Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Breast Feeding Will Pay for College!

Heh, no not really.  That would be awesome.  The title of this post is an example of Hyperbole.  I was exaggerating to make a point.  As someone who failed at breast feeding 2.5 times, and sort of succeeded, finally, I have an interesting perspective on the whole concept.

It really seems, from the hole we failures dig for ourselves, that the self proclaimed "Lactivists" make astronomical claims in an effort to get women to breast feed.  Breast milk cures anything, from pink eye, to diaper rash, to CANCER!  Breastfeeding will be the greatest experience of your entire existence, and you'll love every second of it!  Not to mention the things they say about the alternative to breast milk (meaning of course formula).  Commercial formula kills babies!  Commercial formula is really just rat poison!  I could go on like this, on both subjects, for quite some time.

But really, if those are the Lactivists you've encountered, then you have a poor data sample.  Most of them are more realistic, and less idealistic (read: full of crap).  Most of them don't think formula itself is the devil (though many will tell you for hours how evil Nestle is and why), but accept it as a valid alternative when breast feeding is unavailable.  They just think breast feeding should always be the first option.  They are probably right.

We've all heard that "breast is best," and we all know it's true.  We hate having it rubbed in our faces, because it just piles more dirt into the hole we've dug.  Who likes to hear that they CAN'T give their baby the best? That the "naturalist, safest, and purest" product for infants is not available to our own newborn? It sucks.  And deep down we know it's not our fault, but it doesn't matter.  Our bodies have failed us, and that's a bummer.

Everyone preaches that there needs to be more education on breast feeding.  This is true.  It can't be denied that some women fail at breast feeding because they were given bad advice or false information.  It definitely happens.  If pediatricians didn't think a baby should look like the Michelin Man by 2 weeks old, then they wouldn't tell their patients (or rather their patients' parents) to supplement.  The mother wouldn't supplement, her supply wouldn't tank, and she would have been successful.

That's all well and good.  Increase education, beat a few doctors over the head with blunt objects.  But there are a lot of support groups for breast feeding mothers.  There's Le Leche League, there are Lactation Consultants at the hospital, and there's information all over - ALL OVER - the internet.  "I didn't know" is really a poor excuse for anything these days, at least for middle class Americans that can afford the internet.  I get that people DON'T know, but they really SHOULD know.

But there is the camp of mothers like me.  Mothers who know what to do, how to do it, when to do it.  Mothers who don't do anything wrong.  Mother who just have broken boobs.  Where is our support group? We are shunned from LLL because we aren't nursing, and LCs are useless to us.  So we are left to fend for ourselves, surrounded by successful breast feeders every we go, and knowing that we failed.  And BECAUSE we know that we SHOULD be breast feeding, we see judgement every where we go.  Why is that person taring at me while I'm in the formula aisle? Why does that cashier look angry when I buy formula?  That nursing mother is just rubbing it in my face that she has functional tatas.

Honestly it sucks.  I've been there, done that.  Twice in fact.  2.5 times, since while I managed to keep my third baby interested in boobs (a little too interested if you ask me), I still never managed to successful EBF (exclusively breast feed).  There really isn't a lot of support out there, and constantly saying "I tried and failed" as a response to (sometimes only perceived) judgement gets old FAST.  We're told to suck it up, that we shouldn't feel guilty, blah blah blah.  Doesn't really help, does it?

So I'm starting a support group.  I'll even start a Facebook group.  Failed Breast Feeders R Us.  Hmm.. I need a good name.  I suppose I can change it once I get people to join..

Breast is Impossible?
Broken Boobies Club?
Disfunctional Ta Tas Anonymous?
I Hate Your Boobs?

Any ideas?

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