My friend posted this article on FB today, it’s about how Mayor Bloomberg is no longer allowing hospitals to provide anything with formula logos on it (like all the free goodies you got when you delivered) or formula to new moms without additional education on how and why breastfeeding is best for your baby.
That sounds all well and good. I do agree breast is best and if the mayor wants to make sure women are educated, that’s fine. It’s the comments that FB users had left that upset me.
First I’ll say this; within the Mommy-community, there are people who love breastfeeding and people who love formula-feeding and a lot of these mom’s will fight to the death about their beliefs. That is what annoys me.
Example, La Leche League. I’m sure in some places it is a great organization and helps lots of women but where I gave birth it was full of bullies.
Here’s a quick background on Piglet’s birth/early life: He was born 4 days late with a low APGAR score after being assisted out with a vacuum. I had to do immediate kangaroo-ing because he just wasn’t doing too well. I attempted breastfeeding within the first hour, he ate, pooped, and fell asleep. Over the next few hours, it became apparent that he could not latch on my left side. The ride side was easy and my milk came in probably 4 hours after Piglet was born (very unusual apparently) but he could not latch on the left. When he nursed on the right, milk literally poured from the left. I felt like I was wasting precious gold. I also had a breast pump but I didn’t bring it so it really did go to waste. Since Piglet had an assist with coming into the world, he got jaundice pretty bad. And since he only was nursing on 1 side, he wasn’t peeing or pooping very much, which is the cure for jaundice apparently, so he needed the billi-lamp and many nurses, and the pediatrician suggested supplementing formula to get him to go. Since I was on active duty, I only had 42 days of maternity leave so I planned on breast pumping and because he wouldn’t eat on the left, I resigned to exclusively pumping. Daddy could help feed, the sitter could give BM, Piglet ate more and slept longer at night. Yay!
Not yay. According to my new pediatrician and the lactation consultants and the local LLL, I was sending my kid down a path to doom and gloom. Pumping milk and bottle-feeding was damn-near as bad as formula feeding (in their eyes) and how could I?
How could I not? I was at work when he was 6 weeks old, I wanted him to have BM, and I couldn’t bring him to the office with me.
My office also did not provide a friendly atmosphere for pumping, The Hubster deployed when Piglet was 3 months old, and I was stressed. Stress is no bueno for BM. I tried some supplements. I tried pumped ALL THE TIME. But it didn’t work and I was bone dry by 4.5 months. I had to give him formula or he’d die.
Now, LLL thought I really had killed him. For a first-time mom, alone, I felt like a failure. All because these people decided it was okay to bully me.
That my friends, is the point of this whole blog post. I was pregnant at the same time as my battle buddy. She didn’t nurse her first and wasn’t going to nurse the new one either. I had plans to nurse. We obviously had different views but neither one of us cared what the other was doing.
But there are people out there who do. And they will bully moms until they either breastfeed or just don’t discuss how they will be feeding their baby just because they don’t want to breastfeed.
And these bullies don’t just bully moms, they bully everyone. They plan “feed-ins” where all these moms get together and breastfeed in a public place. Do a quick search on FB for groups “Hey FB, breastfeeding is not vulgar/pornographic/inappropriate/etc.”
I get it, it’s natural. It is beautiful to bond with baby. It’s free.
But really, does it need to be shoved down our throats? Do people really need to see 500 breastfeeding their babies at the mall to know all those things? No. They do not. But these bullies need to know that you know. Because they think they’re right and everyone else is wrong. Even though the milk in Piglet’s bottle was BM, friends on FB still were like “omg, that’s so terrible.”
And I just don’t see why people have to be so rude about it. I also had 0 desire to have someone take a picture of me while breastfeeding and if I did, posting it online isn’t the place I would put it so I’m not sure why people do it on FB, unless they like the controversy of their account possibly being deactivated because of an “inappropriate” picture.
Or is there another reason? If so, please do share.
Also, please do not take offense to this entry, I have no problem with people breastfeeding in public, formula-feeding in public, whatever. I just don’t like people who bully others just because other people don’t agree with them.