Because I could not stop for death....

I got knocked up instead...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh look, breastfeeding Nazi's!

So I'm reading one of my favorite blogs, Conversations about Famous People, and what do I find in the comment section of an entry joking about how Britney Spears is having trouble breastfeeding because of her implants: A divisive, bitchy argument about "breast is best"

Among my favorite comments, (not a direct quote):

"I'll enjoy the +5 point higher IQ my daughter has from breastfeeding."

Nice. Real nice. And the "discussion" basically surrounds this one woman who stated that formula was just as good, and how she is terribly wrong, and horrible, and just bad. She gets NAILED to the wall. On a gossip blog. Now, this woman didn't sit there saying it's a replacement, and better, and you should use formula instead. She stated it's just as good (which is debatable-I don't even believe that myself) and easier, and less icky diapers.

Now, none of those things are reasons to not breastfeed. But because this woman did not detail her personal reasoning behind not breastfeeding, she was basically crucified. And I found that really ironic. I particularily loved the holier than thou attitude that came thru in all the "pro-breast" posts.

Personally, I find bottle feeding easier myself. I have large breasts, and I'm not little. Finding a position to breastfeed in was well nigh impossible. Would I suggest formula as a first option. NO. Would I make someone feel like crap because they state formula is near to breastmilk? NO.

So why is it cool or in vogue to denigrate people for stating their opinions about things? I know it's an uphill battle reintroducing breastfeeding into our culture which, quite frankly, is NOT suited for breastfeeding mothers but really-acting like a bunch of 13 year old girls, does that make anything better, or easier?

For those women like me who feel guilty because we didn't/couldn't-are you helping? Do these people realize that they are alienating those they could "convert" in order to get a pat on the back from their cronies? WHY OH WHY can't we act like adults for once, and use knowledge to change things, instead of intimidation and plain old shittiness?

I smoked while pregnant with Vivian, and I am ashamed, and embaressed that I could not quit. I didn't breastfeed due to a bleed, depression, and just plain old alone and unable to do it all. Is she smart? HELL YEAH. No matter where we are, people comment on her skills, her vocabulary, and my favorite, which recently came from a beautiful older lady, who had already raised her children long ago...." Well look! I've never SEEN such a happy child!"

As a few of you commented on my previous post, you would NOT have bonded to your children the same if you had of forced yourself to continue breastfeeding. Vivian is everything anyone could want in a child, and the only thing she received was two days worth of early milk (the name slips my mind right now). She is 25 months, and she speaks in full sentances, using possessives and proper nouns, can run, almost jump, is beginning to potty train and sleeps in a bed. So I guess that extra 5 points for IQ would have really made a difference.

You know what the difference is? It's the time I take to educate my child. It's the time I spend playing on the floor with her. It's the time I take explaining what spiders do. It's the proper english I speak to and with her. It's the respect I give her as a person. THAT is what makes her one of the happiest, smartest kids you'll meet. Am I focused on her playing a concerto by 6? No. Do I think she will one day be a leader of something, hopefully NOT a terrorist group? YES.

And at it's heart, this is what frustrates me about the breastfeeding debate. I spend a TON of time thinking about and analyzing my parenting skills. I read up on theories, I read psych texts. I think before I do anything with her, because I do not believe in parenting by instinct. Do these women, who preach endlessly spend that much time really thinking about who they want their children to be in the future, and what they can do to ensure that? Or do they blindly follow what others have taught them in the past, regardless of usefulness, because they think the breastmilk does it all. Do I have any right to feel superior to these women, as they seem to feel superior to me for not breastfeeding?

To be continued as "The Parenting Contest"


At 1:28 PM, Blogger Kel said...

Women are the worst twards other women when it comes to "baby stuff". During my 2 pregnancies I've never seen women more judgemental and bitchy in my entire life. Their way is always the best way, and no matter what they will not bend to someone elses opinion, even if they might be right.

I didn't breastfeed, I pumped and supplemented with my first born. I plan to do this as well with my 2nd child when he comes in Nov.

Pumping in the eyes of die hard breastfeeding women was just as bad as all out formula feeding. Both sides feels as if they have the "high ground" and the rest of us are just stuck in the middle trying to do the best we can for our children.

Wow I kind of rambled on here...hopefully it's not too bad. ^_^

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Laedi said...

It's because the BF Nazis really don't give a damn WHY someone is using formula.. all they know is they aren't using the breast.

I gave up a long time ago trying to explain myself to a whole bunch of f'n strangers who kept telling me how stupid my child would be because of my choices. There are so many things that are "best" for our children. It's BEST to wait until you are fincially stable before having kids. It's BEST to drive a Volvo or other safe vehicle with children in them. It's BEST to be the best, but yeah...

I just dunno why people have to tear down other mothers who are already insecure and terrified they're gonna screw up. So much for mommy support.

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

I think what it comes down to is these women are very insecure about their parenting skills. Nobody would argue that breast is best so they take it and run with it. They know what they are doing is "right". Kind of like a kid that gets a trophy. She wants to tell everyone around her. Makes her insecurites go away for a moment.
The problem is that women that force the issue do not take into consideration any factors of why other women are not breastfeeding. Women get so hung up on why a baby should be breastfed they over look the reasons not to.
I am a huge advocate for breatfeeding buy I know that my sister that just had a baby won't be. Why? Her baby is a preemie and my sister had a breat reduction 5 years ago. Is her baby going to become malnourished? No.
We live in a society where our children will NOT become malnourished. Formula, though obviously not as good as breat milk is still great stuff. When I had my kids and had to use formula I was made to feel I was putting poison into their bodies. How crazy is that??
Anyway, this is a topic I get all worked up over so I will stop typing now. ;)

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I just visited my brother and his wife who are pregnant in virginia. I hadn't seen her for a little bit and asked her how she was doing. She said fine and I said "no, how are YOU doing, fuck the pregnancy, how are YOU?" "Did Steve tell you to ask that?" "No, why?" "I'm just getting angry and tired of hearing everybody who has their own opinion of what I should be doing, how I should be living my life, taking care of the pregnancy, etc." and I felt for her. It's tough being pregnant and being a mother and you all become subject to such advice giving. Your post is thoughtful. I like it.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger thordora said...

It never really ends does it? Someone always knows "better"...I find myself biting my tongue because I do NOT want to be one of those people. I don't know best, and your child may not be like my child.


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