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I was just wondering what caused many of you to become lactivists... were you raised to think this way about breastfeeding? was it something you experienced? was it gradual or did it just hit you one day?

I'm a new mom and in the recent months I have become more and more aware of the risks of formula and more and more angry at society for the way women and babies are treated... and the way infant nutrition is viewed and marketed.

My mom BF me for 3 years, despite what everyone thought about it back then. She would have went longer but my dad eventually made her stop. So I have always viewed it as a natural and good thing. However, I will admit that even during the beginning of my pregnancy, I didn't "get" the whole lactivist movement. I didn't get the big deal about being asked to cover up. Having my son changed all of that. I get it now. And it makes me sad that I didn't get it sooner! Even in the first weeks of being a new mom... nursing in public made me nervous. Thanks to people & websites like this I have not only overcome that but the way I view it has changed completely. For the better.

At my first prenatal visit a nurse midwife asked me if I was going to breastfeed, and I said "I'm going to try". I wasn't very informed then and I had sincerely hoped that I would be one of the lucky women it would "work" for, like my mom. She said something like "Oh don't say that! Say YES I AM!" and I said Hmm ok. Well that comment stuck with me and was the beginning of the confidence I needed to make breastfeeding work. Throughout the rest of my pregnancy I made it my mission to educate and prepare myself, and now that my son is 4 1/2 months old I am very passionate about this. Even thinking back to the 2 days in the hospital when he was born - I am so glad I knew enough to refuse the supplements and pacifiers... and it makes me sad that many other moms like me who "want" to BF just don't understand how the nurses couldn't know what is best??? It's not their fault. They just don't know! My SIL is expecting her first baby in a month, and she has said she is going to "try" to BF. I really want to encourage her without being pushy.

So the reason I am asking..... is because I want to do my part to change things, as we all do. I think it will be helpful to know what worked to open *our* eyes, so we can be effective at opening the eyes of others... I did encounter several *passionate* BF advocates that did nothing but annoy me in the past. I don't want to annoy. I want to be effective, just like the nurse was with me.... She wasn't angry at my ignorance. I think she understood that it was not my fault that I was thinking that way. But her simple comment was the start I needed........

Sorry to ramble. Anyway, what did it for you?
 

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My road started with my sabotaged BF relationship with my first born.

I ran the whole spectrum. From "I'll try to breastfeed" to "well, if the nurse gave her a little formula, I guess it's okay" to "the baby won't latch, just make formula" to "formula is just as good" and all the way back around.

When pregnant with my second I learned about all of the things that caused my breastfeeding relationship to fail. SOOO much of it was society and misinformation, I just want to prevent those things from ruining anyone else's BF relationship.
 

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I was harassed at a mall by security who threatened to have me arrested. When I learned that my state had no laws protecting breastfeeding babies, I became a lactavist. I find the need to protect my daughter and grandchildren, when the time comes a very long time from now, from being harassed, too. I owe it to them. Hopefully, by then our society will change for the better and learn to accept bf.
 

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My bf relationship was hard at first. Before I had DS, I recognized that bf was probably a bit better than ff. I looked at it with mild disgust and EN with extreme disgust. Things changed after pregnancy and birth. Message boards like this one and LLL helped me realize that bf is natural and normal, even past the age of one. Learned I didn't need to be ashamed to NIP, that I didn't need to apologize to family when I needed to nurse DS, etc.

I think I became a lactivist, when I realize it was possible to BF, when I realized that most reasons for using formula are not valid (BF is too hard, its just as good, no time, etc), and when I realized all the ploys formula companies use and just how dangerous ff can be.
 

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I became a lactivist when I woke up and realized how far from the norm breastfeeding had gotten. I grew up thinking babies were nursed and nobody had a problem with it and that formula was for the rare time when things didn't go right or for adopted children. Nobody told me those things, I just was that innocent I guess. It wasn't until my ds2 was born and we needed some help thru a few rough times bfing that I got online and realized how few women actually bf for a normal time, how involved formula companies are in spreading false information, how appallingly common it is for medical professionals to give horrible information, and thus how much false information is taken as fact by so many moms. I was so disgusted and shocked, I got mad and that was that.
 

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My great aunt was an early LLL leader in the 70's so I grew up in a very pro breastfeeding atmosphear. I think i'm a little like velcromom, I realy had no idea how few women successfully bf. I realy thought everyone did for at least 6 months hopefully more. I also had no idea that anyone still circed. The more I learned, the worse it got.

I think though that what you are asking is not so much what made us get active with lactavism but what helped us want to breastfeed and gave us the tools to overcome the odds stacked against us. I think for me, it was that normalacy. I lived in an area where a lot of women bfed. I saw bfing everywhere.
 

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ARRGGHH! My computer just ate my post! ANd it was LONG!!!!!! Ok, later, Im frustrated now.
:
 

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Ok, trying again....

For me it was a gradual thing. I dont know where I got the idea in the first place. My mother ff us. I remember being six years old and going to Kmart with my grandfather to pick up stuff for the new baby while my mom was still in the hospital. We were getting bottles and I said, all proud of my new knowledge, "Bottles arent the only way to feed babies, mommies can feed them" or something like that and he said, "Dont worry, youll never have to do that as long as Im alive" and I was very confused because I had the idea it was a GOOD thing. I never lost that idea but cant for the life of me remember who gave it to me, though I have a vauge recollection of my kindergarten teacher being pregnant and getting a new teacher when she had the baby so maybe it was her? Dunno.

When I had my first child I bf but at first I didnt do it in front of people. Never in public, until the first time I got stuck out somewhere longer than expected and my baby was crying cuz he was hungry and I finally thought, well this is just ridiculous and fed him! Seriously, I left my own livingroom so I wouldnt make xh's family uncomfortable. Around ten months or so he would not settle down to nurse and I gave him his first bottle and that was it, he was weaned and I thought he was *suppose* to be!

A few years later I went back to college and took a class from an anthropologist who specialized in infant feeding practices and she was a HUGE advocate and every class disscusion seemed to come back to bf. I learned a LOT about bf, as well as about how culture affects us, from her.

I still would have said EB was gross, then I had dd who REFUSED to wean, a year came and went, a pregnancy came and went, age two came and went, we tandemed nursed, age three came and went....

The more my mother/stepsister/coworkers harrassed me, the more research I did, I read some really good books and I found this website and by now, my family is afraid to discuss it with me, the "militant" breastfeeder! Bottom line really was, there was no way I could deny her something that was so important to her. So I didnt. Im pregnant now and she has weaned, but her brother is still going strong so I suspect I'll be nursing two again.

Society is seriously screwed up. Im pretty outspoken about it now, because I know that someone made a difrence to my kids simply by telling me the facts, even though I was only six at the time and cant even remember for sure who it was.
 

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I planned to BF because it is natural. Why give formula when the formula companies are trying to mimic BM?

Growing up I didn't know a thing about BFing, but when I was in junior high someone in my family was complaining about a friend of hers BFing a toddler. I thought it was really wierd that people would judge someone for extended nursing.

I only pumped for my oldest for 6 weeks and only nursed my 2nd for about that long. My first kid wasn't nursed for several reasons. Our efforts were sabotaged at the hospital and I had a lack of education and support. I became a lactivist to help change that for others. So it was a more gradual thing. I've always been super supportive of nursing moms though.
 

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I knew I was going to breastfeed the moment that I knew I was going to have a wonderful pregnancy and a natural childbirth. I was at my second and last prenatal visit with my doctor at 16 weeks. The office gave me a "goody bag" with tons of formula samples, diapers and information like "breastfeeding is best but... fill in the blank with manufactured infant food promotion jargon." I was thoroughly frustrated with this office for their lack of care and clinical crap. I knew that there was something better in every aspect of pregnancy, birth and babies.

My family is mainstream, no one had natural births, everyone formula fed, vaxed, used sposies, cribs, and all the like. When I first told them I was going to have a natural birth and breastfeed, they said you can try but you will give in, its too hard, you will never do it. Well I did it and my mother was there to see. She was in town for the birth and to help afterwards but she was not in tune with me. When the baby cried her solution was just let me give her some formula and take care of her. Day 4 I finally yelled at her and told her my baby will never taste artificial milk as long as I am alive no matter how hard it was (a little too rough I know now) and I gave away all the formula in the house that day. Well she left day 6. I had a really really hard time but I knew that all it took was persistance, no matter how much she was latched wrong, or my supply was low, or what her peds told me I was going to breastfeed successfully. People are seriously misinformed. The breast is best but line... is a disgrace and a huge blow to the health of our children for the pockets of corporations.

I have learned not to be so harse about it but my family still asks, is she still nursing, is she eating baby food... Yes she is still nursing, no she is not eating baby food and when she does it will be real food mashed. I had hang ups about nip because my breasts are so large. But now I want everyone to see. I walk around church nursing my baby and I am proud to do it. I have a few converted friends now to, they see how happy my baby is. And I am a proud lactivist.

Sorry so long.
 

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when I was little I had a set of very very VERY outdated (like 1930s) books. I'm not sure if they were childrens encyclopedias or storybooks or both. but the one I liked the best described how babies were made (well not how they were MADE but the facts) and one of the things it described was that for the first few years mommies made food for the babies and they nursed. and that was just how things WERE. I didn't learn about formula until I was nine and my aunt had my cousin Kristal. I remembered thinking "why didn't she just nurse her?!?!"
 

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i had always wanted to bf my son, and when i actually had him, i "just couldn't" (for a variety of what i know now to have been very preventable reasons, but at the time stopped me from nursing him from sheer IGNORANCE).


so.... after i had him, and went through the ORDEAL that was bottle-feeding, and learned more (and more, and more).... i just kind of became obsessed.
i'm still so hurt and sad that i never nursed him, and i vowed to myself to nurse any children i had, no matter what, "come hell or high water."

and when i got pg with my dd, and had her.... i kept my vow.


the rest ~~ fighting for mama's rights, and fighting to normalize bf'ing in our culture ~~ just kind of came naturally as a result of wanting to be out in public and go about our lives..............

 

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I was breastfed as were my younger sisters but I don't remember it at all. My mom never talked about it, and I can't remember ever seeing another baby breastfed until I was pregnant with my own! BUT for some reason, I just knew that there was no way I'd ever not breastfeed. It just seemed so right. And once I was breastfeeding my daughter and saw just how good it was for her (and me), I became outspoken about it.
 

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Quote:
I was just wondering what caused many of you to become lactivists... were you raised to think this way about breastfeeding? was it something you experienced? was it gradual or did it just hit you one day?
I think I was raised this way somewhat. My grandma bf'd 4 of her 5 (they wouldn't let her bf a preemie in the 50's
). My mom bf'd all 7 of us (all but me, over a year); and my aunts bf'd their children, too. There were quite a few moms who bf'd at our church growing up and it was common to see a mom bf at mass. And, Mom talked about how good bf was for babies, and how it is the perfect natural food for them. Plus, we grew up on a ranch and saw the animals nursing all the time (and knew what a worry it was if a calf or lamb had to be bottlefed).

But, my Mom is much more laid-back about it. She helped quite a few moms bf over the years, but she doesn't talk about it unless asked (the doctors would refer patients to her to help them
) - and I was shocked awhile ago to hear her say that she doesn't think formula bags should be banned (!!) - she doesn't believe that corporations are really as insidious as formula companies (and many other big businesses) are in terms of knowingly causing hurt to others. At the same time - she thinks moms should be able to just bring their babies to work and nurse that way, which is way progressive. I don't get it.

I didn't really think of bf as an "activism" type thing for me - until after Ina was born and I was struggling so much with bf her (multiple food allergies, severe reflux, supply issues etc.) -- I got so much pressure from the ILs and others to wean, it meant the world to me that my family was supportive (and dh too). And I saw firsthand what a difference it made for Ina. And frankly, I got a bit mad that I was having to work so hard to keep things going for us, whereas other moms who could have bf with no issues at all (potentially) hadn't even tried.


I think a lot of women who intellectually know bf is better, and plan on bf, may also not think a lot about the logistics of it and how (un)supportive society is, until they HAVE a baby and have to figure out how to pump at work, or how to nurse in public, etc. I think that's the "A-ha!" moment for a lot of women (and their partners), where they realize that we need to fight for better support/information for breastfeeding women, for their employers, for their HCPs, etc. It's a lot more real when you're dealing with it on a daily basis, pumping in an unlocked store-room or whatever.

Once you do any amount of research, you realize how insidious the formula culture is, and how difficult it is for many moms to make it with bf (due to the lack of information, lack of work support/HCP support/familial support) - and then you want to fight it. I definitely want my daughters and my grandchildren to be able to breastfeed, without stigma, without problems. That's what I'm fighting for!

And - I want to combat all the misinformation out there. I received a LOT of it while we were dealing with Ina's allergies and reflux, especially the, "Well, maybe she's allergic to your milk," or "That's crazy, to change your diet, why not just give formula?!!" comments. I think a lot of women in my shoes are told by their HCPs that the baby is reacting to their milk and to just give formula, even today, unfortunately.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Daisie125 View Post
My road started with my sabotaged BF relationship with my first born....

When pregnant with my second I learned about all of the things that caused my breastfeeding relationship to fail. SOOO much of it was society and misinformation, I just want to prevent those things from ruining anyone else's BF relationship.
:
 

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My sisters and I are part of the first generation of bfers in our family. I became a lactivist while pregnant with my second dd. I had many uncomfortable encounters with our first babe, but grew more comfortable by the time our second was born. It just made me sad to see other mothers going through what I initially went through, and knowing how isolating it could be.

My lactivism is less about anger and more about reaching out to other mothers and babes and spreading awareness.
 

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During my pregnancy.

I think nursing is a birthright of both mothers and babes. I see it as tied to promoting respectful parenting and understanding infant attachment needs, and also tied to promoting societal respect of a mother's right to be with her baby instead of leaving baby in care and being a good 'worker bee.'

I do not think breastfeeding is the only way to accomplish those things, and I don't think mothers should *have* to stay home with our babes. But I'd love to see a societal shift in the way we view infants and mothers, and I think shifting understanding of the importance of breastfeeding is a big piece of the puzzle.
 

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My mother BF both my sister and me at a time when not many people BF. No one in her family or my father's family BF their kids. She also had natural childbirths. She told me about how wonderful BFing was. I was one of those "I'm going to try to BF" people, since I had heard so many BFing horror stories. After I had DD, I insisted on seeing a lactation consultant every day were were in the hospital because I really wanted BFing to go well. Fortunately, it was very easy for us, and everyday my love of BFing grew and grew. I loved BFing so much that I felt bad for the poor FF babies and mommies. And then of course I found MDC, and my desire to spread the BFing word became greater and greater. I NIP often, and I tell all of my friends/family who are pregnant about how wonderful BFing is and to come to me with any BFing questions or concerns. I'm going to hit the 1 year mark tomorrow (whooo hooo), and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. I just think that nursing a baby is the most wonderful thing in the world.
 

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I used to breastfeed my dolls. I was FF, and hadn't ever seen a baby bf until I was in nursing school. I guess I had it in me to become a lactivist because surely nobody set the example for me! I knew I would bf before I got pregnant. And in the process of learning everything I could about bf I became more and more certain about my choice. I also turned DH into a lactivist and enabled my sister to breastfeed both of her kids.
 
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