Thursday, August 25, 2011

Milk of Human Smugness

Dear Midwife,

I understand you have to talk to many women every day about all sorts of things, and that your answers have become a bit rote. When I told you yesterday that I had a really hard time nursing my son and would like some good suggestions on how to make things easier for this next one, I didn't really need to ten minute thesis on how superior breast milk is to formula. I didn't need to hear for the umteenth time how many nan-nuero-super connectors breast milk has in it and how if a baby is able to get just a taste of that milky goodness he or she is destined for life long greatness.

I've already heard it all from the internet, friends, family, strangers, and my own inner guilt voice. I know I should have tried harder, as you implied, to nurse my son more diligently. I should have forced him to nurse even when he was screaming because he was hungry and getting nothing from my breastables. I should have forced myself to stay up longer at night to make sure I pumped every drip of milk out of my sleep deprived body I could find. I should never have started him on formula, never given him a bottle, and definitely never given up on nursing even when we were both so exhausted we spent every non-nursing minute crying.

Here's the real scoop. If a woman can't/isn't nursing her child chances are she's tried everything in her power to make an attempt first. I've heard of very few women who choose voluntarily to not breastfeed. For them I'm sure it was a very personal decision also and I'm sure their babies are fine. For me I was physically unable to produce enough nourishment for my child. With baby #2 I want to give it the ol' college try for sure but what I most definitely do not need are any more lectures on how superior breast milk is. I get it. We would never tell a mother with a kid in in a wheel chair, "Oh, walking is so much better than sitting around all day. You really should let your son get up and move around". So why all the guilt about nursing?

That is my rant.


To Each His Own

1 comment:

  1. Amen. Amen and Amen. Mama milk good. Formula good. Soda pop bad.