Well, I've kept quiet as long as possible. That does it. I'm devoting an entire blog to breastfeeding. That's right, I'm gonna talk about boobs, jugs, ta tas, milkbags...so if it makes you uncomfortable you may want to stop reading. I would like to start by saying that although I am a breastfeeding mother, and was a nurse on the obstetrical floor I have never and will never be one of those breastfeeding Nazis that thinks that giving a baby formula is going to harm/kill him. Having said that, I'm also tired of feeling like I need to APOLOGIZE for choosing to breastfeed.
This is obviously a "hot-button" issue with me. For some reason it's socially acceptable for someone who chose not to breastfeed to sort of look down on those who do. I don't understand this. If a breastfeeding mother were to say something negative about formula, there would be all kinds of uproar. She'd be called old-fashioned, intolerable, and probably a few other not-so-nice names. But, if someone decides not to breastfeed and then comes across a mother who is, it is perfectly fine for her to turn up her nose or make some comment about how she thought it was too gross. I understand that some people don't like it, but just know that the fact that you think it's "yucky" isn't going to be enough of a deterrent for me.
I've heard all of the defensive arguments against breastfeeding. I've gotten a few of those passive-aggressive remarks this past year because my youngest child is sick often and he's almost completely breastfed. Well, guess what? You have absolutely NO idea how much more trouble he would have had if I hadn't been breastfeeding. He has older siblings and was exposed to a lot because they brought things home from school. I like to think that he avoided some things because of breastfeeding, but even if he didn't I'd still do it all over again.
Breastfeeding is one of my favorite parts of having a baby. And if you've ever truly experienced it, you'd know that there is nothing twisted or gross about that statement. Don't get me wrong, it isn't always glamorous. Those first few weeks feel like someone is threading a fishhook through your skin every time they eat. And, I had those moments that my child would be hungry and we would BOTH cry because the girls needed a break!! But, that eventually gets better and I actually think it's easier than making/cleaning bottles. I know this because my first son had some formula.
Breastfeeding advocates also claim that it doesn't affect the appearance of your breasts anymore than pregnancy does. I don't happen to believe this, but I also don't care enough to make that the reason I would choose not to breastfeed. I mean, with my first son, if we were ever in a moving vehicle I totally did the "whip it out and sling it over the side of the carseat" trick. Hell, now with my fourth I can stay in my seat and just stretch it back to him. So they're a little saggy and deflated...it's not like I'm in the running for Miss America anymore anyway.
I'm also the person that will breastfeed anywhere. That's right, Father so-and-so, I'll feed my kid in church. If they've got a cry room available, I will definitely use it! But, if that isn't an option it won't bother me to do it right in the pew. Gross, right?!? People are probably doing it around you all of the time and you don't even notice. And trust me, you aren't going to see more than some people reveal with their tank tops.
I don't understand why anti-breastfeeding people immediately blame breastfeeding for any little thing. The baby is consipated...it must be the breastmilk. The baby cries a lot...it must be what's in her breastmilk. The car broke down...well, you know she DOES breastfeed, so... Why do we have to be "for" or "against" it? Why can't we just accept what ever mother has chosen for her own child?
Formula WILL NOT kill your baby. It probably doesn't even have anything to do with IQ or illness prevention either, but you know what? Breastfeeding is a choice that I made, and I will not apologize for it. I'm not saying that you can't disagree with me. I'm just asking that you become fully educated on the subject before you tell me that it's "icky."