Fact, Opinion and Annoyance

The Case Against Breast-Feeding (or Do you really need to slam it to feel better about yourself?)
October 2, 2009, 10:30 am
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The Case Against Breast-Feeding

I found this article because it was mentioned in another piece sent to me:  White Flags in the Mommy Wars

I read it – and thought it was kind of silly.  It’s one thing to write a piece comparing research on breast vs. bottle and public opinion about it, but the whole article was written as a defense of this woman’s choice.  OK, don’t breastfeed – or do it sometimes – or whatever.   I don’t care.  But of course it’s horrible because all the Moms on the playground are SO judgmental about it.

Tough, that’s life.  Particularly in America, land of extremes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love America – but the way we as a society ping-pong about gives me a headache.  Apparently 40 years ago, the controversial thing was to choose to breastfeed.  Now it’s to choose not to.  I know Moms who would rather not breastfeed, but can’t afford formula.  I know Moms who would love to breastfeed, but have some issue that prevents them.  Personally, I breastfeed because it’s cheaper and after an instance with my youngest where I couldn’t nurse her for a week, I found out I was actually pretty attached to it.  I discovered when I was pregnant with my first child that I was bottle-fed – it had never occurred to me before to ask.  Turns out my Mom wanted to breastfeed to save money but without anyone to explain to her how it works – being bottle-fed herself – she thought that she wasn’t making enough milk and gave up after a couple of days.  So I’m glad there’s support for women who want to nurse and formula for those who don’t.

What I really don’t understand is why we need other people to approve of our choices.  I guess there’s the idea of wanting to feel like part of society and that’s diminished when people are subtly or overtly critical of our choices.  Maybe I’m just to darn stubborn and independent (or perhaps I’ve just been a social outcast for far too long) but I’ve always thought, “You don’t like what I’m doing?  Well, that’s your problem.”

Back to the article the Mommy Wars – that means that I breastfeed, have elective c-sections (in consultation with my doctor), don’t really care about Bisphenol-A (having read some of the research), don’t care about organic food (though I do make a point of buying milk from a company that doesn’t use hormones in their cows),  use disposable diapers, am on the fence about planning family size vs. a more natural approach, and choose to homeschool using a mostly neo-classical approach.  That means I probably don’t really fit anywhere in the Mommy “camps” – but I’m OK with that.

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From someone who chooses not to breastfeed, it was almost laughable at the hospital and how people deal with you. I was in bed for 24 hours after the c-section without anyone offering to hand me my baby so I could feed him, no nurses bringing him to me because he was hungry,etc. I decided that the nurses apparently didn’t think I would want to bond with my baby because *gasp* I wasn’t trying to breastfeed. It was a good thing I didn’t care what they thought, but the perspective was interesting.

Comment by Becki

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