A few weeks ago I posted a link to an article that was linked on another site I read. I probably should have given some commentary on it, but I was so disgusted by the article I couldn't stand to. Honestly I was more disgusted as a feminist than as a breastfeeding mother. The primary thing that angered me was the author's insistence that a woman's body is primarily for her husband's sexual gratification. Our bodies are not single use, single purpose. I'm not degrading my breasts by using them to feed my baby. I can use my body to nourish my children and to love my husband. He witnessed the birth of our son and hasn't had any "problems." Just sayin'
This leads me down another path, one that I've been wanting to go down for awhile but I'm not entirely sure how.
So, breastfeeding. My son was exclusively breastfed (in that he had only breastmilk, he did have EBM from bottles) for the first 5 1/2 months. I am nursing now. I intend to nurse until he is a year old, and then we'll see what happens from there.
I have such mixed feelings about it though.
On one hand, I am very supportive of it. I do think there are a TON of benefits for both baby and mother. I've enjoyed the closeness I feel to E and the way I've been able to nourish and comfort him through it. If anyone I know said they intended to breastfeed I would be very encouraging of it.
On the other hand, I have a big complaint. I think the way women who don't breastfeed or even those who do but wean early or whatever are treated can be downright shitty. There is a certain attitude among some pro-breastfeeding women/groups that if you have any problems it is because UR DOING IT RONG!
As someone who wanted very very badly to have a successful nursing relationship with my baby I have to say that when I encounter that attitude it really hurts. Yeah this is about me and my expectations and the fact that sometimes I get these really lofty ideas and try to strive for perfection and when I don't meet those goals I feel a lot of disappointment and beat myself up about. There is that, I admit it. I'm not sure I'm that unique in that though, and this sort of thing can't have happened only to me.
It is the tone some books and website are written in. As great a resource as Kellymom.com is, every time a well-meaning person directed me to the page about slow weight gain that says it is usually due to poor breastfeeding management I wanted to cry and scream and throw things. I had been through that list twenty times and I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing.
It is reading forums where someone pipes in about how formula is completely junk or practically poison and ewww how could you ever give that to your baby? Well I'll tell you. You will give that to your baby when for the last 2 months his weight gain has averaged about 1.5-2 oz./week instead of the 4 oz./week it is supposed to and you've tried everything short of standing on your head (although I tried something similar once when I had a plugged duct) to increase your supply and it isn't making a difference. (Seriously, I will detail the whole story on this at some point.)
I guess I needed to get that out. As much as I still stand by my choice the attitudes of some people are seriously pissing me off. I imagine it is the same as other women feel about having a c-section. That whole thing that "well, ok, some women have problems, but it is rare" disclaimer, then disparage women who don't do what you think they should do and never mention those exceptions again. (Which, for the record since I had a natural birth at home I feel self-conscious about this and will say I think whatever birth choice a woman makes for herself and her situation is fine. I just hate to see women not being given options and pushed into something they don't want for silly reasons and I feel like I hear that a lot. But it makes me sad that the women were pushed around, I don't think there is anything wrong with them as mothers or as people. If an informed choice is made that is great. But if we are going to talk about birth that is a topic for another day.)