Monday, January 19, 2009

Breast Feeding

One of my observations from the hospital is the pressure to provide Squawker with naught but breast milk.
A not so subtle phrasing of the question, “You plan on breastfeeding, don’t you?” in a tone that suggests that the reason there are high school drop outs and hooligans in juvie is because their mothers didn’t give them the advantage of breast milk right out of the chute.
(Let me state for the record that what Wife is doing for Squawker is none of your business. Frankly, as a husband who cannot lactate to save his family’s life, while it is my business I don’t have final say.)
The pressure right away to commit to nursing was immediate and relentless. You would think that the magic ingredients of mother’s milk will allow children to solve the worlds problems and be fantastically successful in a life dedicated to whatever that child sets their mind to. Why, a child raised on breast milk would likely NEVER be audited by the IRS.
As I look back through history it becomes easier to see who was and wasn’t raised on liquid inspiration. Churchill (mixed 1:1 with scotch), FDR, Galileo, Mother Teresa, Vilfredo Pareto, Mozart, the Beatles (well, not all of them), Planck, Douglas Adams – all CLEARLY nursed the liquid power of inspiration.
The likes of B. Madoff, Hitler, I. Amin, Khan, Dahmer, E. Bathory, Stalin – the most awful disgusting cretins to have ever been born - could never had tasted the goodness of their mother’s breast.
Keep in mind we want Kat and Squawker to be successful. We want them to graduate from college (maybe be microbiologists or quilters), have a good credit rating, own a home, and raise a happy family. If that is what they want.
But does there need to be the pressure and the censure on the mother? Why not give the parents factual information and encouragement, then respect the choices that they make? I have seen blog articles (motherhooduncensured and mamatulip) where mothers have been harassed by other mothers for not breastfeeding. Airlines have been both scorned and praised for allowing mothers to breastfeed on the plane.
By now, I am not sure where I was going with this post. (I think I wanted to link Madoff with Hitler, Bathory and co.) I would just like to see a bit more tolerance and respect for other people’s view points and privacy.

[Lame ending – feel free to submit your own in the comments.]


dietrich509 said...

I'm a bottle baby, what are you saying?

Trish said...

So am I, so I guess that answers your question.

Technically it gives a baby a better chance for survival via immunities of the mother and bonding to the family. But that said, there should be encouragement not stress and assistance for those who may want to, but find it difficult. For those for whom it is impossible (and there are many) they should be taught how to hold and 'nurture' with a bottle since breast feeding is NOT a hands free feeding. In that case you are as well prepared as wife.

K'man said...

Well, I guess that blows that theory of needing the miracle juice to be a good person.
509 there is a hard core Obama supporter that considered having
O'08 tattooed on his chest. (seriously, a great guy - he used to be my roommate)
Trish is one of the finest people I know. I would trust her with my life and my children's lives.

Jenny said...

I have so many opinions on this, you don't want me to start. But, if you feel like seeing me pull out that soapbox someday, I certainly can. =)

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny said...

Oh - and I was breastfed for a year!!! So there!

The Microblogologist said...

Hmmm, I was breastfed and I am the microbiology grad student (I also have made a quilt once coincidentally, don't think I ever mentioned that on the blog, lol), my sisters weren't much for it so I think mostly formula babies and you have a 7-11 clerk and an unmarried housewife... I definitely agree with you, I have witnessed the lactation Nazis before and they can be quite insane.

It is very well established that breast milk has benefits over formula, but formula is getting closer and closer to being just as good. For the short time Niecey was fed breast milk (my sister couldn't get the nursing thing down so pumped) I enjoyed the fact that her poops were not that smelly, formula poops are nasty, for that reason alone I plan to breastfeed if I have kids!

That said I agree with you, I think that mothers should be educated about the pros and cons of both breast milk and formula and supported in whichever decision they make. I do not feel that anyone should criticize the woman for whatever decision she makes, especially since there can be underlying reasons why she may not breastfeed. A very dear friend of mine wanted to so bad but her medications made it unsafe, had someone gotten nasty with her it would have been awful. You are very right, it is none of anyone but yours and her business what you are feeding that child, as long as it contains all the essential nutrients and won't harm him it's all good.

Mom2boys said...

Amen, very well said! Both my boys were bottle boys only because I was a dry cow! I agree totally it is your decison to make and nobody's business. I agree with Trish, I was battered about it while in the hospital and came home feeling like an unfit mother. Number one son is now 23 and doing fine.