Friday, June 4, 2010

feeding frenzy

u know u want 2

It's the moment you've all been waiting for: Niobe's (mostly) anonymous confessions!

Before we start, let's just stipulate that we all know that the right answer -- no matter what the question -- is always going to be something along the lines of You just need to do what's right for you and your family. Kumbaya. (((big group huuuug)))

But, really, what fun is that? Wouldn't it be so much more, um, educational to stir up lots o' drama and emotions and bad feelings? You know it would.

People emailed me with some great suggestions for a bunch of hot button topics. Let's start with the ever-popular: breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding.

Remember, you don't need to have ever actually fed a baby to participate. You just have to have a view (preferably a vehement one) about what everyone else should or shouldn't do. Or, really, anything even vaguely related to the debate.

Leave your confession below: how does this issue make you feel??

As always, if there are enough comments, I'll add a few of my own anonymous thoughts. Feel free to guess which ones they are.

eta: And one more thing. If you don't enjoy lots of snarky, judge-y remarks and random visits by the typo/grammar police, *do not* read the comments to this post. Just don't. You have been warned.

***comments closed*** -- save your snark for next time round.


Anonymous said...

Yay I'm the 1st comment! My confession is that niobe should have picked my topic instead because I don't care about bottlefeeding or breastfeeding.

Anonymous said...

^^anonymous @9:41: I don't think that counts as a confession. And another thing is that its not on topic.

breast is best and it even rhymes.

Anonymous said...

Breast is best! PERIOD. I know some women struggle with nursing, and that's understandable as it's very difficult at first. But a) ALL women should try for a good chunk of time and b) if you can't breastfeed, DON'T USE FORMULA! It's ALL chemicals! Use breastmilk from a milkbank.

Just my 2 cents :D

Anonymous said...

Even if it's all natural and stuff when i think of a baby on my b00bs i just go eeeww. sorry to all you lalache fanatics out there. :P

Anonymous said...

I think it really fucking blows when women who are CAPABLE of breastfeeding choose not to just because they are squicked out by it or are too vain to do it. Adoptive parents, women with legitimate medical issues, women who use surrogates, etc.? They don't have a choice. If you can breastfeed and choose not to, I think it's kinda pathetic. The health benefits are documented, why, if you were capable of providing this benefit to your baby, would you choose not to? I don't get it.

I also get tired of women who didn't breastfeed whining about how they tried for at least two hours to breastfeed but they didn't have any milk/wanted husband to be able to feed/boobs hurt/etc. Cop outs. Some people are just looking for a way out.

I also think that America is grossly lacking in good support networks for new nursing moms. It's hard work.

Anonymous said...

@9:58 am: I think you're trying to say LA LECHE rather then lalache.

Maybe if you were better educated you'd feel differently.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to be able to breast feed for 18 months. Some might think this is a long time, but my baby is 3 and has been slightly sick maybe 3 times total.

I look at a friend's child, who is always sick, and think, "See..this is what happens when you breast feed for 2 months and call it good."

If you can't, for whatever reason, then you can't. If you can, you should.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder why some women have children.

Not to go all Phyllis Schlafly on you (an alliance I never would have imagined I would ever even be in the same orbit of) but it does give me pause when I hear women, many of these women close friends of mine, talk with disdain about breastfeeding -- how 'strange' it is - how 'weird' -- how they could have but it just didn't work for them.

This is the point where I have to wonder whether they've educated themselves on the subject -- it's one thing to be forced through circumstance (physical inability, work demands etc.) to wean early or not bf at all -- but quite another to reject it out of hand because 'it didn't work for them'.

It seems a much larger issue that speaks to how we envision mothering. I suppose there have always been women who had children and handed them over to others to raise and feed -- whether to a wet nurse or a nanny -- but how is it that so many women who wanted so desperately to be mothers are somehow disappointed that motherhood means being intimately tied to an infant, forgoing for a time, parts of their life and freedoms they took for granted?

So I think to pass on breastfeeding when you a) are physically capable b) have the privilege of time/spousal support reflects at best that you are woefully uneducated as to the benefits, and at worst that you are thinking more of yourself than your child.

And I anticipate the 'oh, but fulfilling my needs makes me a better mother argument' but I don't buy it.

Anonymous said...

@10:08 I think you're trying to say "than" rather than "then."

Personally, I didn't br3stfeed because it cut into the time I needed to do things for myself. For example, like cheat on my husband.

That's *almost* on topic, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I nursed both my kids, but not for extended periods of time. 6 months for my son and 8 months for my daughter, with a few extra weeks of stored milk on the end. I also work full time, so had to pump for a large majority of it. Luckily my small company I work for was very supportive and they gave me nice spaces to set up and pump twice a day. I can't imagine having to do it in the BATHROOM like some women are forced to do. I can totally understand giving it up if I would have had to do that.

It would have been much easier if I had been a SAHM to nurse, but I wasn't. Hell, I would have kept it up because it kept me skinny! I got down UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight with both my kids by the time they were 5 months old.

I have encouraged all of my friends to nurse and even offered up my pump. I won them over with the extra calories you could burn. ;) I was one of those "ewwww...nursing" kind of people before I had kids, but it is natural and so much easier in their first few months of not sleeping. Just pop a boob in their mouth. Easy.

There is only one friend that never even tried it, and yes I did judge her a bit for it. Her son was born developmentally disabled, and I figured he could use all the help he could get but she just wouldn't.

As for the sick vs. well. My kids were in daycare and it didn't really matter. They got sick just as much as the bottle fed kids because it was full of germs.

Anonymous said...

@9:54 We're all made up of atoms which form molecules which combine to form chemicals. If you don't want to ingest any chemicals, I suggest you stop breathing, because that darn O2 is yet another chemical.

Anonymous said...

And for Niobe, as a kind of opposite to whatever works for your family...

Why do you lactivists care how anyone else feeds their child?

Anonymous said...

This is more an observation than a confession, but over the years as an observer I've noticed that alot of women who breasfeed seem to develop severe postpardum depression and also have more problems with their marraiges. This isn't always the case, but it does happen moreso in the case of breastfeeders.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:57, do you have any actual data to back up your findings? Also, it's "postpartum" and "marriages."

Were you formula-fed or breastfed, and how did you feed your children? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

I stopped breastfeeding my first kid after 2 weeks. My nipples were detatching from the base of the areola. The second kid only got 1 week because I had to take medication and the pediatrician didn't want that in the milk. My kids are healthy and happy and in the grand sceme of life it doesn't matter at all just like it doesn't matter if you came out your mother's snatch or got cut out of her belly.

I know the point of this is for people to fight and be judgmental, but this sucks.

Anonymous said...

I breastfed both of mine, both til at least 12 months. With the first the first few days were horrendous my nipples were bleeding and the poor child was more vampire than anything else...I can see why people give up! Once we cracked it though it was a lazy mamas dream, chilling on the sofa...such terrible hard work that :D
Of course it's best to breastfeed but it doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

I believe that there are more recent studies which indicate that breastfed kids get just as sick as formula-fed kids and that the claims of higher intelligence are not accurate either.

I think breastfeeding is great, and I think everyone who can should give it a go. But there is a risk/benefit analysis that has to be performed by the individuals in question, and sometimes formula is simply easier.

Frankly, I've watched friends go to extreme lengths to try and breastfeed when they were struggling with supply issues and with work and with latch issues and poor growth . . . and while I encouraged them (because I'm their friend and that is a personal choice), I saw the mental and emotional agony they went through just because they'd been conditioned to believe that breastmilk was better.

One friend ended up seriously depressed because of the fact that her child was not taking in enough calories while exclusively breastfed, despite medications, hours attached to the pump, mothers milk tea and cookies, and everything, and it was a huge weight off her chest when her pediatrician sat her down and said that it was making them all miserable. When an authority figure finally gave her 'permission' to try formula, suddenly it was all better.

I want to breastfeed. I don't care what others do.

I personally think that there is only one wrong answer in this equation and that is starving the baby. So long as baby is fed on age-appropriate things, why does anyone have a stake in this?

Anonymous said...

I have not yet breast or bottle fed anyone (dead baby) but my mom didn't not breastfeed either me or my younger sister. And I always thought it was kind of sweet - she and my dad wanted to be equally involved in childcare, so they did the bottle thing so they could swap off feeding us. Of course, this was the 70s and no one really questioned what was in the nestle formula. But my sister and i are both healthy as horses and relatively normal people. except in some particular circumstances, i'm not convinced breast vs. bottle is a life or death situation. sometimes, if you are lucky enough to get a live baby, you are grateful just to be able to get food into it and keep it alive any way that you reasonably can.

Anonymous said...

Even though nursing my son was difficult at first, it came to be one of the very few things I enjoyed about parenting an infant. (I pretty much hated everything else about that first year.)

My son nursed until he was 11 1/2 months, and then he just stopped.

I was sad when he stopped, not because he wasn't getting "the best" milk, but because I no longer had a cure all for whatever was upsetting him, and I no longer had a perfectly good excuse to lay down on a bed (with the baby) and read a book, or sit in the rocking chair and watch Law & Order whenever I wanted. (My son was a good nurser and would nurse for a long, long time, given the opportunity.)

My second child is adopted and the only regret I have about that is that I didn't get to nurse her. (And I couldn't do adoptive nursing because she was pre-school age when I became her mother.)

Lindsay said...
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Lindsay said...
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Anonymous said...

I've never breastfed. I've never even tried. My oldest is an honor student and in the Gateway program. She's been ill four, maybe five times in her life and she's eight.
I don't get the argument. If you do it GREAT, if I don't, WHO CARES! They're my boobs, and everyone's interest in them, from the La Leche league in the hospital to my crazy old Aunt Millie, is creepy if you ask me.
(Damn, I'm always forgetting the rules to this thread)

Anonymous said...

I struggled for six months to breastfeed. I had terrible supply issues (the most I ever produced was 20oz/day) and my baby had a high palate and latch issues. I added it up and I spent over $1500 on lactation consultants, pump rentals, fenugreek, domperidone, goat's rue, fennel, and revolting Mother's Milk tea. More importantly, I spent hours and hours every day pumping -- I was trying to increase my supply, so I pumped all the time -- hours when I could have been snuggling with my newborn. Trying to breastfeed for so long made me feel perpetually defeated and inadequate, alienated from my child, and, ultimately, depressed. I finally had to go on antidepressants, which were not compatible with breastfeeding. I gave it up and it was like a half-ton weight lifted off of me. The seratonin boost didn't do half for me what the cessation of lactation did.

I did it because I bought the whole "BREAST IS BEST FOMG" thing, and didn't realize that breast milk is only one small-to-medium part of the entire picture. I just couldn't bear the idea of this perfect, perfect child having less than the BEST, just because he had me for a mother.

For me it was a terrible idea. I can't blame the pro-breastfeeding crowd because it was my decision, but I was certainly vulnerable and all of the lactation consultants, etc, supported me in doing something really destructive. Heck, when I visited the lactation consult, right over the weighing scale was a bumper sticker that said "Breastmilk rules, formula drools". Ha. Ha. Ha.

Anonymous said...

I had a breast reduction when i was in high school -- long before i was thinking about having babies. I still don't have any, but now I think about it, and I'll be so sad if I can't breastfeed. I think formula is fine and it doesn't make a huge difference, but I desperately hope I will be able to nurse.

As far as other people go, I don't care how you feed your baby, as long as you are feeding it. But, I will say, I get a bit skeeved out seeing a 3- or 4-year-old hanging from a boob.

Anonymous said...

Friend, is that you?

If not, you are exactly what I was talking about.

Here is another one who broke my heart - my sister. She had to return to work at 10 weeks. Her supply decreased to the point that she wasn't able to produce more than 6 oz a day on a good day.

She did everything she could, and broke down in tears because she was 'such a failure as a woman.'

The fact that her friends who were lactivists made her feel that way is despicable.

Anonymous said...

I think women who feed their babies formula are dumb and lazy.

Anonymous said...

I judge SAHMs who choose not to breastfeed (not those unable to do so). What else do you have to do?

Anonymous said...

(11:50 here)

11:57 -- if you're also 10:25 then no, I'm not the friend you were thinking of. My baby never had weight problems. The one thing that I console myself with is that the person who suffered the most for my pig-headedness was me. Even though the baby would have enjoyed the extra snuggling that I would have been able to give, my partner did plenty of that while I was pumping, and in fact the two of them developed an intense bond that made me feel a little hollow and left-out at the time.

Now that I'm a whole lot emotionally healthier, of course, it warms me to see their love. I guess that's another comfort from the whole hideous nightmare.

Anonymous said...

@12:04 You're so right. I used formula and I AM dumb and lazy.

Not to mention I was formula-fed myself (which probably explains the dumb and lazy).

Anonymous said...

@12:04 I am neither dumb nor lazy, thank you very much. My baby was born premature, and we gave her formula to supplement the breast milk so that she could GROW. And also, to my dismay, I was only able to produce for the first 5 months and then had to return to work as well, so after that she went fully-formula. She's never been sick or had any problems (knock on wood).

I think alot of LLL-type people are so over-the-top that, although I personally wanted to breastfeed, many other women are turned off by the prospect because you get judgements thrown your way like, "well you're just dumb and lazy!"

Anonymous said...

I don't get the argument either. Purely a personal choice in my eyes. I didn't breastfeed either of my children - once for medical reasons, once for personal - and they are both wonderful, productive adult members of society with college degrees and their own homes and everything. Neither was unusually sick in childhood, and the boychild was an excellent athlete (the girlchild preferred drama [as in performance art] and tree-hugging). But I have friends who breastfed who could quote exactly the same stats. To each her own, I say. Not worth wasting the energy to argue about!

Anonymous said...

I breastfeed for a myriad of reasons, one of which is my sloth-like laziness. I'm also cheap, so breastfeeding works well in that regard.

Anonymous said...

I want to scream when I hear that breastfeeding is free. I don't know if that's been posted yet or not, but I always think of it when this debate starts up.

No, no it isn't, unless you can exclusively feed at the breast (which means never being away from your baby ever as long as they are breastfeeding! no date nights, no overnights away, bringing them along to the movies . . .) and even then you will probably need a few tubes of lanolin, new bras, nursing pads, etc.

And if you don't feed exclusively from the breast, you still have to buy bottles, brushes, and likely an expensive pump and supplies.

And that's assuming you don't end up needing to see a lactation consultant, get thrush, or an infection.

Breastfeeding isn't perfectly simple, easy and free. I wish more people would be realistic about that.

Anonymous said...

@12:04: I've found that most people are pretty dum and lazee. Whether they use formula or not.

Anonymous said...

I breastfed both of my children. My first child did not take to it well at all, but I persevered. It took me THREE months of midnight pumping and feeding through a tube and and nipple shields before he finally got it. I just couldn't give up until I knew I had given it my absolute best shot. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

With my second, I said that if he didn't take to breastfeeding well in the first couple of weeks then I would be OK with moving to the bottle (but pumping). Thankfully I didn't have to make that choice.

Breastfeeding is natural but does not necessarily come naturally. I can understand why people give up if it doesn't come easily (and the pain in some cases should not be underestimated.) I also understand how difficult it can be to continue when you are working. My milk supply dropped after eight months with my second child and he weaned himself because he wasn't getting enough milk from me.

That being said, I CAN'T understand why someone would give up breastfeeding when they had none of those issues. I have had friends whose children take to the breast easily (something they usually take for granted) and then they quit nursing after a couple of months because it's not convenient or it interrupts their sleep or makes their boobs sag.

It's the best thing for your baby if you can do it and your baby deserves that chance.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and while breastfeeding is not free, it is definitely a LOT cheaper. I don't know how you can argue with that.

Anonymous said...

I breastfeed because it is cheaper, because it gets me couch time where I can watch tv or surf the net, because of the snuggles, because I like leaving part of *me* with my daughter at daycare each day, because I like the forced breaks in my workday to pump, because the lying in bed morning nursing session is the best part of my day, and because it is pretty darn easy once you get past the first couple of months.

However, I really don't think that breastfed children have much if any advantage over formula fed children. Look at any elementary classroom and try to guess which kids were breasfed and you will fail miserably. However, you will be able to tell which kids are loved, which are read to, and which are respected at home.

Anonymous said...

Also, if you breastfeed, you have to eat a healthy diet, which is not cheap.

And, 12:04, you obviously don't have any idea what goes into formula feeding. All the bottle washing, formula making and reheating. It's not for a lazy person, that's for sure. Breastfeeding, you just pop out your tit and jam into the babies mouth. You can lay there and sleep while they eat. With bottles, you need to have it at the right angle so the baby gets the milk, make sure all the air is out of it. You have to go to the store and buy the formula. You have to make sure everything is sterilized. Yeah...not so lazy. Thanks anyway.

Anonymous said...

Breastfeeding is not the most important thing that you will ever do for your child. Why do so many woman act as though it is?

Anonymous said...

@12:46 Probably because they're dumb. And lazy.

Anonymous said...

12:44: Breastfeeding is not cheap, but it is CHEAPER. I gladly took back the $100 a month I spent on formula when my child graduated to regular milk.

And should new mothers be eating a healthy diet anyway? I didn't do that because I was breastfeeding.

I also saved a great deal thanks to the amount of wine I was NOT consuming.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone eats the best food all the time. Look around. Fat people everywhere. Is what they are eating good for the baby? No. So, at least with formula, they get the vitamins and iron they need. Get a clue!!!

Anonymous said...

I hate the women who think breastfeeding is the end all be all. Goes hand in hand with the "we eat all organic" and "I only use cloth diapers" mentality.

Which then spirals into the "we send out kids to only Montressori preschools" and "private education is best."

Just shut up and, you know, be ACTIVE in loving your kids, and maybe you'll realize that doing all this STUFF for them isn't REALLY all that important.

Anonymous said...

I do get annoyed with people who say that they didn't bf because it was hard for them. It is hard for everyone. You either have the patience and will or you don't.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an argument for the women who are privileged enough to have a baby to breastfeed. Or not breastfeed.

Like, "Oh, no, I wasn't able to have a natural vaginal birth. my experience is so *traumatic* because I didn't progress enough and eventually had to have a nice relaxed c-section."

Did you get a baby out of it? A living one? A healthy baby to feed, one way or the other? Okay, then STFU. And mind your own f-ing business.

During one of the most wonderful, difficult, life-altering times of women's lives, why can't we just be there for each other instead of backstabbing and judging. I had a friend weeping -- WEEPING -- because her baby needed formula supplementation.

I think all of these debates are just socially contrived opportunities for women to judge each other instead of support each other. Breast or bottle? Natural birth or epidural? Disposable or cloth? Really? is this really what we are sniping about?

Anonymous said...

Well said 1:19!

Anonymous said...

this is a confessions post, so here goes....
i stopped breastfeeding my baby at 2 mo. but i kept up my supply up with pumping at work because my husband liked it so much. we used formula for the baby and my hubby got my milk each night. it turned him on so much and i was so afraid he'd never want me again after watching the birth. i was ready to do anything to keep him interested in me. i've always felt guilty, though, because my son had a really hard time adjusting to the formula. we had to try 3 different ones before we found out he was allergic and had to go on soy. then it turns out, my husband was cheating on me anyway, so it was all for nothing.

Anonymous said...

I personally don't give a rat's ass if it's all formula or all breast milk. We did both with my daughter because I couldn't pump worth a damn when I went back to work. What I do tend to judge harshly is the feeding of junk food when they move to solids. When I see toddlers sipping on chocolate milk or eating french fries in a restaurant, I am internally screaming on the inside. I struggled with obesity my entire life, thanks to the soda in the bottle mentality of my parents. I have worked very hard to try to undo all the bad, but it is a struggle. We bring my daughter's food everywhere---nothing fancy but real food. A banana and peanut butter sandwich on whole bread is a lot cheaper than the chicken nuggets they only offer on the children's menu.

Anonymous said...

I felt like a total defective when I finally got a baby – after a full-term stillbirth and then a miscarriage - and couldn't make enough milk for him and my nipples were bleeding wounds from all the pumping.
But thanks to domperidone and a hospital-grade pump and supplementing at the breast with a Lact-Aid and a bit of formula (which I don't feel a jot of guilt about, although I'll try to seek donor milk if I have the same problem my next baby should I be so lucky to have one) he nursed until 20 months when I got pregnant with deadbaby3. I pumped at work in a bathroom until 18 months.
So unless you have a baby who will never latch or have no supply at all because of adoption, IGT or breast surgery everyone CAN breastfeed.
Many women just choose not to which, frankly, is like choosing to give your kids McDonalds instead of making a healthful, homecooked meal.
And surely there's just no argument about the health benefits?
A recent study said that if 90% of new mothers in the U.S. breastfed their kids for their first six months, we'd save $13 billion a year in health care costs and prevent more than 900 deaths.
YES women don't get enough support - especially with decent maternity leave - but I hear women saying they quit for reasons they could have easily solved.

Anonymous said...

Yes, actually, there is argument over the health benefits. As was pointed out in the article "The Case Against Breast-Feeding" medical literature and popular literature on the subject are different. The meta-studies frequently complain about poor study design in the popularly referenced studies that support the claims to better health and higher intelligence.

The studies that come closer to randomization and remove outside factors (such as socio-economic standing, smoking, parental IQ, etc) find little statistical evidence that breast-feeding is wholesale better than formula feeding. Especially as regards the myriad of claims propagated by lactivists.

Which is not to say that I don't think there are not benefits to breast-feeding, I just believe they aren't as over the top as many claim. And stating breast is best, full stop, ignores a number of other factors. Well-being of the entire family, ability for caregivers to feed, strain on mother, bonding with father, and on and on.

It's unfair to reduce it to one simple statement, because feeding is far more complex than simply breast or bottle. And choosing to overlook the fact that it is not the same equation for everyone smacks of superiority and eagerness to judge others or prop up your own choices.

The only wrong choice or bad choice is not feeding your kid.

Anonymous said...

I have one question that you breast feeding crazies always avoid when I bring it up. I always here you breast feeding crazies say “regardless breast is best”. So my question is, I know a girl who was breast feeding. She was a bad alcoholic (and yes she drank though her pregnancy and thankfully the baby did not come out with FAS). And when I say bad we are talking about a half a bottle of liquor a day. So are you trying to tell me that all this alcohol does not go into the breast milk. And also this girl smoked about 2 packs of cigs a day. I believe that in this case formula would have been better then the breast milk the baby was getting. And every time I bring up the point of “if the mother does not take care of herself them breast milk is not always the best”. All you ladies who scream BREAST IS BEST never answer when it is so obvious that BREAST IS NOT ALWAYS BEST! It all depends on so many things one mainly being how well the mother takes care of herself.

Anonymous said...

O hai guyz!

Oh, but some of you are so wrong! You *can* breastfeed when you adopt! You just jack yourself full of domperidone and other (synthetic) hormones and do it indefinitely until you get that placement.

Because we adopted and it was such an out of the blue placement, there was no chance to even go there, even if I were so inclined, which I never was.

I resent the evil looks because we feed our child formula. Bite me. I'm more worried about corn syrup in the formulas rather than who breastfeeds or doesn't.

Anonymous said...

I have breastfed all mine and found it relatively easy and kept going with the first two until they were 18 mths ( i stopped as went back to ivf) and 30 mths. The 3rd is still v little so still going. I di it because it was easy, I'm lazy and the milk was free. I can't understand at all those who never even try ( leaving aside the ones who absolutely can't cos of things like surrogacy, adoption on drugs that pass through etc). There are proven health benefits although not as many as some say. Even formula cos accept breast is preferable. Droopy boobs are genetic as much as anything - mine are still nondroopy post breeast feeding. The thing that makes me mad is that non breast feeders are still the overwhelming majority in the western world but you would never have believed it from the whining about dreadful breast is besters and how pressurized they were etc etc. Always struck me that some were protesting just a tad too much - bit of guilt there me thinks. You should try breast feeding beyond 6 months and deal with the negative reactions to that. Also don't get me started on the lunacy of the anti formula boycotting company types - their energies would be better placed encouraging breast feeding on a local level in their own backyards rather than patronizing women in other countries who are plenty intelligent enough to make their own decisions and who more often than not breastfeed anyway. Oh and the hypocrisy in the uk of boycotting about the only formula producer who doesn't even sell any formula in the uk.

Anonymous said...

even though i was a mixed baby, i totally judge non-breastfeeders if i think they're doing it for silly reasons. which i think is pretty unfeminist of me, when you get right down to it.

this all but guarantees i will never be able to breastfeed any baby i eventually have, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

I just can't stand it when people half ass it for a week. Don't ask for help and don't drink enough water then quite bc it was just to hard. Yes it hurts like hell for a few weeks even if you do it right but it is good for the baby and while not free its a hell of a lot cheaper then buying formula. I get that some people really can't but I think most who say they can't just didn't try very hard and lets be honest parenting well actually takes effort.

Anonymous said...

My issues are with the shrilly dogmatic lactivists - and yes, I did exclusively BF for 18 months until my daughter weaned herself the very week I got pregnant again (don't hate me). My therapist called LLL a "cult" because they made her feel so bad about not being able to nurse.

I also have issues with people who think a child should stop nursing when s/he can talk. There's no rational argument there, it has much more to do with American cultural ideas that breasts are primarily sexual and exist PRIMARILY for the pleasure of the woman's partner, which is hogwash. So people get uncomfortable with the idea that a child who can talk (speech being the marker of a new kind of consciousness, perhaps? vs. pre-speech infants not being aware of what they're doing when they nurse? Or does it have more to do with memory - that a child will be somehow perverted in a sexual sense if s/he has memories of suckling at the mother's breast?) - and make it out to be some kind of innate/universal cutoff, some transcendent taboo like incest, a line that should never be crossed - when it's an entirely culturally based reaction. That bugs me.

Anonymous said...

My confession is I also don't give a rat's ass about the breastfeeding thing, or the stay at home dramaz. I like the specific confessionsrather than just Mommy Cage Fights.I do believe that I have been reading these confessions long enough to think I know which ones are Niobe' you ever tell which ones are yours, N.?

Anonymous said...

I had no issues with supply in fact I was regularly pumping enough for two or more feedings. I still stopped nursing at two months. I was exhausted and ill from the c-section.

I have no regrets...

Anonymous said...

I agree with 4:31. I like hearing about people schtupping their sister's husband and embezzling funds and that sort of thing. This is just the Mommy Wars Part LCXMVI.

It's too easy, Niobe, to roll that apple of discord.

erica said...
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Anonymous said...

I had no idea how hard bf would be, or that it would bring me to tears on a regular basis for the first month. I'm glad I can do it, but even now that it's easier I confess that I don't seem to get the mama-goddess feelings from it that so many other women talk about. Maybe I'm defective.

And bf may be a beautiful and natural thing, when it comes to pumping, I think Judith Warner has a point and asks some good questions.

Anonymous said...

I am pro-choice.

That means that what other women do with their bodies is THEIR choice. Period. For God's sake.

I think human beings just like things to feel righteous about.

And for the record, I breast-fed my two living children for a year a piece.

niobe said...


I do try to disguise my voice, but I'm sure that for regular readers of this blog, it's probably not all that hard to figure out which "confessions" are mine. Though I will say that there are a few comments that I know I didn't write, but that sound an awful lot like me. Someone (or more than one someone) is an excellent mimic.

Anonymous said...

The only issue I have with bf in the case of a hetro couple is its tendency to carve out a sphere of woman's work, i.e., the babycare is all taken over by the woman because she's the one who can feed the baby and she often takes time off and stays home, creating an imbalance in gender roles that effects the entire relationship. Both partners are unhappy trapped in traditional gender roles even if they had an egalitarian relationship before.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Niobe, this has nothing to do with your suggested topic. However, it certainly qualifies as a confession and this far down in the comments I doubt anyone will notice it.

Shortly after my baby died I had an affair, a poor choice on my part, but one that seemed sadly inevitable as the way to make myself feel alive again. My husband doesn't know and I will do everything in my power to make sure he never finds out. I wish I could find others who did the same, as I hate reading about only those stories of marriages made closer and stronger by babyloss.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to hear the railing against formula users: that they just didn't try hard enough or didn't want to enough or had silly excuses. Sounds like a lot of rhetoric around infertility.

Anonymous said...

@750 have you confessed that on here before? i feel like someone else on here has mentioned that same situation before, so maybe you aren't alone. i can imagine that's not something that pops up frequently in a blog search.

Anonymous said...

I would love to breastfeed but being treated for pre-cancerous lumps isn't the best situation for feeding my future child. And as we are adopting, and are choosing not to adoptive breastfeed, formula it is.

The only time I've objected to someone breastfeeding, or more specifically, breastfeeding in my presence is when a new friend's 3 1/2 year old walked up and said, "Mom, I'm thirsty," and proceeded to lift mom's shirt and have at it.

I also felt for another dear friend when she chose (because of some stuff in her past medical history) to use formula and as she was feeding her little one an older woman came up to her and said in baby talk, 'oh no, that's not where our milky should come from' and proceeded to pat my friend's breast. Yeah, that's classy.

I agree with others who've said it's not the method of feeding but really more that you are actually feeding your child that's important

Anonymous said...

I really couldn't give a crap how anyone choses to feed their baby, but for me it is breast and I do sometimes silently judge those who don't. Don't hate me.
For most who don't breastfeed (and many say they "can't") I will admit to thinking they just didn't try hard enough. Yeah, yeah. It is hard. Some have it really hard. So did I. A baby who wouldn't attach, severly damaged nipples, nipple shields, endless pumping and hundreds of dollars spent on a private LC at my house trying to make it all right. Then, weeks and weeks later, when I thought all hope was lost, it got easier. Much easier. Six months down the track, baby and I have found our nursing groove. It is easy and lovely, cheap and convenient.
I think far too many quit right on the cusp of it getting much, much easier. And I too agree that not enough women get near enough support. Just one bottle of formula, in my opinion, starts a slipperly slope to it all going pear shaped, quickly.
For me breastfeeding was very much tied in to my dead baby situation.
I had a baby die and I never thought that would happen. I was smug and thought I was safe from that. Then the baby died. I wasn't about to then not be able to breastfeed. It was hard, the second hardest thing I have ever done apart from losing a baby, but damn I worked hard to make it work. I never, ever wanted to give up on it. And I'm so glad I didn't.
I do also wonder, what would people do if there WASN'T formula??

Anonymous said...

So if my problem was I just didn't try hard enough, how hard IS hard enough?

And gee, I suppose that if there wasn't formula, we'd have MORE dead babies.

Anonymous said...

Western society's current fashionable stance on breastfeeding is yet another way to beat women up about not being perfect, or doing everything in the correct "stepford way" of the day (which is to breastfeed on demand for at least 1 year).

That failure to breastfeed or anxiety about breastfeeding performance is an often cited trigger for PPD is very sad indeed.

I wish we lived in times that were more inclusive and less judgemental. That it is mainly women judging other women harshly and not supporting each other and our individual choices and context is a terrible, awful aspect of contemporary motherhood.

Mothering a small baby can be a lonely, alienating experience if one is surrounded with a mothers group full of competitive, staunch birth and breast judgements.


I think how one feeds their baby is their business alone.

It is only important that we feed and nurture not what we feed.

Likewise, how one conceived/birthed (whatever) their baby is no ones business either.

We live in times where we don't value our individual and familial privacy as much as we should.

and for the record, formula has had so much scientific testing for many, many, many years (on animals & people alike), that it just is silly to think that formula isn't safe to use.

Also, for the record, people who were feed on formula aren't less intelligent or less healthy.

You cannot tell who was breastfed and who wasn't looking around a playground or university.

Breastfeed people are not a superior class much to the dismay of those that believe the lactivist rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

As my baby was adopted at the age of 11 months she wasn't breastfed. I am fed up with the complacency and judgementalism which surrounds breastfeeding. If I had had a biological child I would have tried to do it but as I didn't I couldn't and the smugness around breastfeeding is frankly nauseating

Anonymous said...

I have never bought the whole "breastmilk is Mother Nature's food and the best food for your baby" bit. Mother Nature is not particularly merciful and Mother Nature has other motives than the idea of all babies surviving and thriving. Mother Nature has more of a "thinning of the herd" philosophy. (And boy do I feel like a shit typing that on a blog where I know many of you have lost babies. My heart breaks for you all, I just wanted to add).

Back to the unrestrained debate...I don't see at all why just because something is natural it is always best. As in, if baby daughters of narrow hipped mothers die during childbirth then we will have fewer narrow hipped females to procreate next generation and the species will be better off. Mother Nature might be fine with that. But I'm not. We can do a c-section and save baby and mom. I morphed off your topic here, but I see similar "Mother Nature is always right" aruguments on that debate, too.

I have read some of the studies that say breastfed babies are healthier. They don't seem particularly widely conducted or conclusive to me. They also don't seem to be near as prevelant as the mothering community seems to think they are. I remain unconvinced that breast milk is the hands down first choice for all babies. I am happy for all you mothers who breastfeed and find that a good choice for you and your family. But I am equally happy for all the mothers (including myself) who went the bottle feeding route. No regrets here.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't really have anything to do with breastfeeding. My anonymous confession is that I've been reading this blog for a while, and Niobe seems like a really, really sad person to me, and I feel sorry for her. You might say "Duh, she lost her babies" but I've known people who have lost their babies... I even lost a baby, and I'm not that sad. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

(June 4 11:50 here)

The whole "I judge women UNLESS they tried really hard" thing drives me crazy. What's hard enough? Bleeding nipples obviously isn't enough; is massive expense, depression, alienation, sleeplessness? No? How much? How about if she beats herself up and feels like crap if she doesn't breastfeed? Does that make it okay? Is it only okay if she's not okay with it? Sometimes I think I worked myself into that horrible depressive frenzy because it was my way of paying penance -- look, I'm going to flagellate myself so you don't have to. I am one of the "good" formula-feeders who tried everything, please forgive me.


My partner has said many times that *she* would never have tried to breastfeed past the initial trouble. She would have gone right to formula and been perfectly okay with it. We would have ended up in the same place, except I made myself crazy and she wouldn't have.

It also makes me insane when people say "I had to try really really hard, it took me months of pain and effort, but it worked out -- SEE, ANYONE CAN DO IT IF THEY TRY ENOUGH."

That is a moronic conclusion. Believe me, there are women who tried just as hard as you did OR HARDER who didn't have a happy ending. Also see: SAHM, infertility, preeclampsia, unmedicated childbirth, baby loss. You may have tried hard, but you were also lucky. Be proud AND grateful.

And yeah, I found myself engaged in precisely this argument in the last confessions thread. Maybe I should just comment on all future threads with "Don't be a smug asshole".

Anonymous said...

I'm lucky that for breastfeeding for me was easy. Especially since I'm lazy and cheap. Getting up several times a night to mess around with bottles - stuff that for a joke. Also I enjoyed it I loved the special time with my son and would have gone on longer than the 16 months I did but my other half got very weird about it after a year.

This time round I might tell him to go fuck himself.

Anonymous said...

@12:13 I don't see Niobe as especially sad. She's definitely not a Pollyanna type. Cynical? Possibly. Fatalistic? Sometimes. Dry/cutting wit? Definitely. Sad? Certainly at times, but no more so than anyone else I've seen on the internet or IRL.

@9:43 Were you reading my mind? Amen, sister!

Anonymous said...

This debate is just a flashburn for me...smoldering out quickly because I am confident I made the right decision for me, not to breastfeed my children. I had great supply, took forever to slow it to a stop. Never even tried to breastfeed, because it does seem sexually intimate TO ME. Not that it is for everyone but I am a product of the culture I was raised in. breasts are the primary erogenous zones for me so it would have made me extremely uncomfortable to feed my babies that way. I, do not however, see it as wrong in ANY way for others to feed their baby with their breasts if they choose. (Though it does totally horrify me when someone nonchalantly says "Yeah I have had an orgasm from breastfeeding, so what?" EWW EWW EWW!)

Anonymous said...

For all of you who didn't breastfeed (or couldn't, but wanted to) — why not consider a donor milk bank?

And to whoever thought Niobe is sad, I feel quite the opposite. I think she's awesome (based on her blog) :D

Anonymous said...

Given the relatively small benefits breastfeeding provides, it amazes me that it's such a hot-button issue. Were it something fathers as well as (gestational) mothers could do, I bet it wouldn't be.

Reading Sarah Blaffer Hrdy's Mother Nature left me phenomenally grateful I live in a place and an era when safe, nutritious alternatives to breastmilk are available (and for the record, I b/f.). Those looking for some not-light summer reading might want to pick up a copy (plenty on infanticide and assorted forms of parental neglect in there, though, so it may not be a book many deadbaby mamas would want to read).

While I realize formula is not a safe alternative in many parts of the world even today (because of problems securing potable water), I also suspect that the high infant mortality rates in many parts of the world where safe alternatives to breastfeeding aren't available reflect in part the reality that breastfeeding is nowhere near as natural or automatic (for all gestational mothers) as we are often led to believe.

Moreover breastmilk isn't a "perfect" food, as evidenced by the fact that pediatricians are finally advising moms who b/f that we need to provide our infants with supplemental vitamin D.

Anonymous said...

Given the relatively small benefits breastfeeding provides, it amazes me that it's such a hot-button issue. Were it something fathers as well as (gestational) mothers could do, I bet it wouldn't be.

Reading Sarah Blaffer Hrdy's Mother Nature left me phenomenally grateful I live in a place and an era when safe, nutritious alternatives to breastmilk are available (and for the record, I b/f.). Those looking for some not-light summer reading might want to pick up a copy (plenty on infanticide and assorted forms of parental neglect in there, though, so it may not be a book many deadbaby mamas would want to read).

While I realize formula is not a safe alternative in many parts of the world even today (because of problems securing potable water), I also suspect that the high infant mortality rates in many parts of the world where safe alternatives to breastfeeding aren't available reflect in part the reality that breastfeeding is nowhere near as natural or automatic (for all gestational mothers) as we are often led to believe.

Moreover breastmilk isn't a "perfect" food, as evidenced by the fact that pediatricians are finally advising moms who b/f that we need to provide our infants with supplemental vitamin D.

Anonymous said...

I don't care about breast or bottle, but I do care about recycling or landfill. I think people who don't recycle are lazy and dumb.

Anonymous said...

I loved breastfeeding, but it wasn't without its major challenges; we had a really hard time getting started, yet I wasn't prepared to lose that after already losing the natural, drug-free experience to a c-section. I am really lucky because even though for many, many tough weeks, breastfeeding finally became blissful, but I know it might not have turned out that way. There are a legitimate group of women who simply cannot meet the needs of their babies and that sucks, but it happens. I become incensed, however, at women who say they want to, but that they can't when they haven't really tried in a real and honest way. It's like they are starving for attention, and that by having some medical issue, they are somehow more special or something - I don't get that, really.

Also, 12:59, you could probably drop that shit about "spiraling" into cloth diapers and Montessori schools... these are choices parents make for the betterment of their children, the community, or the environment. As such, to comment that these choices are so far out of the ordinary, only suggests that your hopes for your kids remain in the common Wal-Mart, white bread, sliced cheese and bologna domain. We should be happy and embrace the fact we all have many options from which to colour and shape our children's lives and worldviews. I would be so sad for my child should I stick him into the bland society you suggest, and deprive him of all the wonderful things available to try. If I delimit what I show him, why should he try to further his own reach and dreams?
PS. he is not in Montessori, we aren't all organic, and we never managed to go all cloth diapers - give the people a break already.


Anonymous said...

I read all the comments but was going to skip adding mine, as it has been said before. UNTIL I got a whole bunch of judgement today from a friend of a friend, so now I am going to vent.
I had no intention of breastfeeding, ever. The thought of putting my breast into a baby's mouth gives me the creeps. Always has. I am totally disgusted by people who do it in public. I don't care if it is natural, so is going to the bathroom, but you don't do that in public.
Anyway, I ended up with a baby in the NICU and wanted to do anything I could, so I bought myself a new handbag and started to pump.
Low supply! Like, nothing.
When the next baby came, I expressed once, same issues, so didn't take it any further.
I get so frustrated by 'every baby is different' but there is only one right way to feed them. Please. My comment to the judgmental masses is 'how does f*ck off sound?', you don't know what I've been through.
Children worked in factories one hundred years ago....

niobe said...

@12:13 (who said Niobe seemed very, very sad).

Perhaps it's not coming across, but these days I'm feeling happier than I've ever been.

Now, since my emotions apparently have a limited up side, that may mean something like my spirits have rocketed from deep depression all the way up to mild gloom. But, you know, still.

For many years (long before I lost the twins). I was so sad that I had trouble getting out of bed most mornings. I was so sad that I cried every morning all the way to work. I was so sad that I often wondered if there was some way I could magically just . . . vanish.

Now, I'm so far away from that all-encompassing sadness, that it's hard even to remember what it felt like.

And, honestly? I worry much more that I'm not sad enough about losing the twins -- certainly, it doesn't seem to have affected my life as much as similar losses have affected others.

Ruby said...

Nothing beats breast feeding if you ask me. It's not only the most convenient form to feed you baby. It's also the most rewarding one.

Anonymous said...


I think loosing the twins has effected you deeply. I say this based on some of the things you have said on your blog and in the comments on other blogs. You just show it and process it in a different way. There is nothing wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

I believe breast feeding is better, if you can do so, but most women who do so are so ridiculously, self-righteously cunty about BFing that I hesitate to air my views in public in case people assume I'm a Boob Nazi.

Anonymous said...

LOSING the twins. Not LOOSING. Learn the difference.

Anonymous said...

Niobe, I understand it. Didn't lose a baby myself, just the sad-sad-sad part that's miraculously cured. And I think it cured BECAUSE you lost the twins; I remember how you once said that, pregnant with them, you told someone that you were going to die. The loss just confirmed the catastrophy you expected your whole life. Twisted, complicated, even naive, maybe, but that's how I understand it. I passed through something similar; i almost never cry nowadays.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:36. As someone said, it is losing not loosing. And affected not effected. Sheesh, what was your point again?

Anonymous said...

Can we stop using "Nazi" to refer to obnoxious breastfeeding proponents, please?
It really trivializes the crimes of actual Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Giving birth naturally (vaginal delivery, no meds) made me feel like a woman. Breastfeeding makes me feel like a mother.

I want every mother to share in that feeling, and it's hard for me not to be judgmental about those who *choose* to formula feed, because I know how rewarding breastfeeding can be. Hard, yes. But after awhile, with support if needed, it stops being hard and starts being good.

Just give it a try -- that's how I feel.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:03

yes, yes, YES, totally agree re: bad Nazi reference.

It is so inappropriate that I actually cringe reading it in the wrong context.

Anonymous said...

The part I don’t get about the whole culture of breastfeeding in this country (compared to what I’ve seen in Sweden) is how everyone is all “breast is best” when what people really seem to mean is, “breast is long as we don’t have to see it.” It’s practically taboo not to breastfeed and yet it’s taboo to breastfeed in public (unless you have sheet draped over you and the baby or are in a public space designated for the purpose of breastfeeding or other private things like a bathroom). Someone mentioned PPD with regard to breastfeeding. I don’t think that breastfeeding itself would lead to PPD but if the new nursing mother felt isolated because she felt like she couldn’t go out in public in case she needed to feed her child I could see where things could downward spiral.

Perhaps if society were more supportive of breastfeeding mothers more mothers would breastfeed. If children grew up seeing babies breastfed when they were out they would think it was normal and might be more inclined to do the same when it was their turn. However, I don’t think pressuring women to breastfeed to making them feel guilty about not breastfeeding is helping anyone. If anything, mothers-to-be who are sitting on the fence could be completely turned off by those tactics.

I’m going to bottle feed for various reasons partially medical (breast reduction at 22yo). But truly, part of me looks forward to someone asking me if I’m going to be breastfeed and just saying, “no” and leaving it at that (unless, of course I feel like adding, “I’m also going to be using disposal diapers and sending my children to public school. Is there anything else you’d like to know?”). Women shouldn’t have to justify their reasons for deciding what or how to feed their children.

PS to the other woman who had a breast reduction. You may still be able to breast feed if that's what you want to do. After I lost my first at almost 20 weeks my milk came in. I've also been leaking since around 20 weeks with this pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

@ joyandwoe

Being a deadbabymama, your post made me want to shriek and rip out all my hair.

Breastfeeding may have made you feel like a mother, and bully for you, but it is NOT what defines a mother, any more than vaginal childbirth defines a woman.

I'm thrilled that you feel that way, but projecting that onto other people and judging them for not meeting your standards of womanhood and motherhood is demeaning to those of us who had no choice in the matters of how our children were born and how they were fed (if they were fed - mine died before that particular issue arose).

That's what gets me here in all of this, the projection of personal choice and feelings onto everyone else. It's so wrong and so ultimately hurtful.

Anonymous said...

@ Ruby -

Oddly, my husband felt that bottle feeding was far more rewarding, since he got to participate in it beyond watching me feed the baby.

Anonymous said...

@11:06 ... you can call it projection if you like, I'm not going to get panties beknotted over it.

Yes, I do want all mothers to share in the feelings I've had, ESPECIALLY those who have experienced loss. Because it's great, and all those who desire it deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Just realized that my last sentence was awkward ... I meant that the feelings I've had are great and that I think everyone who desires motherhood -- *as they define it* -- deserves it. Not that loss is desired or deserved.

Anonymous said...

I've not read all the posts yet (I'll save that fun for when I'm feeling cocky and confident), but of course breast is best. That said, I sucked at it and my baby sucked at it and after a short period of time I gave up and hated myself for a long, long time. I'm about to try it all again and while I hope it goes better this time, I won't hate myself nearly as much if it doesn't. Thank god or science or whatever that babies can survive when moms like me aren't tough enough to stick it out.

Anonymous said...

Nursed the first til past 2 years, then quit because I was pregnant with the next. The next is still nursing at 18 months. Neither kid ever had a drop of formula, despite my working full time and not being a particularly good milk producer. And that full time work is in pediatrics. And EVEN SO - don't care about breast versus bottle, it's such a DROP IN THE BUCKET of motherhood. NOT a big health effect, for the vast majority of kids. But I must add - donor milk is generally reserved for the sickest littlest kids, so you parents of term kids are better off just using formula.

Anonymous said...

Can we talk about home birth?

Anonymous said...

@June 5, 2010 10:31 PM:

When we approached our doctor about that (banked breastmilk), he vehemently said no. His objections were a) you have no idea where it comes from or what the donor was on/taking at the time it was expressed and b) it's absolutely unregulated, which bothered him immensely. Now if I'd had the chance to prep for adoptive breastfeeding, he was all for it. But since there was no time, it didn't happen, and he put the kibosh on the donor milk.

The best thing to come out of that topic of discussion was the fact that it got my MIL off my back.

I think he's a progressive, open-minded doctor, and I was surprised by his attitude. Take his stance however you will. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

In general, I think breast is best and you should try to breastfeed--give it a good, real try. If it doesn't work, we are fortunate to live in a country where the formula is usually safe. (Of course, there was that time a few years ago that there were metal fragments in the Nestle GoodStart...) So, I don't judge people in general.

However, I judge people individually like I'm getting paid to do it. Friend who only tried in the recovery room? Judged. Person who said her doctor told her not to even though her son was in the NICU and she was producing milk like a champ? I think she's a liar and lazy. Judged. Friend who tried like crazy and couldn't pump enough when her son was in the NICU? She tried. She failed. It was more important that her son got fed at all than that she gave him her breastmilk.

So, I reserve judgment for the individuals whose story I know fully. Like with everything else.

Anonymous said...

As for milk from donor banks, the people who spout that off as a viable option are deluded. Yes, there are donor milk banks. BUT! You need a prescription for most of them! And the non profit ones charge $3-4 per OUNCE. Per ounce. So a newborn could be sucking down $30-40 of milk a day. A 6 month old can guzzle 25-30 ounces easy. Yeah, I don't know many people who can afford that when they can pony up $25 for a can of formula and feed their kid for a week or more.

For profit banks charge $10-30 an ounce for milk.

So puhlease. If breastfeeding is not in the picture for whatever reason, I'd much rather a parent formula feed and put a roof over their kid's head and all the other necessities that $30-40 a day could go towards. Very few of us can afford that kind of money.

Just feed your damned kids if you should be so lucky to have them. Do the best you can. My father was fed freaking evaporated milk and water as a baby. He survived. My mother switched me to cows milk at 8 months, oh well. These are not the best solutions but it's better than starving a kid, so why argue over better options. Breast or formula, whichever works for your WHOLE family.

-signed, someone who has done ALL of the following: breastfed a kid to 20 months, formula fed, pumped milk for donation, and fed a kid only frozen breast milk. Whatever. I've done it. Woo. Like I'm some kind of superhero for freaking feeding my kid.

Azaera said...

I breastfed for 14 months, 2 of which he was in the NICU and I was awake around the clock pumping by his bedside because the nurses wouldn't let him latch on and 4 months of which he hated the breast because they had bottle fed him my breastmilk in the hospital. It was tough as hell getting him to breast feed for the first months and there were a lot of tears and moments of "I don't know if I can do this." But we pushed through and in the end it was worth it for us. So I understand why people would give up, it isn't always easy.

Having said that, we do use formula now even though he is a year and a half because he has special needs and is on medications which cause weight loss and he needs to gain back some weight somehow and there's no way in hell he'll go near my breast for anything other than stepping on while I'm lying down and in his way. And yes he eats lots of healthy foods, but it's just not enough to gain back the weight he's losing.

So all I can say is do what's best for your family, forget the judgements and just do what you have to do. I don't feel the need to be anonymous about this so I'm not going to.

As long as your baby is fed and healthy you're doing the right thing (in my opinion anyway).