Damned if you Do, Damned if you don’t, Part 4

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I would like to talk about how you choose to nourish your baby. There are very opposing views on this, the Breastfeeding mother, the Pumping Mother, the Formula feeding mother. I personally breastfed and occasionally pumped with my first child. The ONLY reason I didn’t pump for my second child was/is the sheer lack of time. The amount of criticism that a woman receives based on her decision to pump is tremendous. It is absolutely mind-boggling to me how much EVERYONE and their effing mother gives so much of a fuck about how women feed their children. Wow, even thinking about it now, and what some of my friends and family have faced, no matter their choice. I’ve decided to try to show you how EVERY SINGLE ONE of us will be judged regardless of which category we fall into.

The Breastfeeding Mother:

As someone who is a breastfeeding mother, I can tell you, that I wasn’t a crazy fanatic about nursing, I was a lucky one who had both children latch on fairly easily at first, but I didn’t have too much production at first. The first two months of breastfeeding were terrible, TERRIBLE, just TERRIBLE! There were so many complications, from clogged ducts, to my son losing weight, to cracked nipples, engorged breasts, finding places to nurse in public, getting looks in public, covering up in public, travelling through airports, etc.. Most people were really encouraging about how great it was that I was nursing my son, until he was about 7 months old and had teeth. Then I would get comments like, “Oh, if your kid could walk, talk and chew his own food, why would you nurse him? Doesn’t he bite you?” While I understand that this is a legit question for someone that has no knowledge of the topic of nursing, but these people were other women, other mothers, and grandmothers who were being passive-aggressive biatches! For the record, it isn’t too painful to nurse when a child has teeth, the only real reason it is painful is if your child is mischievous and actually bites you on purpose for a reaction!

I fed my oldest until he was about 15 months, and began the weaning process at about 13 months, I’m still in the process with my youngest. It isn’t easy to wean, just like it isn’t easy to latch, we as women are pumped with so many hormones that when someone makes passive aggressive comments it doesn’t help, in fact it stresses us out more, and when we are stressed, the baby is stressed. Just because you have some ideal of when I should stop nursing my child, it doesn’t mean that I will.  I mean I have to put up with other people’s idiocy when it comes to judging my parenting decisions, I wonder why they think I should respect their opinions so much when they are so judgy about mine?!

The Pumping Mother:

Let me clear this up, the pumping mother can also nurse or formula feed to supplement, but most of the time, they pump their milk, for reasons such as having to return to work, or my one friend who was so sure her boobs would be deflated if she nursed, so she did the next best thing, she pumped her own milk, hoping that her boobs wouldn’t deflate. Whomp, whomp it didn’t work, but even she was judged for always stuffing a bottle into her child’s mouth. She would explain to strangers that it was breastmilk not the devil’s formula! Really?! She was Explaining this to STrangers! Why?! because we are so overwhelmed with judgement that we feel the need to explain to total unknowns what we are feeding our children. We have so much to explain to others because we are all so overwhelmed with guilt, it is hard to carry a baby for 9 months in this age, there are so many restrictions, that previous generations didn’t receive. People used to smoke, and drink while pregnant, and if I ate sushi at a restaurant while pregnant I got the evil eye! This poor woman felt the need to explain to strangers that she wasn’t feeding her child formula in public, but her own breastmilk, and the strangers would be like “oh, that is good, because formula is so bad, and breastmilk is so natural.” This whole idea about formula being bad, and that women are less of a mother is also an insane idea, I’m pretty sure most people in my generation were formula fed, we all survived…and if we didn’t it most likely was due to other things and not our addiction to formula in the first years of our lives.

The Formula feeding Mother:

This Mother is the Most Loathed type of Mother around. She is the worst according to pretty much everyone. I feel for my friends that formula feed, for whatever reason! There are many reasons that a woman might choose to formula feed and you know what we as a society need to understand that it isn’t something that Everyone wants to do or even can do for that matter.

One of my best friends couldn’t nurse, something about production, and the first thing I told her was fuck anyone who gave her a look, and that do whatever works for her. She has told me how hard it was for her, and how it made her feel like she was doing something less for her child, based on what others say to her. Then I have another friend who just said no, I’m done with this nursing thing, after I think two weeks, and she was happier. I have another friend who breastfed her first and gave her second formula after a few months, and she was happier too! I know another mother who weaned baby about 3 or 4 months in and she also is happier. What I have noticed is that anytime a mother does something to make herself happy or in this case makes a decisive decision, society looks at her with pure disgust and gives her that just smelled vomit look, when they find out she has fed her baby poison formula. I remember one of these lovely ladies told me that when she went to her doctor’s appointment, that even the doctor was shocked and couldn’t comprehend why she wasn’t still breastfeeding. Really?! the doctor too? Come on, this is just too much for me. Formula is a scientific advancement, why would a doctor of all people put down this choice. even if the doctor doesn’t agree isn’t there a bedside manner class in med school? oh wait, there isn’t, that explains a lot!

(before you jump down my throat for that bedside manner joke, I’m basing my knowledge off of my older cousin’s med school commencement ceremony, where the guest speaker wasn’t a celebrity but a very experience doctor who said that there needed to be a med school course to learn proper bedside manner)

 

To each their own and I always tell my friends and other women, NEVER say NEVER, because when you do, your kids will most likely eat your words at some point for your judgy bitchiness! Also remember if you cannot respect others’ choices, when it comes to raising Their children (not yours) then think about what society would be like if EVERYONE was exactly like you, and if you like that idea…something is very off about you my friend, because I would hate to be surrounded by people EXACTLY like me, what fun is that!?!

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