Friday, October 01, 2004

Condescending, much?

More about this later--but this:

The Ad Council : Breastfeeding Awareness (Campaign): "national "

really pisses me off. I intend to breastfeed. I am taking a class next week to get ready. It's important to me to do. But this kind of BS--equating not breastfeeding with riding a mechanichal bull while pregnant?--makes me feel talked down to. It's smug and irritating.

The breastfeeding Nazis irk me so much. Yes, it's better. But it's not for everyone. I know I am going to be miserable the first two weeks, but if it keeps hurting and being difficult, I have given myself permission to use formula. If I resent my baby every time she cries to be fed because it hurts so much and I am so miserable, that doesn't do much for our relationship, does it? And isn't a healthy and joyful relationship more important than avoiding an ear infection or two? I think it is.

6 comments:

Hillary said...

I just found your blog, but can't remember how. Love it!
I went through this and it's great you already know that it's your decision to try, and your decision if you decide to stop.
Some women are producers, some are not, and some (like me) have a tough labor making my production low and then get appendicitis a month later—which stopped everything. My lactation consultant told me, "You have made a hercolian effort here. But just stop and get some sleep so your body can heal."

Sound advice. Hang in there. Visit if you want a chuckle: http://unglued.typepad.com

wannabe said...

Breastfeeding is something that is important to me, but I'm 17w pg and don't have any children yet, so who knows how well it will work out? I'd like to buy a book, but I want a resource that isn't some BF Nazi propaganda. I've been discouraged from taking the BF class that my hospital offers; I've been told that the hospital employs excellent lactation consultants. I'm nervous about it, I've had several friends that had a very hard time with it, and I'll be sad if it doesn't work. However, I don't see how a positive realtionship will be fostered by resenting feeding time and fighting to get every single calorie down that baby's throat.

Before deciding to have children, I never imagined that breastfeeding was such a political topic! Geez!

Anna said...

I think it's a real shame that a few over-militant people have put a negative light on the whole concept of breastfeeding. I'm afraid that they'll turn people off it just because people don't like to be talked to that way! Sounds like you have a good approach to it: do the best you can and the best for your kidlet. I admit, my guy was (is) a breastfeeding champion and there were still a couple of weeks there where I felt like one big 24-hour boob. But it did all work out...and I'll never underestimate the wonderfulness of perfectly heated and available milk at 3am.

~L said...

I soooo know what you mean. I had really wanted to breastfeed my son, but unfortunately he was a preemie & his suck reflex hadn't developed yet. So, he was tube fed for awhile, and then he transitioned to a bottle. I couldn't believe the people who said they were "disappointed in me" for not breastfeeding--um, like things weren't rough enough? I think you have a good, realistic attitude and are going to be well prepared. I wish you the best.

Raisingirl said...

Amy! It's Clair... I actually started a blog (OK, registered... not really "started") so I could post here. Plus, I use to keep an online journal at another site which recently crashed so I need somewhere new to write. So I'll probably try this place out.

About BFing... I HATE the BFing nazis, too. They make you feel so inadequate sometimes. I BF Jonah for 3 months and we had a hell of a time. His latch was wrong. He sucked in his top lip, his bottom lip and was tongue-tied. I was literally CRYING before feedings dreading the pain which was so bad I would literally see cartoon stars. I actually was hoarding my c-section pain meds for BFing. At 3 weeks I almost quit, but I sobbed because I didn't want to. So I saw a LC and went to the BFing clinic. Nothing helped. The pain did lessen when I finally started supplementing with formula and gave my poor boobs a break. We did OK with this for a while. And then Jonah just sort of peetered out on it... He would fuss when being BF and pull away. And then he'd be hungry 30 minutes later. He just kind of weaned himself. I wish we could have gone a little longer. But to be honest, my disappointment is almost overshadowed by relief. Jonah's doing great on formula. Miraculously all the gassy tummy/constipation problems he was having went away when I stopped BFing. But I still feel almost ASHAMED that I'm not BFing when I chat with other parents who are following Attachment Parenting (we're really getting into AP!)...

Anyway, I wanted to prepare you. I WISH someone had told me how painful it could be. It was bad and I wasn't expecting it to be that harsh. For me, the pain started to ease up after about 5 weeks. It was probably worse for me because of our problems, though.

OK, done babbling!

Moxie said...

IME, there's definitely some pain at the beginning, but it shouldn't ever be extreme pain--something's wrong if it is. I think most (like 99%) of women experience irritation ranging from mild to severe for the first few weeks. I also think (based on a sample size of 12 or so friends of mine) that the lighter your skin is, the longer your nipples will hurt at the beginning. For me, it was 4 weeks of slight wincing for the initial latch-on (but it was fine once he was actually on). Then one day it just stopped. Oh, and I'm white and pretty pale, with light eyes.

I think that the most important thing about breastfeeding is to make a committment to trying your best and giving it a certain amount of time that you'll do it, like 6 weeks or so. It's vital that you have your support team lined up ahead of time so it won't be a big traumatic thing to find help if you need it. It never ceases to amaze me that women who would never think of highlighting their own hair think they can talk themselves through breastfeeding a newborn when neither of them have done it before. If you'd hire a professional to help you wax your bikini area or cut your hair, then why not hire one to help you feed your child? Anyway, make sure you take a class ahead of time (so helpful you won't even begrudge the 3 hours), try to visit a breastfeeding support group once while you're still pregnant (so you know if it's someplace you'd like to go back to once you have the baby or if you should keep looking), and have the number of two good lactation consultants on your refrigerator. If you try for the length of time you committed to and get the professional help and peer support you need, then if you do end up quitting you won't feel any guilt about it because you'll know you did everything you could.

Oh, and I thought the most factual down-to-earth book was The Nursing Mothers Companion by Kathleen Huggins.

Most people do have a few bumps in the road at the beginning, but it can end up to be a fulfilling experience with amazing health benefits for you and the baby. Good luck.