It’s world breastfeeding awareness week. Or world breastfeeding week. Or some sort of combination of those words – are you excited? Celebrating? I know Quinn and I are. I’ve done some thinking in my one year (Leah) and 9 months (Quinn) on the topic. Would you like to hear my thoughts? If not, stop reading. If yes, proceed ahead.
We all know (or should know if you read regularly) that I love breastfeeding. I love the feel good feelings it gives off, and the rather effortless way to get nutrition into a baby. I love knowing that my body was made to grow people, and rather spectacularly. I love that until you introduce solid food, breastfeeding poop is basically just orange liquid, and not scary at all. I love that I can sneak away to nurse my baby if I’m sick of being in a crowd. I love that I am able to save us money in this way – even though sometimes I feel like Kyle should pay me for it. 🙂 And most of all, yes I said most of all, I love the weight loss that comes with it! Give me a free 500-800 calorie burn a day and I’ll take it!
I’ve had such a good experience breastfeeding both these little girls; and rather different experiences each time. It came rather easy with Leah, but it was effortless with Quinn. I chalk a lot of that being “second-time-mom-ness.” I cried over Leah for several reasons in the beginning and throughout; I have yet to find tears with Quinn. Leah took in more milk than Quinn (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT)?! It’s true. She ate less solid food, more of mama’s goodness – Quinn likes the real stuff (okay, now you believe me). Leah didn’t sleep through the night til 9m, Quinn gave me the gift at 5. I pump less, but more often with Quinn. I pump less milk each session because I think she likes to drain me dry. She sucks til there’s not a drop left. Leah always left some in the tank, so I always pumped quite a bit. However, I pump more often this time around because Quinn, that darling little girl, drinks from a bottle! Leah never did get the hang of that, so I never truly needed to pump.
Lactation consultants save lives, and if you are ever going to consider breastfeeding get the number of one now. I was lucky enough to have the same LC on duty with both girls, and she remembered me. I was able to ask her all kinds of questions I had with Quinn, even though I knew a bit of what was going on. Each kid is different – and she got me off on the right path two times in a row. God love her. That is my advice to you. Get to know the nearest LC, and if you don’t like the first one you talk to – get another. In my opinion, it’s the most important relationship you need to have the first couple months.
Now, was that enough fluff for you? Please allow me to take you where you didn’t think I would…
I hate being associated with breastfeeding. Okay, I don’t really hate it – but it makes me uncomfortable. This blog is different, because it’s documenting my life with my little’s – but I go out of my way to not tell other mom’s that I’m breastfeeding. I roll my eyes at the mom on TIME magazine who is stoically “nursing” her four year old. I get angry at the mom who calls herself Breastfeeding Badass. I even have problems with the Breast is Best campaign slogan.
Because, you know what. Maybe sometimes it’s not best.
We get it, already. If you’re a mom, you get it. Breastfeeding is best. Breastmilk is best. It is the superior nutrition. It is superior bonding. We get it. You can’t leave the hospital without hearing it. You can’t take a childbirth class without hearing it. You can’t read a baby book without reading it. You can’t pick up a can of formula without it in plain letters on the front. And I’m not disputing the fact that it is wonderful nutrition, nor am I disputing the fact that every mother should at least give it a try – but the problem with it is, now we have a whole slew of moms out there who feel completely inferior because of the way they feed their babies. These are perfectly wonderful moms, who love their babies, and who for one reason or another chose for themselves and their babies… that the breast was not the best. And because now they aren’t giving the best… they’re less than.
You’ve got moms who try really, really, really hard – and their babies try really, really, really hard. And it just doesn’t work. You’ve got moms who decide that the effort is taking away from actual quality time they could be spending with their babies – or the rest of their family. You’ve got moms who get mastitis, and clogged ducts, and raw nipples… and it freaking HURTS… and it’s just not gonna work. You’ve got moms who love their little tiny packages of delight so much that they say… if I can’t give you what you need, I will find something that will. And do you know how hard it is to be a mom and not be able to give your baby everything they need, to admit defeat on something that is supposed to be biologically natural? We’re gonna tell these moms that they aren’t giving their best?! Nope. No sir. Not me. Who am I to say what should go in your baby’s belly (besides like crack or something – don’t give them crack).
These days, this breastfeeding campaign has transformed itself even further. It’s not just breastmilk that’s good enough. It has to come straight from the tap or you look less than. Forget the mom who arranges her life around a breastpump that ensures she feels like a cow, just to make sure her baby gets what it needs one way or another. I’ve been on the playground with a bottle, I know. My bottle is filled with the gold goodness, and I still feel the scorn. Artificial nipples. I’m not one to nurse in public – I’d rather use a public bathroom – and that seems less than. If you don’t flaunt it, like the celebrity selfies of the world, you’re not really doing it right, I guess. Let me tell you something – Quinn could care less that she’s eating on a toilet as long as she’s eating. And I’m much more comfortable in there than I would be in a restaurant booth with a blanket over us – or Heavn forbid, without a blanket over us. If you aren’t still breastfeeding when you’re kid is three – it’s less than. After all, they should self wean. Let me tell you, I cut the cord with Leah at a year and she shows no signs of major trauma. And I will more than likely do the same with Quinn – she has bitten the nipple that feeds her one too many times. There are just so many rules – how is a mom supposed to keep up!
Basically, I would like them to change the slogan. Something like, “the breast is really, really good, and you should try it because you can lose a lot of weight that way, but if it doesn’t work for you or your baby just know that you’re still a really, really good mom. And you’re making great choices.” That’s catchy, right? Can we all get shirts with that on it, please? I hate that there are moms out there that inevitably feel remorse for not doing what everyone tells them is natural. And right. And
breast best. I’m not a fan of the moms who use social media to make sure that everyone they know knows that their baby is breastfed, essentially rubbing it in the faces of those who don’t. I wish people could just feed their babies. Plain and simple. Just feed them and love them and go about your day.
I mean, if nursing Quinn really gave her everything she needed, would she still eat dog food…