Monday, August 2, 2010

The Breastapo

Guess what everybody.... it's World Breastfeeding Week! Woo hoo!!! Drink it if you've got it!!! Ok, are we done yet? I am sorry for the sarcasm (no I'm not), but after having two children I am about done with the "breast is best" pressure. How about something along the lines of World "It's ok if you can't breastfeed and we appreciate your effort, but the reality is that you aren't the world's worst parent if you choose formula" Week!

For the record, I am not anti-breastfeeding and actually tried to do it with both my boys. But, because I have deforma-nipples (Hello, TMI), it didn't work. So, with Will I pumped for 5 and half months and bottle fed him breast milk, but for Jack... even that didn't work. You cannot be attached to a milking machine and run after Will at the same time. So, after tears, blood, blisters and agony... I gave up after about a month and let Similac take care of my son's nourishment. And you know what? It's ok. But, if you asked any of the Breastapo members (aka Lactation Consultants) that infiltrated my hospital room the second Jack met the world, I am the worst mother in history. I can still hear them chanting "If it ain't the tit, then you're unfit!" Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration. SLIGHT!

From the first baby book you read, it is clear that breast milk is the best for your baby. But, what they don't tell you is that it may not be the best for you. And here's a hint... what is best for mommy is 100% best for baby. I have had friends who suffered through breastfeeding at it's worst, but they never wavered in their need to do it, and why? So that they could be on edge, depressed, freaked out and feed their kids virtually constantly because they aren't producing enough milk to sustain the baby for any period of time. All that in the name of "bonding." Anyone who knows me and my boys know that there is no greater bond than ours. Our relationship isn't lacking because there was a plastic beverage holder in my hand as opposed to my own milk jugs. And, despite what my friend Lori says, my little dudes are healthy. They have ear infections, sure, but that's it. Even Jack, the one I clearly don't love at all because he only got pumped boob juice for a month, is healthy as a horse. He's had a cold here or there but that's it. No H1N1, no flu, no strep throat. Nuthin.

So, while I applaud all the mommies who can just roll up their shirts and let their babes tie one on, I feel the need to defend those that go with the shaken, not stirred approach. We love our babies. Our babies are healthy. And, we deserve a World Week, too. Then again, we got to have margaritas and infants at the same time. Maybe that is celebration enough!


Chelley said...

AMEN!!!!! I tried. Really, I did. I wanted to breastfeed my kids. I couldn't make enough milk for my first, so I pumped for her the whole time she was in the NICU. I tried to pump for my son, but was going through a severe depression and the last thing I could handle was a milking machine attached to me several hours a day while I had a 1 year old and a new born in the NICU. My Dr. finally advised me to let myself off the hook and my babies would be JUST FINE. And they are. :)

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Chelley - Isn't it interesting that we even feel the need to make sure everyone knows we tried. Maybe some parents don't try because they just know it isn't their thing. Take that boob nazis!!!!

everyone's yvonne said...

I know this is a bit late (I just came across your entry when looking for a WBW image), but as a lactation consultant I wanted to let you know that your track record on breastfeeding is nothing to scoff at. Five months of pumping sounds like nothing short of torture... my clients HATE it, and I'm always impressed at how hard they work towards our goal. Usually they meet them and they go on to be long-term nursers, but other times Mother Nature throws a wrench in the gears and it just becomes torture for Mom. And I certainly hope I let all of my clients know that that's okay, that they had good intentions and are doing the next best thing, that they're good mothers and love their children every bit as much as a breastfeeding mama. So I hope you wouldn't define me as a "Boob Nazi" ;)

As a young feminist IBCLC, my position is a bit different than my older, more "mainstream" colleagues. I am well aware of the privilege that comes from being an exclusively breastfeeding mother (especially when you have roadblocks), and want to make one-on-one lactation support for new mothers 100% accessible, but I also know that there are social issues that we IBCLCs just can't remedy. We're pretty good bandages, I think, but until society changes, we're not going to see women reaching their parenting goals on *anything* from feeding choice to work/life balance.

Anyway, excuse the long-windedness, as brevity is not my strong suit. I hope you and your family have a lovely weekend!