Breastfeeding at any cost??? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-24-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Boof
I am not in charge of what someone else feels or thinks.
I find this way of thinking to be hugely counterproductive. True, I am not all-powerful, nor can I be held responsible for others reactions to my words. However, if my words are consistantly found to be harsh, hateful, or judgemental (all of which I and apparently several others found yours to be) then I believe a person who is truly interested in being listened to and not just in shouting loudest in a crowd, will change her tact.

It's a cop-out. Of course you thought your words would have some sort of effect on others. That is why you chose those particular ones.

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Old 07-24-2006, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, AM. Me and you must be smoking the same ganja or something today.
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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Wow, AM. Me and you must be smoking the same ganja or something today.
*snort* Not likely.

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Old 07-24-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
I find this way of thinking to be hugely counterproductive. True, I am not all-powerful, nor can I be held responsible for others reactions to my words. However, if my words are consistantly found to be harsh, hateful, or judgemental (all of which I and apparently several others found yours to be) then I believe a person who is truly interested in being listened to and not just being interested in shouting loudest in a crowd, will change her tact.

It's a cop-out. Of course you thought your words would have some sort of effect on others. That is why you chose those particular ones.

TOTALLY, AM.


Boof, you may not be in charge of what others are thinking and feeling (it's certainly impossible!) but you're the ONLY one in charge of your own words and behavior.
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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I think everyone needs to remember that mother's make their choices with only the purest intentions. Most ff moms do not purposely choose to deprive their children of the benefits of bm, they simply do not know. So it is not our place to judge them for the decisions they made with pure intentions, but to educate them and prevent them from making the same mistake again.
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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I think most mamas would like to be able to BF and some cannot, for whatever reasons. This is heartbreaking

It seems to me that when a group is shunned by society that a backlash will eventually occur whether talking about racism, sexism, BF, FF, HB, etc. and so on and people get so caught up in the heat of it all that the individuality of each person becomes obscured.

IMHO since FF has been the norm for a while now and nursing mothers have been degraded, reprimanded, etc. the anger at this becomes overwhelming and mamas who FF or use a bottle (even with EBM!) for whatever reasons become so much a part of the target of that anger.

Then these mamas are like "Hell no! I'm not taking this BS!" and retaliation comes.

Remind you of anything?

I may be a first timer but it seems to me that this journey of mamahood can be a hard and lonely one as well as unbelievably amazing, love you couldn't possibly know till you've been there.

As mamas it would be so nice if we could connect with one another, support each other. We are all thinking, feeling, beautiful creatures who have so much to share.

We can't let the insanity of society pit us against each other. Our kiddos look to us to learn, not the least of which is empathy and compassion.

I will not shame another mama. Even if we are different we are the same. We need to help each other. If it takes a village can't this be seen as our virtual one?

Does this post seem like the pacifist part of me has overridden the anarchist part? : :

Amanda, much love honey.

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Old 07-24-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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Mamacatsbaby, what a beautiful post.
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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I've been avoiding this thread for a few days...but I think I've read enough posts to feel comfortable telling my own story. It isn't anything close to the difficulties that many mothers here have experienced and worked through, but it was hard for ME.

December 2005. DH received huge paycut at work, family relations, especially between me and my mother are very poor. DH and I feel there is "no way out" other than to pack up and move 2200 miles from Ohio to Phoenix, AZ where a "better job" awaits. I hate everyone at this point, so I don't care if I'm leaving them.

January 2006. We set out for Arizona. DS seems to be having some trouble, and I am horribly carsick and don't understand why. I never get carsick. We break the law all the way across the country and most of the time DS is on my lap, nursing away. I figure its the travelling making him more eager to nurse. I throw up and have diarrhea at every rest stop. I'm getting scared... DS cries and has trouble falling asleep at night....not like himself at all.

Arrival in Phoenix on interstate 10 at rush hour. Six lanes of traffic on both sides- I have NO big city driving experience. We head to Sky Harbor Airport to pick up my husband's car. I have to follow him back to an apartment I've never seen, in a place I don't know. We drive down Van Buren Blvd through nasty parts of town. We have to get on Interstate 10 and its roughly 6pm. The red lights to allow people onto the freeway are on, I've never encountered anything like them, and DH ends up way ahead of me. I get lost. Thankfully I was close to "home"....But didn't try to go home until I pulled into a hospital parking lot and had a panic attack thinking I would never see my baby again, and scared that he was starving and needed me.

The nights that follow get worse and worse. I continue nursing DS, but notice a major lack of bowel movements. We shrug it off as being constipated from the trip. But DS screams at night and won't sleep. After three frustrating nights, I take him to a doctor. DS is literally starving and getting dehydrated. Supplements must be started right away. I've been living in Phoenix for less than a week. Milk banks or asking mothers for donations does not occur to me because I know NO ONE. I don't even have a phone book for my area! How the hell would I find a milk bank??? I continue nursing him along with giving formula. I start pumping to try to boost my supply, and drink some different teas. I contact my old LLL leader from Ohio, who gives me some advice. Nothing works, and I can't pump a drop. This coming from someone who could easily pump 10oz at a time. Where is my milk???? I feel myself getting desperate and willing to do anything. I start researching Domperidone and find a pharmacy out of New Zealand who has it for a decent price. DH and I talk about it. I feel myself falling into a depression. I had no family, no friends, no one I could really talk to for support. I keep thinking "Where is my milk? Why is this happening to me? Maybe its just stress, the move, a phase,....." and all kinds of rationalizations. The most obvious thing of all never occured to me. Could I be pregnant? No way I'm not pregnant! I've been nursing exclusively until now! I thought you couldn't get pregnant.... my clothes don't fit so good anymore..... and an incident two months after I gave birth won't leave my mind....

I get seriously ill. I spend an entire night throwing up, shaking, chills, I can't keep down water. I go to an urgent care place the next morning, where I am diagnosed with a stomach virus that some were calling the West Valley virus because a lot of people in my area were getting it. A nurse asks for a urine sample and does a pregnancy test. Positive. Ok, so I just got pregnant right? Like a few weeks along or something. Because of my illness and low blood pressure, I'm sent to the hospital for an ultrasound. A few hours later I discover that I am 14 weeks pregnant. All this time....how could I not have known?? I am profoundly depressed by my own stupidity and denial. I DID have my period 8 weeks post partum. It CAN happen, and it happened to ME. Instead of being excited, I feel horrible. I withdraw from my family and my son. No one told me to keep nursing through the pregnancy, or that I was almost out of the worst part. I had nowhere to turn, so I weaned my 6 month old son. I got a job in the evenings part time. As soon as DH got home from work, I would leave and not come home until 10-11pm. I didn't want to accept the disaster my life had become. I was 2200 miles from home, in the middle of the desert, which I hated and thought it was the ugliest place I'd ever seen. I hated myself for giving up, I hated Arizona, I hated everything. The hormonal complexities of pregnancy plus weaning leave me so depressed I start doing some pretty crazy, irrational things. I start having an emotional affair with a co-worker. DH knows about it- because I tell him about it.

**I am stopping here for a moment....this has me in tears....it wasn't all that long ago, and I am still healing...: **

I end up having a one night stand with this co-worker. DH knows....I actually asked his permission to do it. Two weeks later DH finally wakes up and realized we were going to lose everything if we didn't get out of Phoenix. We call our family in Ohio frantic. We are broke, we are sick, we are sorry for leaving- PLEASE help us come home!!!!!! My mom sends her fiance out to help us pack and he will drive back with us. My aunt's house is vacant, and my grandfather offers to pay the first two months rent for us. We're actually going HOME. I just...... I'm not a good writer really, but when I think about DH loving me enough and caring enough to get his family out of that situation and being able to keep such a cool head through the entire thing ...

When we got home and settled in, I found a wonderful LC who I told my story to, and she taught me about nursing during pregnancy and about pumping for my son when his baby brother was born. It amazed me that God was giving this sick soul a second chance to provide what my son needed and deserved all along. Looking back, I wish I would have been able to seek help. But sometimes a person is too depressed and its easy to get swallowed up in self-pity. No, I was not the best mother I could have been during those months. But things have changed, I've educated myself, and I am ready and EAGER to pump milk for my beautiful baby boy.

If only... If only I would have just kept nursing him, and not made to feel like it was all-or-nothing, especially by that doctor, I don't believe I would have done the things I did. I didn't listen to my instincts. I WAS selfish. But I don't have to continue being selfish. Certainly by attempting to nurse my son again and pump milk for him until he can nurse, that's not being selfish!! I am reformed.

But to answer the OP's question....yes.... yes I will breastfeed at any cost. I know what its like when you DON'T....and that isn't a place I want to go back to. NOT breastfeeding nearly destroyed my family, at least in my mind. I am set to give birth any day now. There is NOTHING, NOTHING that will bring down this breastfeeding relationship. You would have to kill me first.

If you've made it this far, thank you. It has been theraputic to get this story out in the open. I really feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Thanks also to the OP for starting this thread and giving all mamas the opportunity to tell their stories and voice their opinions.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:00 PM
 
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As usual, mothers get to carry guilt for things that are the fault of medicine, the workplace, or society in general.

Health care in general has treated breastfeeding like an afterthought. If your baby is vomiting, has a fever, or breaks out in a nasty rash, you can always find medical assistance. If your baby isn't nursing well, you may or may not get serious help, and will probably have to seek out assistance privately, like from LaLeche League. Why? Because breastfeeding isn't considered important enough. Medicine feels they already have a solution to serious breastfeeding problems: put the baby on a bottle!

When mothers experience truly serious nursing problems, LLL may not be able to help, and modern medicine hasn't made any effort to deal with these problems. Medical research is done on health issues that are considered important. No doctor or scientist is going to win awards for figuring out a way to prevent nipple cracking or guarantee a good latch. Mothers go through months of struggle and pain which would be considered worthy of a telethon, or at least a new colour lapel ribbon, if it were happening for any other reason, but because it's 'only' due to nursing problems, it's dismissed. After all, they can just switch to formula if they have to! It's like having a health care system that can transplant major organs but has no clue how to keep women from dying in childbirth or children from dying of tetanus. It's an obvious case of selective neglect.

Basically, what I'm saying is that:
Quote:
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?
is the wrong question, in a way. Breastfeeding is SO important that medical science ought to be working day and night to overcome or prevent this "pain and frustration". If they're making no efforts in this direction, we should bloody well know why not.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, great post, mamabadger!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger
is the wrong question, in a way. Breastfeeding is SO important that medical science ought to be working day and night to overcome or prevent this "pain and frustration". If they're making no efforts in this direction, we should bloody well know why not.
ITA.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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mamabadger,

Quote:
When mothers experience truly serious nursing problems, LLL may not be able to help, and modern medicine hasn't made any effort to deal with these problems. *snip* Mothers go through months of struggle and pain which would be considered worthy of a telethon, or at least a new colour lapel ribbon, if it were happening for any other reason, but because it's 'only' due to nursing problems, it's dismissed. After all, they can just switch to formula if they have to!
Sadly so true. Shaming these mamas, or telling them how to feel ("Don't feel judged") doesn't help.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:00 PM
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AM and Mammabadger, you ladies rock.

You see the heart of the matter. My wording is a bit rough and rude, and *cough* hormone laden...but man, you ladies hit the nail on the head.

TRUE Lactivism is changing SOCIETY's view on breastfeeding. Allowing for longer maternity leaves, making sure there's a nice comfy pumping station in EVERY work place, with ADEQUATE pumping breaks. Getting the medical pros to step up and say "Hey this is the biological NORM for our speicies, formula is for dire emergenceis" Getting more support for new mommas in GENERAL to get the nursing relationship going. Getting family and friends in to help with the housework and cooking and older children so Momma can have a time to chill out and learn her babe's cues and whatnot.

The whole lack of breastfeeding and the fact it's so easily given up, is a SOCIETY thing, not a pure "It's YOUR fault you didn't try hard enough" thing.

It's not one individual momma's fault, it's like a stack of dominoes. The bottle in the hospital, the latch issues, the maestitis, the thrush, it all goes downhill...then boom "screw this"

It's systemetic. Change the system, plain and simple. The average momma a: doesn't know enough or b: doesn't care enough to do so. It's up to the lactivists to do it. But if we get too militant, we aren't taken seriously...
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama
Strictly speaking, this is true.

But it is also all too often used as a copout and an excuse to say hurtful things.
As so is someone saying they tried to breastfeed but "couldn't" do it. Just because something is being abused by some doesn't mean it's being abused by all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
Judging, shaming, attacking, and browbeating are not okay things to do.
I don't think anyone said they were. I know I merely said judging is done, even if the person doesn't say anything. My whole point was that it doesn't matter if someone judges you. It matters how you judge yourself.

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Originally Posted by thismama
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..
I am in charge of my behavior, but you are in charge of how you react. If someone is so sensitive, if their self-esteem is so fragile as to react badly when no slight was personally intended, they are responsible for getting the help they need.

It's not right to ask everyone to censor posts and walk on the proverbial eggshells because someone, somewhere might take offense. No one would ever post.

I apologize for repeating myself. Some people will refuse to see my point. Some won't get it because mercury is in retrograde for another week
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Boof
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.
How childish are you? I mean, really...is empathy such a foreign concept to you? Are you so caught up in your own point of view that you are actually incapable of understanding how others might feel?

I thought part of being an adult was understanding how our words and actions effect and impact others, and taking care to mitigate the negative side...you know, courtesy, respect, that sort of thing. Or, were you sick that day in kindergarten? Perhaps you were homeschooled and just didn't pay attention when your parents taught you "treat others as you'd like to be treated" or "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all".

Of course, I'm not responsible for how you choose to react to my post. Your emotions are your problem, not mine.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boof
..
I am in charge of my behavior, but you are in charge of how you react. If someone is so sensitive, if their self-esteem is so fragile as to react badly when no slight was personally intended, they are responsible for getting the help they need.
Do you not understand how you're coming across? I guess all those mamas with PPD should'a just taken more vitamins, eh? Or stopped being so pathetically "fragile" for a change.
It doesn't matter whether slight was intended or not. Your posts are inflammatory, and when this is pointed out, YOU DON'T CARE. A polite person would've apologized for the misunderstanding, and clarified that they didn't mean to be such a ____ by now.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pandora114
It's systemetic. Change the system, plain and simple.


Yes! This is what is being missed in the whole argument!
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama-a-llama
Shaming these mamas, or telling them how to feel ("Don't feel judged") doesn't help.

I'm not speaking to the shaming part, but I have actually had amazing responses by simply reminding women that it's OK to feel bad or guilty or sad about things, that we don't have to be happyjoyjoy all the time, and that having negative emotions doesn't make you BAD, and you don't have to feel ashamed for having had dark thoughts.

So many women who were in my situation have buried their feelings SO deep, b/c supposedly well-meaning "friends" have told them you're not allowed to feel sad if your baby is otherwise healthy. I think that's nonsense, and when I TELL people that, I find that people respond to it positively.

Is it telling them how to feel? Yes, it's telling them to not feel bad for feeling their feelings. Does it help? YES.



I feel there are so many posts that are TAKEN as judgmental but really aren't, they are just people telling their stories or laying out options (we don't all notice who we are talking to with every post, we don't always read signatures while posting, we don't know everyone's entire story, and for all we know, we might be the first to mention something to that person). In that case, that sort of post really shouldn't be taken as judging, and it shouldn't be put at the feet of the poster. Sure, sometimes there are posts that truly are judgy, but I've found those to be few and far between...


************
"I think everyone needs to remember that mother's make their choices with only the purest intentions"

Boy, I don't think that's true. I think it's true here. But not "out there".

I had the tale of three friends here, but I felt it would bog things down and people would lose focus of what I was saying and why I was saying it. It was showing that in my circle, pure intentions have nothing to do with how to feed kids.....

...maybe we just know different people or something, b/c in my own universe, decisions with the child's true health in mind are few and far between....
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
I find this way of thinking to be hugely counterproductive. True, I am not all-powerful, nor can I be held responsible for others reactions to my words. However, if my words are consistantly found to be harsh, hateful, or judgemental (all of which I and apparently several others found yours to be) then I believe a person who is truly interested in being listened to and not just in shouting loudest in a crowd, will change her tact.

It's a cop-out. Of course you thought your words would have some sort of effect on others. That is why you chose those particular ones.
There is rarely any consistency in how people react. That's part of the point. I chose to start my post that way to make a point in a different way, not to offend. There are those who weren't offended. There are those who were. I didn't set out to offend. We cannot discern tone of voice out here so it's left to the individual's interpretation. You see the crab in the inkblot, I see the butterfly.

I don't come out here saying things like "OMG can you bee-leeeeve I saw some horrible mother stuffing a bottle down their baby's mouth! I bet it's not even organic formula! And in a stroller! Can you believe they don't babywear???? I bet they don't even co-sleep!!!!!!!111oneoneone"

If I had posted that seriously, yes that is offensive. The above sentence is an extreme example as in my origional post- snark to make a point.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:34 PM
 
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I want to say something, perhaps clear something up?

A few pages ago someone said that if a woman could not look herself in the face if she used formula, that she would continue nursing.

I have seen this somehow change into "women who use formula shouldn't be able to look themselves in the face". I have seen that strange mis-reading be stated twice as fact (once in italics), and it's just NOT what she said.





Mama Poot, just wanted to give you a .
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by boingo82
Do you not understand how you're coming across? I guess all those mamas with PPD should'a just taken more vitamins, eh? Or stopped being so pathetically "fragile" for a change.
Wow, you're really reading a whole lot into what I said. None of that is in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82
It doesn't matter whether slight was intended or not. Your posts are inflammatory, and when this is pointed out, YOU DON'T CARE. A polite person would've apologized for the misunderstanding, and clarified that they didn't mean to be such a ____ by now.
I do care, that's why I've posted several times trying to clarify my point. I won't apologize for stating my point of view just because someone else disagrees with it. If we all did that, the board would be filled with nothing but apology threads. Now I'm being personally attacked for it when nothing I said was directed at anyone personally.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boof
There is rarely any consistency in how people react. That's part of the point. I chose to start my post that way to make a point in a different way, not to offend. There are those who weren't offended. There are those who were. I didn't set out to offend. We cannot discern tone of voice out here so it's left to the individual's interpretation. You see the crab in the inkblot, I see the butterfly.
OK, I'll bite, because I am always up for the possibility that I am misreading something. You posted "Wah! Wah! Wah! I'm being judged." Then when someone said how that made them feel, you said, "I'm not responsible for how you feel."

I don't possibly understand how the first was meant to be anything but mocking and the second was meant to be anything but dismissive. But please, do explain, if you can.

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Old 07-24-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel
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.

Since my lengthy post about myself was almost right before this, I can't help but wonder if I'm being mentioned here.

And I did want to say, that quite a lot of my post was about a CHILD, you know, since part of what we should be talking about are the children whose health may or may not be impacted by someone's decision to feed a baby/child breastmilk (or to continue trying until and unless it's realized it absolutely is not going to happen)? It was partially a child's story, about the child's health and how health was impacted.

Of course the kid was me, so that means it's self-involved...if only I had developed a way of lying online, I could have SO many "friends" and "kids of friends" to write about. It would be a partial lie. But at least I wouldn't appear self-involved!



I don't see anywhere NEAR the consensus you do, by the way. In fact I feel that my views are definitely in the minority around here! I don't know who is right! Man, those perceptions are wild! :



had to edit myself to change my one word to what's in italics...pumping is ridiculously hard, and I don't want to accidentally slight anyone by using my shorthand...
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mollyeilis
I want to say something, perhaps clear something up?

A few pages ago someone said that if a woman could not look herself in the face if she used formula, that she would continue nursing.

I have seen this somehow change into "women who use formula shouldn't be able to look themselves in the face". I have seen that strange mis-reading be stated twice as fact (once in italics), and it's just NOT what she said.

THANK YOU!!!! I said that, and it was misconstrued several times. I USED formula, dammit! And I feel awful about it, but I kept breastfeeding through the supplementation BECAUSE I felt awful about it and my child got every speck of breastmilk possible and didn't starve to death in the meantime. That, imho, is APPROPRIATE use of formula. And yes, I still feel bad about using it and constantly second-guess myself as to how much of it was necessary, but I have no doubt that the majority of it was necessary. So I have some guilt and a lot of sadness and you know what? It's not the end of the world. As mollyeilis said, negative emotions are not necessarily bad.

The problem with the whole situation is that it's hard to get the right message out to people. I hate to say it, but people (including mothers, they are not all the saints and martyrs that we here are ) frequently look for the easy way out. If the message is that breastmilk is best but if you can't breastfeed then formula is ok, a lot of moms WILL CHOOSE FORMULA!!! This is reality. The message should be, you should give breastfeed exclusively unless there is a real, real medical reason not to (and I agree that severe PPD and bonding problems would consitute a medical reason), and then you should give breastmilk as much as you possibly can however you can do it, and give formula as a last resort because while formula will keep your child alive and growing, it will not do much more than that.

Of course, we also need far more educated medical professionals to first of all spread this message and second of all - and equally importantly - know enough to help women who are having difficulties. And most importantly, get the whole world using a 1-yr mat leave policy!!!! I think it is INSANE that the USA thinks that they can get more women to breastfeed using a silly ad campaign while still having only, what is it, 6 weeks mandatory mat leave?!?!? That is so not helping. I almost wish I lived in the States so I could stage ferocious nurse-ins at government offices to get that changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyeilis
Mama Poot, just wanted to give you a .
Me too!

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Old 07-24-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
OK, I'll bite, because I am always up for the possibility that I am misreading something. You posted "Wah! Wah! Wah! I'm being judged." Then when someone said how that made them feel, you said, "I'm not responsible for how you feel."

I don't possibly understand how the first was meant to be anything but mocking and the second was meant to be anything but dismissive. But please, do explain, if you can.
There have been many misunderstandings in this thread and plenty taken out of context.

I opened with some absurd snark to highlight the statement which followed, not as a statement in and of itself. Mostly, it's been taken out of context, quoted on its own as if the line had been meant as something other than it was- serious.

I've posted several replies, so I don't know the context of "I'm not responsible for how you feel" or if it's even a direct quote. Perhaps I should have said "react" instead of "feel"? Is that a better way to put it? I'm not sure it would make a difference. Someone would have been offended by what they read into the word choice.

As with the origional point of the whole thread, each person is different and you don't know the circumstances under which they come to their conclusions.

Person A: "I went through X experiences and so I see it this way and am offended"
Person B: "I went thoguht Y circumstances and agree wholeheartedly"

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: "Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spughy
This is why I think society needs to demonize formula a LOT more and make using it a shameful thing. (Within reason - it has medical applications that should not be ignored. But it should be treated as a drug, not a food.)
Yes, let's make using formula more shameful--that will be very helpful to the mamas who try their hardest, but have low suppy/PPD/breast surgery issues/etc. and are already heart-broken about not being able to bf. And we might as well stone anyone who dares to give her child a cookie or a piece of cake--after all, we all know that those things are NOT nutritionally optimal. Oh, and we should hop on the Tom Cruise bandwagon, and be sure to demonize anyone who takes meds for PPD instead of just taking vitamins.

Of course, we could spend all that energy on bf education. We could work to see that hospitals hire qualified LCs. We could continue to hold nurse-ins and lobby for more protective bfing legislation. We could try to get free formula samples out of ped's offices and hospitals. We could work to change the way formula is marketed. We could start letter-writing campaigns to medical and nursing schools in support of better bfing legislation.

Nah, let's stick to shaming people. That's so much more fun.

I do see your point spughy--I think it's a big problem that most people think choosing between formula and bm is just a simple choice, like choosing what color wall paper to get or which brand of diapers to use--but I don't think creating a culture of shame around it will solve the problem. We already have a culture shame around nutritional/obesity issues, and that isn't convincing most Americans to eat any better.

Shame doesn't motivate people; it shames them. When I was at my lowest point with bfing, about a week ago, I emailed some people in my due date club to tell them I was seriously considering giving up. I was deeply depressed. I was not being a good mother to my dd. I was in agony. I had actually gone out and purchased some formula. You know what got me through that and gave me the strength to keep going? It wasn't people saying, "Oh, you're doing great, just keep on going!" or "Well, have you tried X" or "I got through problems just like that, so you can, too." It was people telling me that I wouldn't be the world's worst mother if I gave my dd a bottle of formula. Acknowledging that there is more to motherhood than just putting a baby on the breast, and that my pain was valid and needed tending to. Getting "permission" to use formula and not feel shameful about it--from MDC mamas, no less!--was far more helpful to me than yet another round of cheerleading. It gave me the strength to go on, b/c it reminded me that I did have options other than pain and suffering if I needed them.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ITA with your whole post, NYCVeg.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boof
There have been many misunderstandings in this thread and plenty taken out of context.

I opened with some absurd snark to highlight the statement which followed, not as a statement in and of itself. Mostly, it's been taken out of context, quoted on its own as if the line had been meant as something other than it was- serious.

I've posted several replies, so I don't know the context of "I'm not responsible for how you feel" or if it's even a direct quote. Perhaps I should have said "react" instead of "feel"? Is that a better way to put it? I'm not sure it would make a difference. Someone would have been offended by what they read into the word choice.

As with the origional point of the whole thread, each person is different and you don't know the circumstances under which they come to their conclusions.

Person A: "I went through X experiences and so I see it this way and am offended"
Person B: "I went thoguht Y circumstances and agree wholeheartedly"

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: "Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
I can see more of what you're saying here, although I still think that, as advocates, the onus is on us to watch our words. I suppose judgement is OK if your only purpose is to sit around the mall complaining about people and feeling good about your own choices, but the second we claim to want to effect change, we need to be sure that our words don't get in the way of the messege. IMO.

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Old 07-24-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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I think I'm missing something.

The point of lactivism is making sure women get the adequate information they need in order to establish and continue a healthy breastfeeding relationship. Some mothers have low supply and that's unfortunate but it is what formula was intended for in the first place. I think what's getting completely misconstrued is the fact that negativity isn't pointed towards women who do fight for breastfeeding and for some reason or other it truly wasn't meant to be but rather mothers who make excuses for their selfish reasons why they don't breastfeed or didn't continue for as long as necessary for their child.

We're hearing very heartbreaking stories about the reasons for the use of formula and I do think women should be supportive of each other and the hardships we all have faced at one point or another. I won't agree with or probably even want to support someone who says, "it hurt for four days so I quit." Or "the baby got teeth so that was it for me." Or "I didn't make enough so I supplement with formula and the engorgement is painful (do low supply mamas actually GET engorged at any point?)." Or "I want to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, leave the four month old overnight at my mother's, go on a week long vacation with just my partner." This is what's ridiculous and should have the focus of lactivism.

To answer the original question, YES. It was worth it TO ME. I have a 12-month old who still nurses frequently at night and I thought I would lose my mind a couple months ago but we're still doing it. When you have a baby, that precious, completely dependent being should be the focus. As far as mental health goes, there's several medications that are fine to use with breastfeeding. As far as physical health goes, I think a good support system would be beneficial. But breastfeeding is a child's right.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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We already have a culture shame around nutritional/obesity issues, and that isn't convincing most Americans to eat any better.
What a fascinating point, and worth highlighting.

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Old 07-24-2006, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by thismama
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?

Coz you know what, I don't. I really, really don't.

Now don't get me wrong, my 2.5 yr old is still nursing on demand, and I really value our breastfeeding relationship. It brings tears to my eyes imagining her weaning, or imagining not having been able to bf her at all.

But we had a super easy start, I didn't get cracked nipples, she latched easily, I had enough milk, she was a singleton, I didn't struggle much with depression. Easy peasy. Not everyone's situation is like that.

I mean, here in MDC-land everything is so straightforward: Breastfeed or die trying.

But IRL, many of my friends have tried hard to bf and been unsuccessful. One friend, they took the baby early due to her high bloodpressure, he wouldn't latch, she was up around the clock, waaaaay less sleep than even most mamas of newborns get, nursing, tube feeding him, pumping, recording. She saw lactation consultants and made an appt with Dr. Jack Newman. Her milk dried up, and that was that.

Another friend, her son was early too, and her nipples became so badly injured that every feed was excruciating. She kept going, and nursed him for six weeks!!! Yay!!! But then that was enough.

Wouldn't it suck for those women to come on this site and be told that they failed their babies?

Everybody behind the keyboard here is a person.
I have not yet read all posts but will.
Responding to first post:

“Dudes.”
First of all I’m not a dude. I am a mother, a woman, a lady (okay - perhaps not a lady) but I am not a dude.


“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?”

Yes.


“….Breastfeed or die trying”

Because some children do die. Or they live in pain, with lifelong allergies, or with sickness because we didn’t put in a measly 3 or four years of pain and frustration, exhaustion and mental anguish.

YES.YES.YES. Try like your child’s life depended on it because it does.

Does that mean that the mother is alone in her responsibility. No. We also have the responsibility because we know. As Breastfeeding Week approaches, I have been calling and asking to send information to people who are NOT MOTHERS.

We learn by what we see and hear. If we see and hear that it’s not that important, then we learn that breastfeeding is not that important. It is that important. Will all babies fed by the bottle or by formula die horrible deaths or live in agony or suffer an ear ache? No. And those who are EBF may die. But why would you purposely have a child and not give it every consideration.

There are valid reasons for formula. Like there are no other mothers around who would nurse your baby. Don’t know where that might be, though.:

“Everybody behind the keyboard here is a person.”

And every child has a mother who cares enough to want to give them the very best. Some just don’t do it - for whatever reason. If you aren’t going to give your child the nutrition and nurturing they need, then you better have a damn good reason because you, your child, and your children’s children have to live with it.

This is not about trying to make someone feel guilty (that, by the way, is a feeling that oneself produces to tell oneself that something needs consideration and possibly change). With all my magical powers cannot make someone feel guilty.

This is about saying that Breastfeeding does matter and your child is depending on you.

“Wouldn't it suck for those women to come on this site and be told that they failed their babies?”

Haven’t we all in some way. Why does it bother some people that they are told that they are less than perfect? Why do we have to always pat each other on the back? I have no ‘friends’ here but some of you do. Is that what you want from friends to always pat you on the back.

I have known people IRL who have ‘tried to breastfeed” but couldn’t because of every reason in the book. (Not a single one of them would go to LLL or to a LC.) I know there are difficulties and we have to try to change the system. But if we are in the process of changing a system on one hand and then telling mothers on the other hand that it doesn’t really matter, what are we accomplishing? URGH, so frustrating. This is not the place I would want to go if I were on the fence.
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