Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Hate People Telling Me to Breastfeed!

? With my first baby, I didn’t nurse because the lactation consultant was so hard-core and pushy about its benefits. I’m pregnant again and hate all those people telling me how good nursing is. What should I do?

A. Look, don’t not nurse because you think women who do are hard-core militants. That’s like not becoming a mother because you hate minivans. (I confess, the dorky-car-factor did make me think twice about getting pregnant. But now my crew of four kids, two of their friends and my hubby can all fit in our Honda Odyssey. Happily.) You’re still you, you’ll just be using your breasts for good. You can have the same friends you used to, see the same movies (only they’ll be on video). But to not breastfeed because of what some breastfeeding supporters say, is, well, not making me think you're mature enough for motherhood, actually.

Here's the real deal -- government-sponsored PSAs and formula-advertising "breast is best" canards aside, the reason you have breasts is to feed your baby. I liken nursing to using my right leg. Yeah, they have all these really cool high-tech prosthetics now, and boy, if you somehow couldn't use or lost your own leg, it would be such a blessing to be able to have a mechanical one -- but what would you say if Bulow Biotech showed up at your local baby fair pitching their amazing artificial limbs? Would you trade a working one for one of their cool models? No shaving required, totally convenient, never have to deal with charley horses again!

Damn skippy you wouldn't. You would certainly praise them to the heavens for all those in need of a new leg, but you would stick with the one God (insert "The Universe" or "Nature" if you prefer) gave you as long as you could. Same with mother's milk. And mother's breasts. I know that it might be hard at first, and that your doctor won't take the time with you to help, and that the first lactation consultant you encounter may have the beside manner of Bill the Cat, but don't let that distract you from the Truth -- you (meaning, 95% of women with intact breasts) have all you need to feed your baby with you right now. For the rare exceptions, or in cases of medical issues or separation or maternal death, there are, thankfully, milk banks and after that, formula.

If you're grown up enough to have a child, you're grown enough to read the information that abounds about all the benefits, nutrients and more that breastmilk surprise. But always remember the One Hot Mama Law of Parenting -- if it's free and readily available with minimal effort on your part, that's that's the way to go. Try it for 6 weeks at no cost; if it's not working for you, return your breasts for the full money-back guarantee!


Kylie said...

this is an awesome response. love it :) thank you!

Roxanne Beckford Hoge said...

Thanks, Kylie. Sometimes you really just want to wring people's necks. Remember when Jennifer Lopez said she didn't need to breastfeed because her mother didn't?

Then I count to ten and try to make sense of it all.