Breastfeeding at any cost??? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 12:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamacatsbaby
That's aweful Marie to have a mama that doesn't seem to care.
Thank you. She actually left me in a crib for 3 days & went off to party with guys she met at a bar. When my dad got back (was out of state) my diaper was stuck to my head & he couldn't take it off as my skin was coming off with it. Amazing I was alive, hu? That was what got my paternal Granparents custody of me @ 6 weeks. And that cow's milk was WAY better for me than if my "mother" had nursed me, not that she ever would have. So, BELIEVE ME, I understand sometimes breast isn't better...but this was extreme. And in other extreme situations I say - FF! But, for the majority, BFing is VERY possible & not to is WRONG!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#92 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mohawk River

Mine abandoned me when I was five months old. But there was a reason she "Didn't give a crap." There is always a reason, and although many don't see it, it is extremely valid to those in question. My mother didn't not give a crap just for the sake of not giving a crap. She honestly was doing her best. And it WAS her best. I had an excellent childhood without her AND her drugged-up breastmilk! So although your mom didn't give a crap, it wasn't because she didn't give a crap. KWIM?
No, there's NOT always a reason. She just didn't want to be a mother. She said so. She also went on to procreate 10 more times & abandon EVERY ONE. Breeder at large!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#93 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Well I didnt read all the replies but I will say for me successful BFing meant lots of support from MY DH! I could write a book about the things i had : DS with a severe tongue tied, foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, way oversupply , nipple issues etc and THAT was just the first couple weeks. I knew what I wanted for my DS and if that meant sitting all day on the couch then I did it because I KNEW we could work at it that nursing is an art. I had a DH willingly help express milk etc etc. I can totally understand a mom feeling totally overwhelmed when nursing doesnt get off to a good start. Ill be honest i had some moments when i just thought i could possibly give him some FRIGGIN free formula that somehow i brought home from the hospital. However when that thought when through my mind for a split second I MADE myself get up , open it and try it. THAT settled it and reminded me what was best for my son . I knew i couldnt and wouldnt do formula however i sure can understand those that had it as hard as i did however I DONT understand the ones that just have lil of this and that. SUPPORT IS SURE NEEDED though AND ONLY from those that have BFING knowledge.
With that said my soon to be 3year old is still nursing
michele
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#94 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 12:22 AM
 
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If you all want to see extreme there is a mainstream parenting board that moms say they refused to BF and that FF is just as good. there reasoning is because they wanted their boobs to be perfect , they wanted to be able to go out and not worry about having to 'feed' the baby however the BEST ( WELL THE WORST) is ONE MAMA DIDNT WANT TO DEAL with the ATTACHMENT OF IT! I SWEAR someone said that.. She didnt want baby depending on HER!




Michele
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#95 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 12:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nisupulla
I haven’t seen a lot of shaming and judging. I’ve seen a lot of frustration that what women are calling an inability to breastfeed is really a lack of support and good information.

Certainly, there are many challenges and barriers, we live in a bottle feeding culture that is slow to adopt change.

I don’t believe that there are many people here are willing to decide for someone else how much exhaustion, pain and frustration is reasonable.

There are a lot of myths out there such as breastfeeding increasing the risk of depression.

I haven’t witnessed the “breastfeed or die trying” mentality here on MDC. Can’t say it doesn’t exist, either.

Perfect example, if Jack Newman wasn’t able to help, this is probably a case where the mom was unable to BF.

Many women, like your friend, jump through more hurdles than I would be willing to in order to breastfeed.

I just don’t see what you see, that people who don’t BF are not treated as people, that people generally accuse others of “failing their babies.”

The bottom line is people need support and good info in order to breastfeed. And yes breastfeeding is worth a considerable effort. But each mom needs to decide for herself what she is willing or capable of.

I don’t think many people here would question a mom who said, “I know there are risks if I don’t BF, but given my current circumstances/knowledge/support I’m not going to do it.”

Maybe I’m wrong.
No, you're not wrong, what a lovely, thoughtful post. Welcome, Nisupulla!
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#96 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 01:11 AM
 
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I think we've strayed from the original focus of this thread into the FF by choice debate. We weren't talking about women who FF to keep their breasts perky, or so they don't have to be attached to their child. We were talking about judging women who struggle and make a choice about how much mother's milk is worth.

You just can't win around here. I daily make the choice between spending time with my kids, and being fully attached, and providing mother's milk for my baby. I'm not going to pump full time beyond a year. My kids need their mom back. I feel really bad about it though, especially b/c I'm a perfectionist, and I see other mamas pumping longer and think I should be able to make it work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
(As a side note, a pet peeve: BFers who blithely say that they would have pumped for 2 years had they had any issues. *snip* Doable, but my god, nothing to just assume you'd do, la ti da, easy-peasy. )
Yeah that.

And another note--the financial cost. Paying for LC visits, pumps, etc, just isn't possible for everyone.
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#97 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama

Do you really think that breastfeeding is SO important that it is worth enduring weeks and months of pain and frustration, exhaustion, and/or compromising one's mental health?
No, I don't think it's worth compromising one's mental health, and definately not the baby's physical health. That's why I weaned my son at 5 weeks. I know that it's easy to judge others for "doing what's right for their family" - but at the time it was what was right for my family. I tried with every fiber in my being. I had a babe who had sensory issues and reflux, was not only not gaining weight but actually *losing* it, and who as a newborn was up ALL the time because he couldn't sleep even when held in my arms. This babe had a daddy who was in danger of losing his job because he sat up so many nights (all nighters) with his crying and exhausted wife and son. He had a big sister who cried and wondered what happened to her family, and a big brother who wondered the same. And he had a mama who was so depressed that some days she literally couldn't get out of bed. He had a mama who screamed at him sometimes and wondered why she'd ever had him. He had a mama who felt like she was a total failure as a human being because after enduring this for 5 weeks she couldn't do it anymore. 5 weeks of dr. visits, a hospitalization, too many LC consults to count, and PPD was too much. I reached my limit. And I'm not ashamed to say so. My dh held me many many times as I cried once I decided to wean our babe. I look back now at pictures of my babe at that time, and he was a tiny, shrunken, sick-looking little thing. Our family doctor would call us on the weekends just to see how he was doing. Oh - and we had the "normal" problems too, like never-ending thrush and bleeding nipples. And I look back at mental pictures of myself and want to weep. What a truly horrible time that was.

Maybe some, maybe all of you, can read that and say, "Nope - I would have gotten through it." If so, my hat's off to you - honestly. But I don't think it was a terrible decision to wean my son. He was able to begin gaining weight (and yes, we had already tried just supplementing - his sensory issues would cause him to "shut down" and not continue to feed) and I was able to begin picking back up the pieces of my mental health.

Now we've come through to the other side, and I'm happy to say that the weaning only lasted about 2 months before I relactated. I'm thrilled that I did. And I did it with support of mamas here.

But my journey through weaning and relactating has reminded me to always have compassion for others. Until I've sat down and heard someone's struggles, until I've been part of the family that they "did the best thing for" it's not my place to judge with hardness in my heart. Yeah, I get as irked as anyone over the mamas who never even try to breastfeed, or who wean for "silly" reasons - we all do. But I do try and remember that maybe I don't know the whole story. Sometimes when people asked me why I weaned I'd simply say that it was because my babe was FTT - which was true, but nowhere near the whole story. Some things are too painful to share; there were times when I didn't want to have to explain everything else, you know?

A happy woman
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#98 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 01:19 AM
 
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The health (including mental) of mom and baby trump breastfeeding, when the two are in conflict.

Personally, I try very hard to not care about other people's choices because when I do care, most of the time it is just my way of trying to feel superior about those I made.

Siobhan

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#99 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 02:16 AM
 
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I wonder if we aren't biting ourselves in the hinder, when in cases like Operamommy's (love your name, btw) we don't emphasize enough that supplementing does NOT have to be the kiss of death to bfing. As glad as I am that my latter two children never had formula, I am not eating myself alive with guilt because my dd had some, sometimes (bitchy mil who didn't want to handle breastmilk, and I was a wuss). And there are certainly more drastic situations than that.

I do think the emphasis on 'icky, nasty, evil formula' could be counterproductive (it's the formula COMPANIES that are icky, nasty & evil ); I would MUCH rather a struggling mama supplement & be aware that that has NOTHING to do with weaning, that she could give formula every day for years & as long as she attempts to snuggle & nurse, likely some milk will stay in supply & both the bonding & the benefits will be there.

How do we do this, without sabotaging the *early* bfing relationship, & emphasize that saying 'some formula may be fine if you have to' is worlds apart from 'you must wean & wean now'. The whole 'all-or-nothing' scenario.

It grieves me when a woman with bfing difficulties feels like a failure for many reasons, but most of all when the subtext becomes 'well, it doesn't matter now, bind your boobs up & buy some aim, you big loser.' (Not that any of us SAY or FEEL that, but I can grok where with all the earnest encouragement it might seem like it to a woman in the grip of ppd.)

It is a delicate balance. I do feel kind of pissy when people beg off without giving it a good go; it was no bed of roses for me, & it has been implied by others here that my bfing through mastitis & bloody nipples was 'heroic' (or at least that I thought it was) when I consider it normal, expected, & not a huge deal- but I don't really like what I did minimized, either. It WAS tough & I AM proud.

But so is much of what mothering entails (inc birth), & I can't say I would go to the lengths necessary to pump that many mamas here have done. I'd probably have supplemented, if it came to that. And that's OK.

But NOT not bfing by choice, & that does mean no weinying out because of minor problems (LIKE mastitis or bloody falling-off nipples, which in the long run- as in 12 year nursing career long, 4 of them tandem- WERE minor).

I have a question. There is a lot of 'Oh, don't be so harsh here' on these boards. I strongly promote bfing here, & I'm sure I've gotten tarred with the same brush as Marie- the dreaded 'Boob Nazi' (OH, how I hate that epithet).

But since, irl, I am nothing but supportive, even to aquaintences who say things like, "Oh, it just wasn't right for me, I nursed for 2 weeks and it's all I could stand" (as long as they are not asses about me nursing, anyway ), how else can we be effective about presenting the truth about bfing without occasional stridency & earnestness on a message board? Someone has to say it, SOMEWHERE. See, this venue is less personal (not that some people don't try to make it so, but still, in general, you can make a blanket statement & it isn't the same as dumping a load on your neighbor at playdate.)

I'd like there to be a choice. If my playdate mom friend wants support, irl, I'm there, choices I may not support or not. I don't know what led her to her decision. I have to be kind, foremost.

But when she wants to know if she *could* have bf, if she got lousy advice or whatever, are we doing anyone favors by being afraid *here* to SAY, "Hey, have you tried fenugreek?" I save the (((hugs))) for real life. Here, I am a lactivist.

Jeez, sorry for the ramble.
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#100 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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I have to feed with my breastmilk, at any cost.
However, I decline to judge and/or reprimand others.
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#101 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 03:34 AM
 
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"wah wah wah! i'm being judged! i'm being judged! waaaah!"

Everyone judges everyone else. It's a fact. If you're polite, you only do it in the space of your own head.

That said, mothering.com is one of the few boards where breastfeeding is the norm so of course those who stray from that norm (for whatever reason) are going to feel odd at times. Don't you feel odd on a mainstream board? Well breastfeeding is mainstream here and people are going to tsk tsk those who don't. Typically it's not directed at those who honestly tried. That is what the Breastfeeding Challenges forum is for.

No one can make you feel anything. Not guilty, not ashamed, not victimized. That is up to you. If you have an issue that you need support for, go ahead and post it. Take the advice you want, ignore the advice you don't want. Some people will openly judge you. So? Who are they to you? If you do feel guilty or judge yourself harshly, you should seek counseling because you have some issues to deal with. I understand. My homebirth turned into a cesarean and I still feel awful about it, but I'm working through that. I get the guilt, I get the whole feeling like you didn't do enough. But that's natural when you try your best to do what you know is right.

I think a lot of people here really need to get over the walking on egg shells because they're either trying to be too polite or are afraid of being judged or flamed. Judging or flaming shows more about the person doing it than the person to whom it is being done.

You'll get more support here than you realize if you just open up and embrace it.
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#102 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 03:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bri276
uh, considering I'm sitting here pumping for my 12 month old, and that I've had to pump pretty much every drop she's ever drank, except for what I've hand expressed, I guess I'd have to say, HELL YES, I think it's worth it.

anything that has the potential to dramatically affect my child's health positively is very worth it.

I've pumped more than a half ounce of blood, straight blood, out of my left breast on several occasions, had five bouts of mastitis, open sores on the areola, plugged ducts, blisters. I've sat hunched over a pump in hospitals, cars, at 3 am in my living room crying my eyes out from exhaustion and self pity and frustration wanting to quit more than I ever wanted to quit anything, ever.

But for the record? I don't judge mothers who have quit in the face of less daunting breastfeeding challenges- I judge a society that makes it so freaking hard to get the right info and the right support to keep going, I'm mad at people who call themselves medical professionals who fail at giving correct advice in the most basic situations.

I judge mothers who have all the info on bf'ing and still don't even TRY to nurse their child. Anyone else, I feel mad that they were misinformed, that they didn't have adequate support, that they got bad advice. That's what a lot of people in Lactivism are trying to do- counter the bad advice with good advice, make a bad or nonexistent nursing relationship into a successful one, because it's best for the health of the baby AND mother.


Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#103 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 04:19 AM
 
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"Do you really think that feeding a baby breastmilk is SO important that it is worth enduring weeks and months of pain and frustration, exhaustion, and/or compromising one's mental health?"


Note that I changed the wording there....

Answer? YES.


Before I go on about that, I've read the four pages that popped up today while creating my response.

I personally don't see all that much BAD about guilt. I don't think keeping people from feeling guilty is the be all end all of my existence. I don't fear feeling guilty, in fact, feeling guilty shows me that I'm doing something that's against my principles. Whether or not I can change it is not always known, but to recognize it, I feel, is important. If your body is sensing hypocrisy by FEELING guilt, it's best to get it into your conscious being.

From my ICAN boards, I've learned all that. Feeling guilt, feeling sad, feeling bad, those are not awful horrible never ever feel them things! Neither is feeling sad about the early days if you're struck with sadness. It is what it is, if you feel bad about it that's fine, learn from it, and now that I know better I can do better.



I also think that people misunderstand statistics. Saying that something happens to a very small number of people does NOT mean it won't happen to you. So talking about how MOST of the time "problems" b'feeding are b/c of bad advice given isn't crap, just b/c an individual has experienced major and true difficulties. Most of the time, it really does seem to be nonsense, but SOMETIMES it's going to hit close to home.




So now to my response.

I was allowed access to b'milk for four years, but b/c of early solids I STILL have a junky immune system. If my mom hadn't allowed me to start nursing again after my brother was born, I would have been sicker. As SOON as she weaned me (when my brother self-weaned at 2 and she had to get off welfare and food stamps and get back to minimum wage work) I started getting sick. And not little sicknesses, either. If I'd had NO b'milk? I don't have much faith in my immune system that I would have survived.




I could blame society (edited to move this paragraph down from the above one; my mom nursed me until I was 4 between '69 and '73, NOT the hugest time for b'feeding, so society was not a big part of her decision-making and this paragraph has nothing to do with the above), but then, aren't we all mammals? Shouldn't we have SOME knowledge innately held? Then again, my whole family is into extended nursing, so maybe it's more innate to me than to others. While I don't have explicit support, I also don't have explicit negativity (and since my "if they can ask for it they are too old" friends don't really contact me), so that might buoy me up more.

But, you know, I failed my son in our labor by allowing myself to be thrown to the wolves (those wolves with scalpels), and oh YES I FAILED him no one is allowed to say I didn't fail him, then I had inadequate post-op pain relief for 24 LONG hours before they caught their error, then I was kicked out 43 hours post-op despite NOT being ready and having an insurance company that would have happily paid for 96 hours...I had thrush/yeast for 6 MONTHS, I cried through milk-meals, I cried all the time, I was numb, I was too emotionally raw....and yet I fed him...

(thrush for 6 months? not recommended.)

Oh, and then there was the lovely heart-shaped tongue he had, which I knew would have to be clipped (tongue tie), and as I was preparing myself for the slog to find someone to do it, I brought him to a cranio sacral therapist (even though I am a chiropractor, CST was his first bodywork) and over the course of THAT day, not only did his head change shape, but his latch got better and better, and then the tongue tie disappeared and his heart-shaped tongue became normal. Whew!



Now, I was not someone who ever had to work for supply.

Oh, wait I take that back, my "milk" didn't "come in" until the 5th day. If I'd been in the hospital for the full 4 days, that would have likely been a "problem". In that case, I was "lucky" to be sent home to my 3rd floor apartment (no elevator) not even 48 hours post-op. There was no one to bug me about it.

So I had "only" colostrum for into the 5th day...a "problem" for some, NORMAL for me, the mammal, at home and with oodles of b'feeding knowledge behind me.

Society as a problem there? Trusting the medical profession the problem there (and not trusting them helping me)? It's all too intertwined, really. I'd just been failed (along with by my own self) by "homebirth midwives"...as well as a doctor who said baby was WELL OVER 9 lbs when baby wasn't even 8, he was just long and in a weird position...I wasn't going to trust ANYONE but my own mammal self at that point...


But once the milk "came in", it was plentiful, and I was grateful for that. I know there are some women for whom that isn't true.


But see, there are SO many women who are TOLD that they don't have the milk, who have such awful advice...those women NEED to hear the other sides to the stories. So if we all just take everything at face value, what about all those lurkers who are possibly being told lies, untruths, are they to NOT hear what might be more of the truth, just so we aren't seen to be questioning anyone? So we don't hurt someone's feelings?

When I was unwittingly walking down the road to the homebirth midwives I hired throwing me to the wolves, people here were nearly yelling at me to STOP, to fire them, hire new ones, to go UC, just to get AWAY from those women. They were TRYING to get me to listen. Now that I'm on the side of telling women to wake up, I realize that if no one tells it like it generally is, even MORE women will have what happened to me, happen to them. If I peeve 10 women in telling my truth but help ONE woman? I'm happy.

If one lurker realizes she's being fed a line of bull by her lactation consultant and finds another or just goes off and holes up like a mammal with her mammal baby, and if it works and that baby is fed human milk for longer, that's GOOD.


Because it's not always about that one woman asking the question, it's sometimes about the other people reading. And if you don't get all the info, if everyone doesn't use all their words, then full information isn't being given, you know?


I understand it's a pain for someone having problems to have to tell EVERYTHING every time they have a question. Does anyone think it's FUN for me to dredge up all my own failings and the idiocies of others (including my husband) every time I mention that my son arrived via scalpel? But I know that to say it casually might make others feel it's NORMAL. So I tell it, in some form or another, whenever I think there might be someone lurking who might need to hear that their hired help might not be on their side (in my case, "homebirth midwives").


Anyway, I know that to someone who might be feeling down about what is going on, being told that you might have been given awful advice, the situation might not be what it was said to be, and so on, might be very painful. Let me tell you, I know that. I lived it for well over a year as I met others who had been in my situation. And just like my situation, occasionally, you run into people that weren't lied to, where there truly was nothing more to be done, interventative things (formula, in this case) need to be done... I hate those cases, where someone who absolutely couldn't do anything else ends up feeling bad, but it's really not the majority of cases, so many more people are just being given wrong info...I just feel that the truth for the majority of us mammals has to get out there, every time....
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#104 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 04:20 AM
 
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OK, Boof just summarized my entire post in a few paragraphs. Wish I'd read your reply before working on that all day.
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#105 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 05:16 AM
 
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Do you really think that breastfeeding is SO important that it is worth enduring weeks and months of pain and frustration, exhaustion, and/or compromising one's mental health?

No, I do not.

I feel that when it comes down to a choice between adequate nutrition (formula) and adequate parenting (burned-out, un-bonded mom), I'm going to have to go with formula. Yes, the health benefits of breastmilk are huge and can have a life-long impact but I feel that the benefits of having a strong mom-baby attachment far outweigh them.
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#106 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 05:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mollyeilis
OK, Boof just summarized my entire post in a few paragraphs. Wish I'd read your reply before working on that all day.
No! Thanks for expanding on the same idea!


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#107 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 07:35 AM
 
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OK, so I think we have a pretty good consensus going, ladies! Good job!

In sum:

It's OK to be a b!tch to people here, because it's just a website. It's not really personal. But everyone who has a less-than-ideal experience needs to be prepared to trot out their personal details, in depth, for all of us to scrutinize, every time they ask a question.

Black is White, Freedom is Slavery, and Feeling like crap about yourself is a Good Thing. Making others feel crappy about themselves is even better! Not to mention way more fun! And I am so addicted to condemning others that I am willing to pay for that privilege by refusing to forgive myself, either. Or wait, is it the other way around?

People who have trouble accomplishing certain tasks should be unable to so much as look at themselves in a mirror without cringing until the day they die, but I can write lengthy, self-involved posts about what a moral heroine I am for acknowledging my own problems in the very same area. 'Cause unlike you, at least I'm mature enough to acknowledge my failures rather than put them off on other people. That's why I'm posting this on a public website for other people to read.

Don't talk back to me. After the tough years I've spent on the front lines of breastfeeding and birth-related activism, I deserve some respect. By "activism," of course, I mean going online and sneering at people I'll never have to face. But that's OK, 'cause they won't be able to face themselves either!

If you express pain after I skewer you for the sensitive details of your personal life, I will mock you as a crybaby. And everybody knows that a baby is the worst possible thing to be compared to. Who are you to feel "judged"? All I did was judge you, not poke you in the eye with a stick. Nobody wants to hear your lame excuses.

How utterly naive of you to expect sensitivity and empathy on a website supposedly dedicated to promoting a gentle way of life.


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#108 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 10:05 AM
 
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Dudes. I have seen many posts around here shaming and judging mamas for not breastfeeding, even when they state clearly that they are NOT able to breastfeed. Either there were just too many challenges and barriers at the start and the babes didn't latch, or mama is about to go over the edge emotionally.

Do you really think that breastfeeding is SO important that it is worth enduring weeks and months of pain and frustration, exhaustion, and/or compromising one's mental health?
In addition to being shamed for not breastfeeding, there are others who have been attacked for not breastfeeding "enough".

I very nearly left this community before I had really joined it, simply because I was attacked in one thread based on a statement that my year old daughter nurses once a day, and gets the rest of her nutrition from solid foods.

I was attacked and told that I was malnourishing my child, and told to research nursing strikes and infant nutrition, etc., by women who obviously couldn't know anything about me or my child, because I was new to this community. (And still am new compared to the majority.)

Breastmilk at any cost? No.

I too had issues with breastfeeding at first...largely due to bad information. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I was pissed off. In my mind, I had failed in my pregnancy, failed in labor, and failed in delivery. There was no way I was going to fail at feeding my child, too.

I count myself lucky. The only problems I had were misinformation and large, flat nipples. I nursed using a nipple shield exclusively for the first 8 weeks. Then we lost the nipple shield at a restaurant one night, and didn't realize it until her next feeding, at 11 pm. I had no choice but to latch on the bare nipple. I decided I would endure a night of pain and a screaming baby, and would replace the shield the next day. To my amazement and delight, DD latched perfectly...that's when I realized that I had been given bad information. We've been nursing well since.

Even still, with an easy breastfeeding relationship, and a daughter who's never tasted formula, I was made to feel guilty and ashamed and like I was a bad mother...simply because I don't breastfeed "enough".

That's pathetic. Especially on a website that is supposed to be about emotional support and wellbeing.

To bring my post back to the original question...no one is qualified to decide what is right for another woman's family. Period, the end. You (general) have no idea what anyone else has endured, or is capable of enduring. You (general) might be stronger than me. I might be stronger than you (general.) The fact is, we are two different people.

Who knows? Maybe if I had had an easier pregnancy/birthing, I would've given up at breastfeeding. If that had been my first obstacle, I don't know that I would have known I had the strength to get through it.
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#109 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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You (general) have no idea what anyone else has endured, or is capable of enduring. You (general) might be stronger than me. I might be stronger than you (general.) The fact is, we are two different people.


No one who is not me can look at my situation from the outside and tell me if it was "worth it" (or not). Step off if you think you can. Just...step off. Maybe in my exact situation it would have been "worth it" to you. YOU ARE NOT ME.

It may be an inconvenient truth, to borrow a phrase, but I am standing up and being counted. I am one of those women. I put myself through living hell to give my baby breastmilk. And I am telling you: no, I would not do it again. Not like that. The cost was too great. I am so glad my baby got breastmilk. I stand up for breastfeeding and the right to nurse constantly. I live for the dream of nursing another child through toddlerhood. But that child, that nursing nightmare? It was not the right decision for me. The scars are permanent on my body, on my soul, and on our relationship.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#110 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 10:41 AM
 
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Yep, we are all different and all have different circumstances, different levels of support, different mental health (or lack there of) different physical health (or lack there of) different spouses, different babies with different health conditions, some have many children and some only have one, different stamina, and no one understands your full situation but you. You wont get any judgement from me since I do not know your situations like you do!!!
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#111 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 10:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc

It may be an inconvenient truth, to borrow a phrase, but I am standing up and being counted. I am one of those women. I put myself through living hell to give my baby breastmilk. And I am telling you: no, I would not do it again. Not like that. The cost was too great. I am so glad my baby got breastmilk. I stand up for breastfeeding and the right to nurse constantly. I live for the dream of nursing another child through toddlerhood. But that child, that nursing nightmare? It was not the right decision for me. The scars are permanent on my body, on my soul, and on our relationship.
I'm not sure I would either. I EP'd and it was very, very hard. I would never suggest it to anyone. If they want to take in on for themselves, I will support them but I wouldn't expect it of anyone. And if I had not been able to bf my second (thank goddess I could), I would not have ep'd again.
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#112 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 10:49 AM
 
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That is countless hours of my life--note, too, countless hours attached to my pump, sometimes while my baby cried.
(various other details deleted)
Was it worth it? Was it really worth it? I am not sure.
Thanks for posting this.

This is one of the things that bugs me about the pressure to provide breastmilk at any cost. Is it better to provide breastmilk, or to be able to hold and comfort your baby when she cries during the times you would have spent pumping? Is it better to provide breastmilk, or to spend the pumping time on the floor with your baby, playing? Is it better to provide breastmilk, or to spend that time taking your baby to playgroups, on walks around the neighborhood, to museums, etc.? Is it better to provide breastmilk, or to have more emotional energy for your other children?

Pumping takes time and energy. It makes feeding your baby take at least twice as long as either breastfeeding or bottlefeeding. In order to make that work, you have to make tradeoffs -- there are other things you won't be able to do.

Obviously, deciding whether your time is better spent pumping breastmilk or doing other things with your child(ren) is a very individual one. But I think it is important to remember that good, attentive, attached mothers will see this situation differently. And different babies have different needs, too -- the baby who needs to be constantly worn in motion will make pumping substantially more difficult than the baby who is content to snooze in a baby swing for two hours after every feeding.

Attachment parenting, like everything in life, involves a struggle to balance the different things we value, and make tradeoffs between them.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#113 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel
If you express pain after I skewer you for the sensitive details of your personal life, I will mock you as a crybaby. And everybody knows that a baby is the worst possible thing to be compared to. Who are you to feel "judged"? All I did was judge you, not poke you in the eye with a stick. Nobody wants to hear your lame excuses.

How utterly naive of you to expect sensitivity and empathy on a website supposedly dedicated to promoting a gentle way of life. [/i]
Well, that's more eloquent than I was going to be. But I'll say it anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boof
"wah wah wah! i'm being judged! i'm being judged! waaaah!"
Wow, just wow. Making fun of women who are hurting? Way to kick someone when they're down.Even if the judging is really in their own mind.
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#114 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 11:08 AM
 
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What concerns me about threads like these is I feel in a lot of ways we are once again giving moms who have not truely tried to BF an out--a free ticket to FF because we don't want to judge them and we really don't know what they have tried and we must respect what is best for them--BS!!!! Like I said before MOST women can BF!!!! There are very few medical reasons a woman can't BF if she truely tries. I'm not saying there aren't women out there who haven't had troubles in this area because as this thread points out there are a lot here who have had troubles I can't begin to imagine and have continued the BFing relationship even if they have had to supplement some with formula. Hats off to these women!! Again in answer to the question: I'm sorry but everything should be tried--even if it means some discomfort or emotional distress--you signed up for motherhood and sometimes that means we must sacrifice some of ourselves for our children's best interest.
Just curious, but why is this "our" job? Why is our job to judge or justify other people's decisions. Giving advice? Great! Actually rolling up your sleeves and getting out there and volunteering? Even better. But why the heck is it your job to give someone a free ticket?

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#115 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 11:17 AM
 
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Do you honestly think NO mother has provided BM in spite of this, or similar circumstances? Really?!
I think this is a really naive way to look at the situation. Every person has their own capacity for sacrifice. If you are a young mama with a baby in subsidized day care all day and you work at McDonald's with no pumping station and your milk supply slowly dwindles so that every nursing session becomes a fighting struggle with your baby, and relatives and doctors are all pressuring you to give up the last feeding or two, I can see where breastfeeding might seem impossible.

Don't get me wrong--I agree, in theory, that breastmilk is every baby's birthright. And I agree, because I see it all the time, that our society, our families, the medical profession, the formula industry, hell, even our government, work to sabatoge it, either purposely or not. But I find the whole "Breastfeeding or Bust" (LOL!) attitude sanctimonious and judgemental,. Now, I have no problem with judgement when it's followed by action. I have a huge problem with judgement it's just for the sake of making ourselves feel superior at other's expenses.

I think all women should breastfeed and that every baby deserves breastmilk. I am probably more militant on that front than some people here (thismama for example). However, I think that there are extenuating circumstances beyond "the only women who shouldn't breastfeed are those who don't have breasts. And they need to go to a milk bank." Because it's an oversimplification of the issue, and I don't think that helps anyone.

Thismama, thank you for posting this. I'm only on page 4, but I love how respectful it's been so far.

Oh, and I want to say too that I have been in lactivism for over 7 years now. When I started, I was terribly judgemental of women who did not leap tall buildings in single bounds in order to breastfeed. Seven years of rolling up my sleeves and helping women has really helped me see that my previous attitude helped no one. There's a quote, I forget who said it--"There is no such thing as a baby. There is a baby and an other." Something like that. A baby is not an entity of her own. She exists with the mother. They are a dyad. They need to be treated as such.

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#116 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie

Don't get me wrong--I agree, in theory, that breastmilk is every baby's birthright.
I do too. I did *not* intend to minimize the fact that breastmilk is babies' natural and best food.

Quote:
And I agree, because I see it all the time, that our society, our families, the medical profession, the formula industry, hell, even our government, work to sabatoge it, either purposely or not.
ITA!! This is part of my point. There are so many factors that get in the way of mamas breastfeeding our babes, but the shaming and harsh, personalized judgment is reserved solely for mamas IME.

Quote:
I think that there are extenuating circumstances beyond "the only women who shouldn't breastfeed are those who don't have breasts. And they need to go to a milk bank." Because it's an oversimplification of the issue, and I don't think that helps anyone.
ITA.

And I see that breastfeed or die trying attitude too often in "lactivist" circles, including here.

I think there is a middle ground between the mainstream idea that breastfeeding is not really important or valuable, and this militantism that demands mamas sacrifice to the ends of the earth to bf our children, or we are selfish, lazy, etc etc etc.

I think the militantism and self righteousness is easier for those who have never struggled, or for those who struggled and then succeeded in nursing. And it's easier in theory, when you don't know the mama, don't watch her struggle, don't see what is lost from trying to bf at any cost.

Quote:
I want to say too that I have been in lactivism for over 7 years now. When I started, I was terribly judgemental of women who did not leap tall buildings in single bounds in order to breastfeed. Seven years of rolling up my sleeves and helping women has really helped me see that my previous attitude helped no one. There's a quote, I forget who said it--"There is no such thing as a baby. There is a baby and an other." Something like that. A baby is not an entity of her own. She exists with the mother. They are a dyad. They need to be treated as such.
ITA, ITA, ITA. I feel like there is an expectation that the mama will give up everything, even her sanity, any measure of comfort, freedom from pain, access to sleep and basic needs. Or she is selfish and should never have had the child, dammit!!

Mamas are people too. I know that where my personhood has been erased by mothering (and that didn't happen with breastfeeding, but it happened in other ways), I resented my mama-dom and was not able to parent my child in as loving and giving a way. Where I have been respected, nurtured, and permitted to take care of my own needs, I have felt more loved, loving, and more filled with nurturing energy for my child.

We must love and respect mamas, acknowledge mamas' rights to limits and self care, if we expect mamas to be able to do the same for babies and children.
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#117 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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I think every woman (with few exception) should whole heartedly attempt breastfeeding. To many women give up in the first few days even before their milk comes in.

DS is 6 weeks. He had a great latch from the beginning. At about 3 weeks I suspected thrush. We have been battling it ever since. His latch has gotten bad and he sometimes will push away from my breast. I know thrush is painful for him so I don't take it personally.

For me, dealing with the thrush, bad latch and painful nipples as a result is worth it to give my child the best start possible.
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#118 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 11:46 AM
 
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Boof -

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#119 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 12:55 PM
 
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Well, that's more eloquent than I was going to be. But I'll say it anyway.


Wow, just wow. Making fun of women who are hurting? Way to kick someone when they're down.Even if the judging is really in their own mind.
This is *exactly* what I was talking about!

I am not in charge of what someone else feels or thinks. 100 people will read the same post and feel 104 different ways about it based on their own experiences and psyche. Some will read what I wrote and feel bad. Some will read it and say "Yeah! That's right!" Should I not post something because of the possibility that someone might be so sensitive as to be offended? Why bother having a message board? I try to be polite in general, but sometimes you need a safe place to not be so guarded and polite. I will not walk on eggshells because I think someone might be offended when no offense was meant. I will, generally, be supportive and as helpful as possible. In my post, I found it helpful to be snarky in order to make my point, which I think you missed and I'm sure others will too.
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#120 of 474 Old 07-24-2006, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Boof

I am not in charge of what someone else feels or thinks.
Strictly speaking, this is true.

But it is also all too often used as a copout and an excuse to say hurtful things.

Judging, shaming, attacking, and browbeating are not okay things to do. You are in charge of your behaviour. If you know you are behaving in ways that are likely to result in somebody else feeling hurt, you are responsible to change those behaviours.

Or not. To each her own, I suppose.
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