said, my hospital LCs continue to be like 2nd, 3rd and 4th moms to me. They have given me support in person, on the phone when I was in CA with a very, very sick baby, via email, then a phone call at 10 pm at night when I thought my milk supply was decreasing… not only are they wonderful people, they are excellent (and dare I say balanced) breastfeeding supporters. I adore them and wish I could somehow repay them for all the help.

    Anyway! I breastfeed because I want to protect my baby from germs at daycare and from all the germs I’m sure to bring home from my teaching job!

    Also, when your baby gets older, like 5-6 months, you might find he does not want to be under the cover. When I nursed my baby on an airplane (this was after he was supersick and my supply went down so I nursed him every hour on a 5 hour flight) I used the cover to put beside his head just so the guy beside me would not see too much bare breast (it was a pull down tank). You can still be “discreet” without a cover. Now baby is ten months and he nurses pretty fast but I don’t even dream of using a cover- I’ll just go to a corner if I feel like being discreet.

    I am also lucky bc I am very comfortable with my body so I don’t have the extra variable of worrying about how I look- I don’t think about it, I”m not showing off or anything, I Just mean, I don’t worry, oh, people will see my tummy or breast! ‘Cause if they do, whatever, they are not seeing anything gross, or anything exciting. And I always choose ‘easy breastfeeding’ outfits that I know will not make like, hip fat rolls, which some pants give me. 🙂 And I always do pull-down tops under a layer (like a sweater or tee shirt) so I can always have my tummy covered, bc what mom’s tummy does NOT have rolls, plus that’s cold in the winter! I guess my point with this paragraph is, I set it up so I can be comfortable breastfeeding now that I no longer use the cover!

    Love your blog and love following you on twitter!

  3. Sorry, you had such a bad LC experience – I found I got the best help outside of the hospital, mostly through La Leche and other moms.

    I tend to prefer to hang with my breastfeeding AP friends, mostly because I feel more like them in some ways – I am a pescetarian (eat fish and no other meats) and crunchy in many ways. But, I have to work so – dd goes to daycare, dd wears disposable diapers (we have tried cloth at home -but I just don’t have time to sit by the washer every night), and I believe in Circumcision (I am Jewish!), so had my daughter been born a boy, she would have been snipped.

    Also, a single mama here – daughter’s dad died when I was 8 weeks pregnant – so doing all this alone hasn’t been easy – but that is why women are the stronger!

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