To Breastfeed or Not to Breasfeed


I read an article about the New Zealand La Leche League protesting a picture of a dad feeding his baby daughter a bottle.  The picture was part of a PSA ad for not smoking.  The ad ended with the man saying he wouldn't smoke because he has a baby in his house and then he feeds his baby a bottle.

The LLL decided this was not the proper message that needs to be sent out to New Zealand and they pressured the government to edit the ad and remove the feeding.  They think that by showing a father feeding his baby a bottle in an ad completely un-related to breastfeeding it will somehow sully the message that breast is best.

Never once did LLL consider for a moment that it really isn't their fucking business why this man is feeding his baby a bottle.


This man's baby drinks from a bottle because she had a hard time taking to the breast.  What the hell were her parents supposed to do??

I'm pretty pissed off about this one, because I had two kids who tried the breast and it wasn't a good fit for either of them or myself.  For our family, breast was not best.

I am well-endowed.  I have what some would call "a rack."  I am stacked.  I have enormous ta-tas.  All my life I've carried these babies around in beige/black/or white granny looking over the shoulder boulder holders.  I've never owned a pretty bra, because they just don't exist in Double J or whatever size the current store I'm in decides to call it (they're all different which makes it fun when I would like to buy a new bra from a store I've never been in before).  I can't run without hitting myself in the face with the girls.  I have back pain at the end of the day from dragging these puppies around.  I have endured years of taunting, leering, and "accidental" feel ups, not to mention just plain truly accidental bumping/grazing/grabbing-because-they-are-always-in-the-way-feel-ups.

I endured this because I was certain that with knockers like these I would be able to nourish my children until they could ask for seconds.  "More please, Mommy," I imagined my future 5 year old saying.  I imagined I'd harvest my milk and give it to the less fortunate.  Surely that's why I had these ridiculous melons, right?!

This kid could barely suck a tube,
forget the boob.
What I did not expect was a premature 5 lb baby with the mouth the size of my pinkie and no suck reflex.  Gomer couldn't nurse even if he wanted to.  We did everything we could to help him latch on and nurse.  We fed him through a tube so he wouldn't get "nipple confusion."  My pediatrician was bound and determined to get Gomer on the boob so we clipped his tongue, because he was tongue tied and the doctor thought that might have something to do with why he couldn't latch.  I consulted my breast feeding wunderkind moms (I truly have a friend who could make soup and breastfeed at the same time and another friend who could casually lay on the couch and nurse while she dozed.  AH-MAY-ZING).  We paid hundreds of dollars to meet with a lactation consultant several times and this what I learned I would need to nurse my baby:

A sturdy, supportive chair with a back to sit in while I nursed.
A stool to rest my feet on since I'm so short.
A Boppy to rest the baby on.
A homemade sling to go around my neck and under my breast to hold my giant breast up, because I didn't have three hands and my boob was going to crush Gomer's tiny head if it wasn't held up.
A plastic shield to place over my abnormally large nipple so Gomer could latch onto something smaller with his tiny bird mouth.
A second person to monitor Gomer and assure me that Gomer was indeed sucking and swallowing every now and again.  (This one wasn't really required, but by this point I was fucking insane and worried constantly that my baby was going to starve to death, because I couldn't get my gargantuan boobs to work properly.)

There was no fucking way I'd ever be able to wear one of those cute nursing tops where you can magically nurse your baby out the armhole or where ever the fuck you nursed them from.  A Hooter Hider was never going to work for me.  I was never going to make soup and nurse at the same time.  I was never going to take a nap and nourish my child.  Nope.  I was going to have to nurse my baby in a room by myself with a suitcase full of paraphernalia that I would need to carry from one place to another.  (We actually bought a bigger car, because I was freaking out that I couldn't fit the carseat, the stroller, the diaper bag, and all the breastfeeding shit I needed in the car we had.)

We tried and tried, but Gomer and I just were not compatible.  He just didn't have the power to suck anything out of my enormous milk bags and he was losing weight and I was flipping out.  So I became Bessie the Cow.  I hooked myself up to a breast pump and sat there and listened to the mind-numbing rhythm of the pump (you know what I'm talking about) and watched my liquid gold slowly pass goal lines.  One ounce, two ounces, three ounces....I would actually cry if the Hubs accidentally spilled any when he took my bottles away and left me in peace to wipe myself up and let my girls "breathe" after being trapped in plastic cones for the past half hour.

We fed Gomer a bottle from then on and I suddenly became sane.  I could see with certainty and accuracy how many ounces Gomer was eating.  I could see the weight going on his little bony legs.  The relief that washed over me when I finally decided to stop trying to breastfeed was palatable.  Everyone around me relaxed - including Gomer.  The only one who gave me a little grief was the pediatrician.  I steeled myself for a confrontation with him, but in the end he backed down.  Even he could tell how fucking nuts breastfeeding had made me.  I was able to pump for several weeks and then we finally put him on formula.

When Adolpha was born, she was a normal sized, full term baby and I thought this time I would have a chance to breast feed her.  To be honest though, I was not near as confident this time around as I had been with Gomer.

I didn't need to worry, Adolpha could nurse like a champ.  In fact, Adolpha nursed so well, she'd suck me dry and wail for more.  No matter how much milk I produced Adolpha was still hungry (no wonder the girl is in the 100th percentile for height still).  With Adolpha I still had to use all my paraphernalia, except the nipple shield, and that made it impossible to leave the house and nurse her anywhere in public.

Since I was self employed, I didn't get paid maternity leave, so I needed to get back to work as soon as I could.  Adolpha had to go on a bottle so I could leave her with the Hubs.  I had to go back to my old friend the breast pump and we had to supplement her with formula to satisfy her.  Gomer was a happy, healthy, normal 2 year old at this time and so I felt so much better about putting Adolpha on formula.  After a few weeks, she also moved over to formula full time.

Of course breast is best, I'm not going to argue that it's not.  But I will say it's not always going to work for everyone and I'm sick and tired of the LLL making me feel like a complete and total asshole because I didn't breastfeed my kids properly/long enough/etc.  Why must they impose their agenda on all of us?

You know what our family did?  We did the best we could.  It just pisses me off that LLL thinks we could have done better.  Fuck you, LLL, we could not.  We fed our kids.  We kept our kids warm.  We didn't abuse them or hurt them.  We loved them and yeah, we fed them a fucking bottle of formula and I'm OK with that.  So back the fuck off, LLL because it is none of your business how I fed my babies.

In fact, I would argue that because our kids were bottle fed, the Hubs was compelled (OK, forced, but that's such a strong word) to take a much bigger role in caring for our babies.  The Hubs and I worked as a team.  I would get up in the middle of the night to pump and he got up to feed our babies.  The Hubs developed a bond with our kids by doing this.  He held our kids and fed them and cared for them and cared for me when we needed him most.  I was miserable hooked up to that machine, but it was all I could fucking do.  Of course I wanted to be the one to hold and feed my babies from my body, but I couldn't do that and I'm glad that the Hubs was there and was willing and able to step up and do that.

Why doesn't LLL use their clout and focus on the important topics like raising a fuss when FB doesn't allow pictures of breastfeeding moms or when stores ban breastfeeding moms?  These are the real problems LLL needs to focus on.  They could actually do some real good if they did that!

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344 comments:

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Anonymous said...

You rock, Jen!

Anonymous said...

Yes! You are right on! I love this.

Alicia said...

agreed....my 4 lb baby had no reflex either and was gavage fed for nearly 3 weeks....do what works and don't judge others....

Heather said...

Yeah, you and are were in the same boat. I tried to breastfeed both of my kids. I tried pumping, I saw a lactation consultant, I had all the "stuff" to lug around. It just wasn't right for us. They always seemed like they weren't getting enough milk and I was always miserable. It always annoys the shit out of me when people talk down to those who bottle-feed. My children are perfectly healthy and smart little humans after having formula! /gasp It's fine to promote "Breast is Best" because, nutritionally, it is, but they get GTFO of people's lives. Grrr...

Gwen @ The Bold Abode said...

Everyone has to do what is best for their own child. I went through some of the same things, and if I ever happened to have another, I tell my hubs that it would be bottles all the way. Breast is best, I agree, but it doesn't work out for everyone and thank God for formula or I would have lost my babies...

Mandy said...

AMEN! Breastfeeding Nazis scare women away from it!

Chicagomommy said...

Hi Jen! I am one of the masses that found you due to her friends sharing some of your hilarious posts via facebook. I spent most of yesterday catching up on all of your posts. You are fabulous! I say that because I, too, LOVE validation from complete strangers!

At any rate, thank you for this post. I was a mother who breastfed both of her children for 4 months and 6 months respectively. We didn't go longer because the girl (4 month-er) really was a daddies girl and after having had a similar start to yours (5# baby, ginormous knockers, pumped and then had Daddy feed her with a bottle) she really didn't tolerate me or the breast very well. We were both so much less stressed when she went to the bottle and I could get rid of the pump! My son was a 31 weeker and was in the NICU for 57 days (but who counts?!) and I pumped for him while he was there and he managed to catch on to nursing when he got home, but the kid was SLOW! He wanted to eat ever 2-3 hours and it took him at least an hour to nurse! And it didn't get any better! With a toddler that was only 20 months older than the baby, it's hard to explain why I was strapped to a chair and pretty much unable to move for a good part of our day. Again, relief when we switched to a bottle and formula. But both of those times relief was tinged with guilt because I was giving up nursing. It wasn't as if I couldn't do it, it was I didn't want to! It was making me miserable! But shouldn't a good mother put her own misery aside and do what's best for her baby? Hello OAM brainwashing!

Sorry for the epistle, but thanks for the post. So glad to know that someone else feels as strongly about this as I do!

Occupational Hazards of Parenting said...

I could not agree more with this blog. I posted a blog similar to this and got bombarded by the breast feeding moms that called me every name in the book, including "turd." Uhh.... They told me that I wrote the article (very similar to things written above) because I felt that I was a failure as a mother and it was my way to feel better about myself for not doing what was best for my girls. The truth of the matter is that I did what was best for myself in the situation. Maybe that seems a bit selfish, but if I was not able to function and was completely stressed out, it can only feed into the baby, making the baby feel anxious and stressed out. Being a mom and being a newborn is stressful enough....it's all about what needs to happen to survive. Good for you.

kwoods said...

AMEN sista. Went through all the same with my two...and guess what? They are amazing boys, 13 and 4. Straight A's from the first day of school, excellent readers and productive members of society. I pumped and was lucky to get an ounce out. My boobs were not going to produce no matter what I did or how much water I drank. I tell new mothers all the time, try to, if it does not work then dont let others make you fell like shit. Do what you need to do to make it work for you and your babies. Fuck the rest of them.

Lindzie said...

I had some issues with breastfeeding as well. And when I saw issues, I mean it was just not going to happen. Baby #1 came - I was all for breastfeeding. But then the soreness came in. I wasn't getting her to latch on, no matter what I tried. It just plain old hurt. Tried to pump but I realized, baby wasn't getting enough and after having to pump every 2 hours, I just needed my sanity. Well, I got pregnant with baby #2 and I was for sure going to breastfeed. He came was latching on great, but back came that pesky soreness. After 2 days!? I asked myself. I decided that I needed my sanity or everyone was going to be crazy in my household. Therefore formula was my answer. Thank goodness for that. Did I feel guilty both times? Yes. But I'm so grateful as you said, that bottle feeding allows for my husband to help me. This is what I needed most. Call me selfish, but if I was going to be a good mom, I needed to take care of me first and then the babies. And I am much better off because of bottle feeding.

TM said...

Holy Crap! I did not think I (and my huge knockers & my now healthy, happy eight year old who had failure to thrive and little bony legs)could love any more than I already did! Hit.the.freakin'.nail...

Jennifer H said...

When people would ask me if breast is best, well of course it is! But I would never make anyone feel bad for bottle feeding because my first child was bottle fed due to she wasn't a good latcher at all and even my mom who is a mother-baby nurse couldn't help this poor girl out! So I agree, it's totally what is best for the whole family. A new mom is already stressed out from having a new baby and breastfeeding complications just make you that much more crazy! Ha funny you mention the big ta ta's and think they make more milk...so wrong! I too, feel I'm well endowed and I could just barely keep up with my second child! Smaller boobies definetly make more milk! So all the women who hate their small ta ta's, I feel that's one advantage you have over us big chested ones! :)

meridiansmom said...

YES! We tried SO hard too - our problems were different, but also miserable. Was it better to not hold my child except when I was crying from pain while feeding her, because when I wasn't feeding her even the slightest brush of a nipple was crippling, or to hold her close and snuggly and feed her from a bottle? I'm SO fed up with LLL and others who implied I didn't try hard enough, when in reality, I should have given up a lot sooner and enjoyed my precious infant. Even the stupid can of formula says "Of course breast milk is best" Thanks, cuz I needed to hear that AGAIN, Similac.

Anonymous said...

First, kudos to you for trying & giving your kids as much breast milk as you could. Ever little bit is so amazing. I do have to say though that formula companies have millions of dollars invested in advertising. So what if one small group is raising a stink the other way. Not sure that it's the way o get people breast feeding, but worth a try. I had to stop breast feeding my 4th at 4 months. It was devastating, but I sure I'd get way more acceptance or bottle feeding than I ever did breast feeding.

Lissa said...

It's very early in the morning to have almost peed myself already! Thanks for the chuckle and for sharing your story. I also have ridiculously PITA ta-tas! lol The LLL pisses me off too and I was/am (month 11) able to breast feed my kids. I take offense to their being offended by a father feeding a child a bottle. I LOVE that my husband is willing and able to feed our children too! Why on earth would we do anything to discourage our men from being involved in our babies lives and care?? STUPID! The LLL is a great idea, but I think their mission has gone off the deep end. As long as a mother is doing the best for her baby that she can, everyone else needs to back the hell off!

Kladd said...

I went through all of this too. I'm well endowed and all 3 of my tots could not get the hang of it. I was a ball of emotions all of the time because of the pressure LLL puts on a mom. Sometimes BFeeding just doesn't work. Thank you for writing this blog and making us feel better and not alone on this topic!

Mandy said...

Also, I have had many many people comment on how smart and amazing my 8 year old daughter is. She walked and talked very early, and has above average intelligence. She has also rarely been sick, a few colds over the years and ONE bout with the stomach flu. She was also totally formula fed *GASP*

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister!

Anonymous said...

You go! I can always tell how worked up you get about an issue based on how many F-bombs you drop. Note: I'm still working on getting you into the bathroom with me so I don't have to read more "People" and 18 pages on the Whitney Houston funeral.

Fondly - A fellow mom with perfectly functioing bottle-fed kids.

Andrea Boring said...

Wow, I wish I had enough balls to say this to a couple of friends of mine. Maybe I'll just accidentally share it on their facebook pages. My boys (now 3) were born 12 weeks early. I pumped and pumped like a champ. Every night while they were in the hospital I woke up every 3 hours to pump. We could never get the nursing down because when they were ready (about 4 weeks old) they were still attached to all this shit in the NICU. We would have to unhook everything, weigh them, hook them back up, spend forever trying to get them to latch, they unhook, weigh and rehook. Only to find out they got like 1/2 an ounce. 1/2 a freaking ounce. I got so stressed and then I heard the rumor floating around the NICU that bottle babies go home faster. Done, bottle babies they were. I had a few friends who were not to supportive and then a few months later when I made the decision to stop pumping voiced their disapproval. I never said anything, I lacked the confidence of a new mom. I sure as hell would now! Anyhow, sorry for the rant!

[email protected] said...

I'm 58. Born before baby formula existed! I was fed carnation evap. Milk diluted with water. Not only did i LIVE my brain developed enough that i was able to skip first grade. When I had my children in the 70's, i was sent a lactation nurse but there was zero pressure put on me to breastfeed. LLL and everybody else who feels the need to make new mothers feel somehow "less" if they don't breastfeed need to mind their own business. Period.

Jaime said...

My son was 1lb 10oz when he was born. I pumped for as long as I could while he was in the NICU, then I finally said, "Either I pump and go insane, or we go to the bottle and I can care for him." Guess what won out.

I still remember the sound of that damn pump.

And guess what! My 9 yr old is completely healthy and my 7 yr old, who never had breastmilk, is too!

So, hey LLL...SUCK IT!

[email protected] said...

New mothers have enough to deal with without this crap. I breastfeed all my babies for a while, quit when i wanted to. End of story

Cricket of Tripping Tuesdays said...

I breastfed both of my children. I guess I was lucky because I didn't have any latch-on problems to start with. However, I have breast implants and when the milk came in full force in the first few days, my skin stretched as far as it would go, turned red, and my nipples cracked and bled. Breastfeeding hurt so bad, but I kept at it. I am a granola, I guess (only a halfsy at the time), and it was important to me. Once I made it to the 3rd week, things started to settle down, the milk coming in was just right for what my child needed. Yes, it's hard for some moms. It was hard for me, too. Very painful to start. In the end, it was rewarding. I'm glad you got to BF your second. I'm also glad that dad got to feed too. I let my hubs do the same thing when I went back to work with my 1st (I stayed home w/my 2nd). It's important for dad to get "father" bonding time with the babies. Good for you.

Insane3 said...

Breast may be best, but it's not for everyone. I resent people shoving this opinion (and it is an opinion) down my throat. I bottle fed all three of my beautiful, healthy, honor students, by choice! Breast feeding did not appeal to me for many reasons, of which I don't feel I need to justify to anyone. Both of my husbands siblings breastfed and all of my nephews have massive allergies and numeral health issues. So really, how did their mothers do any better for them than I did for mine. Who, by the way haven't had any issues aside from the normal childhood colds?! Sorry about the rant, I cannot abide judgement. Especially when it revolves around personal preferences. Why would anyone have the right to say they are better than anyone else just because they breast fed?! That just Pisses me off!

Cassie said...

I agree with you on this fully. My firstborn couldn't nurse at first and we tried everything. I too made myself crazy with anxiety, self criticism and doubt. After a huge struggle and even bigger emotional roller coaster he could nurse well enough and I was able to nurse him for months, but it was always work to keep him nursing. I was not able to multi task because of all the paraphernalia. 2 years later, along came my daughter, now she could nurse. She hunkered right down and got to business only she had some health problems and after about a week couldn't keep my breast milk down. She threw up, Linda Blair in the exorcist style, every time she nursed and then would scream until she had more milk. But she would nurse me dry and I couldn't help her, and she was going to throw it up anyway. So after trying everything we could, we had to supplement with formula. It broke my heart, but se loved it, kept it down and quickly became a happier, calmer baby. I felt soooo guilty that my son nursed for months and my daughter only a couple of weeks. I had some friends at the time who were part of LLL and they constantly added to my guilt with comments and suggestions and looks. It got worse when my daughter started having ear infections, and other repeated illnesses. The constant comments about how much healthier breatfeed babies were etc.
While I separated myself from them, I still carry some lingering guilt. Especially since my son almost never gets sick and my daughter will catch everything going around and it hits her hard. I truly don't understand why other mothers, and women in general are our own worst enemies. Especially those LLL and Bradley method women.

josmomma said...

Right on, Jen-- who died and made the LLL judge? And how do they know the dad isn't feeding his baby breast milk from that bottle?

Donna said...

I cannot thank you enough for writing this because this is EXACTLY how I feel and Lord help you if you voice your opinion on such a topic because if you do you'll need to watch your back for fear you're going to be jumped by THESE crazy moms! As if being a mom isn't hard enough, these days they make it REALLY HARD! I got ridiculed for not breast feeding (I worked full time, and it was my damn choice), putting disposable diapers on my child, not wiping down every fucking surface they come in contact with with antibacterial wipes, sending him to daycare, the list goes on. It's NO ONE's damn right to tell ME how to raise MY child or to make ME feel less of a parent for doing what I decide to do. When I read the news article I was furious, and I wondered (just like you did) why they were wasting their time on this when there's so much for for them to put their 'efforts' into?! Ugh. Anyway, thanks for the article and always for the laughs! You're GREAT!!!

QuarantinedKiddos said...

Breast is best. Made by nature. Made for your baby. But life isn't perfect and we are no longer locked in a Darwinian battle of evolution in which a baby and mom who are unable to make it work have to watch the poor suffering stressed out baby waste away to nothing and die. I'm actually working to become a lactation consultant and everyone asks if I'm going through LLL. Hell to tha no! I want moms who want to nurse to have all the care and information they need. That's it. Not breastfeeding out of ignorance makes me sad, not breastfeeding because it just doesn't work for whatever reason for your family situation is a choice for that family and not for anyone else to judge. You gave it a lot more effort then most would have!

PS - I love your blog soooo much. Thanks for keeping it up!

Anonymous said...

I actually began to cry reading your post and remembering the frustration, fear and exhaustion that came with trying to breast feed my first baby...and that was 13 years ago. The relief that came from watching her drink from the bottle was overwhelming. We all know what we make is better than anything (man :) made, and that breast feeding is the best for a baby. But we all have to do what works for our family, and we are the ONLY ones who know what that is!

Becky said...

I am right there with you!! I had twins. My son simply could not latch, he was 4 lb 3 oz and just to weak. My daughter could but I was not able to produce enough milk for both. I was breastfeeding my daughter, pumping and supplementing my son. There was simply no break for me and I was seriously suffering from lack of sleep. I would break down in tears several times a day. My daughter had reflux, so she wasn't a happy baby. I finally caved and put them both on sensitive formula and wow what a difference! I could turn them both over to my husband when he came home from work and crash for 4-5 hours straight until he came to bed. That was when I started to enjoy my babies. Breast is Best only if it makes you a better parent. If it makes you a crazy person, go buy a can of formula and pat yourself on the back for doing what is best for the family.

Kelly Wenck said...

I hate that an organization that is supposed to be "good" ends up being so narrow minded that they make mothers in your situation feel the need to explain themselves. I get where you are coming from in this post, but I feel terrible that you needed to put it out there to defend yourself and others. You know what I mean? Why should mothers have to explain their parenting choices to ANYONE else? Are you caring for your baby in the best way you can? Yes? Then no explanation needed. It's not a question of whether or not breast is best. It's just none of their fucking business.

Anonymous said...

YOU ROCK MY WORLD. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS.

PS- my enormous boobs clinincally did not produce milk for my first baby. so the lactation consultant gave my a thyroid medicine prescription from no other place than new zealand (which only one pharmacy in NYC carries) which had a side product of producing milk. Um, thank you NO. That baby and the two that followed were all bottle fed and are smart, loving, kind and amazing kids. To hell with the crazies

Brandy said...

I'm right there with you... My hubs was deployed at the time... No latching on, inverted nipples, gigantic afraid your baby is going to smother boobs... Pump feed eat sleep! I only could do it for a month and I too felt like a failure! Thank you!!

Bill and Melodie said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You don't know how bad I have wanted to ask you for THIS post. Its not only LLL, but THOSE moms too. I HATE it when these moms, who "exclusively breastfed" their child until they were 5 (which I think is a bit much) try to make us "formula" moms feel like crap for feeding our babies. I tried breastfeeding, and guess what, my babies didn't gain weight. They continued to drop ounces day after day, while I cried because I couldn't provide what my baby needed. So, I supplemented and both nursed and formula fed my babies until 8 months when I switched to only formula. They are healthy, happy, smart children. They are NOT overweight, they DO NOT "crave sugar", and those "exclusively breastfed" babies are NOT smarter than my children. In fact, mine NEVER experienced nipple confusion either, so maybe they are smarter! YOU moms, STOP! stop trying to make us even crazier than having a baby already does, you are not a better mom than I and I am not a bad mom for giving my child formula.

luvgreen said...

Yup, brings back the old memories. My sister is your size and couldn't nurse her little peanut either without smothering. Terrible irony. She never tried as hard as you did and she regretted it. Good on ya.

CrAzYmOmMa said...

I completely agree with you! I had the same terrible time trying to breastfeed my first. I felt like the Worst Mother EVER!! Then, my saint of a mother-in-law came over one night after about three weeks of hell and told me it was okay. I was not a bad mother if I decided to bottle-feed. She gave me some great advice and I will be forever grateful to her for that. After we made the decision to go ahead and feed him with the bottle, our life was so much easier. My baby was happy, I was happy, and like you, the hubs stepped in to help out and was the most amazing husband and father. People would look at me when I was out with my son and wasn't breastfeeding like I had committed a mortal sin and was going straight to hell. I didn't care. They had NO idea what I had gone through physically, mentally and emotionally trying to breastfeed so screw them! When number two was born a year later and I knew I was going back to work, we didn't even bother with the breast. And guess what? BOTH of my boys are healthy, strong, smart, nurtured, confident teenagers!!

Babble Blog said...

Where do I sign up for this punch-fest? Two premies. Milk didn't come in...AND I have a chronic health condition which required me to immediately return to medication I had stopped during pregnancy. Breastfeeding was never an option for me. My formula fed babies are in the Gifted Program at school; healthy; and happy. Breastfeeding pushers need to close their mouths and take a look at reality.

Kelly said...

Thank you for this! I tried breast feeding both of my kids without much success, and I made myself crazy trying to make it work. Every time I would try to breast feed or pump my mood would change and I turned into a total shrew. My husband could take one look at me and know I had failed miserably with another round of breast feeding or pumping and I was beating myself up about it. I did the best I could but the bottle ended up being the only thing that kept me sane and kept my kids fed. They are happy and healthy (my son has some kind of bionic immune system like you've never seen)and I was a much better mom after I let myself stop breast feeding. I am sick to death of people who try to make those of us who choose to use bottles and formula feel like failures as parents.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. When I had my daughter I felt like a failure first because I had to have a C-section and second because I had to bottle feed. And those nazi lactation consultants were horrible. I physically could not breast feed...I had no milk. I found out after my baby wouldn't stop screaming and rushed to the pediatrician that said this baby is starving....he asked if he could give her a bottle..hell yeah! Then I bottle fed her and lo and behold realized I had no milk...my boobs did not swell up , did not leak anything out nothing...not a drip. I felt so horrible that when Ihad my second baby...I bottle fed immediately at the hospital. I was very assertive about it, so I received no flack from anyone and lo and behold ...no milk again. I hate when people try and tell me what's good for me and my family...you don't know me. The looks I got for pulling out a bottle...yikes, with the first one it bothered me but with #2 I just didn't give a crap!

Ashley said...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for posting this. I feel like I am reading my own breastfeeding story here. I also have ginormous boobs and was so disappointed when I wasn't able to produce enough milk to feed a third world country! I feared smothering my kids if I would accidentally doze off during a night feeding.

Cordelia said...

i had a similar experience with my first and i was able t b'feed my second. i will say that lll is a bunch of volunteers who are trying to be helpful so lets not hate all of them because of a few wackos in new zealand who clearly do not have enough going on in their lives.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to tell you a secret...I never even TRIED to breast feed. I was insecure and uncomfortable about it, and there are times (later) that I regretted it--because I have a daughter with celiac disease and I read that if I had breast-fed her she may not have developed it--but ultimately, despite the nasty looks from the hospital nurses and the doctor, I stand by my choice. After I had my daughter (2 weeks late, induced, breech, emergency c-section!) I had awful post-partum, but hid it well. My brother died 3 months later, and I down-spiraled into full depression. My daughter was the only thing that kept me from taking a pair of scissors and jabbing them up and down my arms. I drove my husband crazy, because he didn't know what was wrong, and I took every wrong look the completely wrong way. I KNOW that if my daughter had had trouble breast feeding, even for a moment, or if I had to stop feeding her when I finally went on (much-needed) post-partum depression meds, I would have felt like a failure, and I would not be alive today. I think of that EVERY TIME the LLL makes a statement against formula or every time someone looks down on someone who bottle feeds.

Savanna said...

I tried nursing all 3 of mine. My oldest (a boy) was just too slow and lazy and pretty much wanted to use me as a pacifier. It lasted 3 weeks and then I pumped Til he was about 3 months. The middle (a girl) cried and cried and cried and cried from the time her eyes opened in the morning Til she fell asleep a night for almost the whole first year. We had to put her on soy formula. The 3rd (a girl) was an excellent nurser...but...she just wasn't satisfied and cried a lot in the first few weeks. I was very sad to give up on nursing her but as soon as we put her on a bottle and a gentle formula she became the happiest baby ever! I'd like to have one more child and I've already told my husband I may not bother nursing it. (although I probably will...haha!) I don't think it's right that breast feeding nazies try to make mothers who choose/need to bottle feed feel bad. It's none of your business how I feed my child. And although lactation specialist are amazing at helping you and your baby succeed at nursing...you have to listen to yourself and follow cues from your baby.

SchulzNYAdventure said...

Thank you for this post! We are going through this right now.

I tried to breast feed my 3 year old and my large lady lumps just weren't having it. After my last appointment with the lacatation consultant left me scared for life. Her dry, smoke-smelling man hands and her uncanning similarities to one of Marge Simpson's sisters had me running out for formula right after the appointment. (She basically told me that Oliver wasn't getting enough milk. Thanks Captain Obvious!)

Now Miles has arrived and breast feeding is working, but I am not a fan... at all. My giant 40 "Huges", as my own dad called them, are always out and I still need to supplement afterwards. And I need a shield and all this other crud. I've tried pumping, but it takes FOREVER! Plus, my three year old walks by and moos when I'm doing it... WTH... I have two more weeks to hit my goal of six weeks and I will be happy with that!

Again, thanks for this post. Nothing gets me going more than a close-minded breast feeder!!

Zoe said...

Right on! I can't believe the LLL had an issue. Wouldn't they be happy there is an advertisement showing a dad helping out?

What about adopted babies? They are not breast fed. They bond just as well with their new parents. I'm adopted and I was not breast fed. I was rarely sick as a child, have minor seasonal allergies, and still rarely get sick when my co-workers are sick.

Yes, breast milk is best, but if you can't, don't beat yourself up over it. What's most important is how you raise your child to live in society.

Tekglr33 said...

I totally agree with the LLL. Smoke 'em if you got 'em but never ever ever use a bottle. Maybe they would have approved of a woman breastfeeding with a big ole ash hanging over her kids head.

This argument drives me insane. I'm a breast is best Mom. I think it's best for everyone but I realize the only person I can actually decide that for is me. It might not be best for other people in their view. I was lucky to not have problems but I remember the night after I had my son and I couldn't sleep I listened to the woman across the hall from me freaking out hysterical ALL NIGHT LONG because her kid wouldn't latch on. I really felt bad for her and I hated to tell her to give up but she was just getting nowhere. How much of a benefit is it to the baby if the person trying to breastfeed it is an anxiety ridden stress ball every time it tries to eat. I'm not saying try once and quit but if (whatever the reason is) it doesn't work for your family then the best thing to do is make the decision to feed how you will and not have to deal with guilt about it.

We did breastfeeding or pumping as I was returning to work and at about 6 months I supplemented as it's hard for me to work a 12 hour shift as a nurse and be able to pump every couple of hours. By 8 months I was stressing about pumping and only bringing home enough for about 1 bottle. At that point (though I know even one breast milk bottle would probably be a bonus) I bailed. I definitely think I was a better Mom after making that decision because I was more sane and less milk obsessed. I definitely think breast milk is the best but not at the expense of having an insane stressed out Mommy.

Natalie said...

I love how the LLL always uses the defense of "what would happen in the caveman days" well guess what, the baby would die then wouldn't it. I bet they didnt think of that one. However, since we have modern technology now we are able to prevent that. Thats why the infant death rate isnt as high as it probably was back then. I was only able to breast feed for a week after my 1st daughter was born becasue I broke out in a rash all over my body and finally after trying to deal with it without steriods for the first week I gave up. I then had to pump for a whole month and a half while I was on a large dose of steriods that were not able to get ride of the rash until weeks later and by the time that happened the pumping and dumping wasnt working so well so I finally just gave up. Im sure the LLL would have rather me keep the rash that at one point covered my whole body and constantly iched and possible for all I know could have spread to the baby and continued to brest feed. Thats because their crazy!
Natalie

Casey G said...

Thank you for writing this! I am blessed to have been able to have breastfed both of my girls until they were one (and could've fed an army on top of that..). But, I HATE, HATE, HATE the "stigma" that LLL and other people/organizations place upon bottle feeding. I have known so many women that have struggled and downright suffered to continue breastfeeding just because of the social pressure attached to it. It worked for me, and I feel very lucky because of that...but I pass no judgment upon any one else in a more difficult, or just different, situation. Thanks for getting this out there in a humorous, but straightforward way! I love your blog!

Just Another Day said...

I remember the first night in the hospital after having my first child. I could hear the girl in the next room sobbing all night and frustrated that her baby wouldn't breastfeed. I felt awful for her. Is this really the stress we need to put a new mother and child through? I agree, breast is best, when it works.
Both of my children were bottle fed and are happy, healthy children. My daughter has missed 2 days of school in 4 years. My son has missed 3 days in his 8 years of school. I don't agree with any group that tells any woman what they should be doing with their body. Everyone is different.

Mandy said...

Guess I can't shut up today, but I had to comment again. Why is LLL so pissed about a bottle when they aren't even sure what's IN the bottle?? After reading all these other commenters' stories, it made me wonder. Maybe it was breastmilk in that bottle? If so, then LLL is saying that dads can't care for their children! Do they mean to say that BREAST is best or that breastMILK is best?? If the baby is getting breastmilk, does it really matter what kind of receptacle they are eating it from? Why pitch a fit over this?
I personally don't think how you feed your child matters. Breastmilk or formula, either one will do the job just fine. I know too many sickly allergy ridden EBF babies/children and too many very healthy formula fed babies/children to truly believe that breast is best and your child won't be as healthy or smart if you formula feed.
So anyway, sorry for clogging up your comments with all my ramblings, but this is an issue I am passionate about, just on the opposite end of the BF nazis! Formula FTW!!!

Abby said...

Thanks Jen! I breastfeed my 5 mo old but from the beginning I planned to give her a bottle too because I wanted my husband to be able to feed her too. We even gave her a bottle at only 1 week old because when my milk came in, oh lord did it come in!! She has never had problems with nipple confusion and she gets formula too, 2-4 oz a day. And you know what? If anyone is judging me, I DON'T CARE! You have to do what is best for you and baby!! Thanks again!!

Kristen said...

When my daughter was born, I had every intention of breastfeeding her. I even had my school district replace the blinds in my classroom so I could pump at lunch in peace. But, when she came, everything changed. Due to my douchebag doctor and a long story, I was put on antibiotics for 5 days (IV antibiotics mind you for 24 hours for 5 days straight) and they caused my milk to start drying up before imwas out of the hospital. The lactation consultant, who happened to be a neighbor of my parents, basically forced me and guilted me into trying to breastfeed. Hubby rented the pump, we took our contraption and tubes and everything home and I would pump and pump and pump. I would get 3 ounces TOTAL at a time. We had no choice but to supplement with formula. I did this for 3 weeks, cried all day, everyday about how I was failing my daughter (not to mention the aftermath of almost dying thanks to said douchebag) and felt like I was going to go insane. After 3 weeks, I told hubby that this was fucking ridiculous, we bought the expensive formula and that was that. I dried up in about 3 days and life started to get better. My daughter is 5, wicked smart and was well loved and cuddled without the boobs!

Unknown said...

I really get sick of the a-hole moms that think if you don't breastfeed, you are hurting or even killing your child. There can be a million reasons why a parent chose not to breastfeed. I chose not to breastfeed and my kids are perfectly healthy. Breastfeeding Nazi moms need to mind their own business and shut the fuck up!

Kristy said...

LLL needs to choose their battles more wisely or they will become another wing-nut ultra-extreme group that no one will listen to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU! As a young mother (18) I tried breast feeding but after only 3 days the nipples were, ehem, UNHAPPY. I though to myself, "I like my nipples right where they are." So the boy got formula. You know what? He lived! He not only lived, he thrived and is now an Honorable Soldier in the US Army! Yes, breast is best, but family sanity rocks! Again, thank you for lashing out at LLL for all of us. In fact I wish my son's father would have participated in feedings! Adrienne B

Tiffany said...

THANK YOU! I have two 100% bottle-fed girls who couldn't be more healthy. Okay, my two-year-old occasionally tries to eat the couch, but I don't attribute that to having been fed formula.

When I was pregnant with my first, I was told that yes, breast is best, but bottle-fed kids spit up less and sleep through the night faster. Sold. Healthy kids are my top priority, but my sanity is a close second.

Elizabeth said...

I nursed both of my kids through tremendous difficulty. I faced most, but not all, of the problems you describe. In the end I got over the hump and did end up nursing successfully for a year with each of them. But because of the difficulties I did face, I would never, ever judge someone for not nursing. I know first-hand the suckage (no pun intended) it can present.

That said... the service that LLL does provide is to attempt to remove some of the stigma from those of us who DO nurse. I can't tell you how many people told me it was disgusting, not necessary, inappropriate, blah blah blah. And I saw many people not even try to nurse for those reasons, which is unfortunate.

Finally, I think that people who have an easy time nursing are very much the exception, and that is not information shared with most new moms. And so they enter into the experience thinking it should be easy and feeling like they are a failure if it is not. That, IMHO only, is a disservice to pregnant and new mothers.

The best thing we can do is stop judging another mother's choices. Support her through the difficulties and realize that ALL mothers are doing the best they can.

mrskristinmoore said...

I agree with you.. my baby was formula fed from day 1.. he was almost 10 lbs when he was born and now is a healthy, happy, thriving 19 lb 5 month old. I have lupus and have to be on meds daily that I stopped taking while I was prenant (that was a really rough pregnancy) and started my meds again after he was born. I felt that he didn't need to be exposed to any of my meds that kept my body functioning. I love the fact that my hubby can bond with our baby during feeding. I really hate the looks I get when we pull out the formula to feed our little guy. Like we're bad parents because I'm not breastfeeding.

Megan said...

I don't like LLL because they make it seem so easy. It's really not. It's not like your kid is going to pop out and latch on and you are going to dance on rainbows forever. And in the big scheme of things is it going to affect your child into adulthood? Probably not.

But on the other side.... (flame away kids, I can take it)breast is best and if you don't know all the reasons before you have a kid then you shouldn't be having one. I'm not going to list them, we all have google. By breastfeeding you're doing what's best for your child. And reasons like "we had to lug so much stuff" and "my boobs hurt" are excuses. Rarely is there a legitimate excuse for not breastfeeding (aside from a drug addiction). You can pump, nipple confusion can be overcome, lots of women with big boob nurse fine (Letter H here!)and once you get the hang of it you don't need the stuff. Just admit it was inconvient for you so you quit. Don't go blaming it on your baby because if your baby could master a bottle, they could master nursing. You aren't going to hell, no one is going to call CPS on you, and the LLL can barely organize a local meeting let alone a mob with torches.

MissSeattle70 said...

And the LLL has no idea what is IN that bottle. It could be pumped breast milk. And the fact that the father is there...feeding his child is a good message to send anyway. These people need to take a chill pill and mind their own business.

Suzie said...

I started reading your blog with the naughty elf articles and I have fallen madly and deeply in love with you and (almost) all that you write. I, too had a preemie and struggled with breast feeding. I pumped for 7 months (hell on earth). I was unable to nurse my second because of medication I was taking and I nursed my 3rd for 13 months. Judgement should never be passed for we outsiders have no idea what each individual mom is going through and what has impacted her decision to feed her baby this way or that.

Lisa Bohn said...

Um...maybe the bottle that the dad was feeding her in the ad was full of BREAST MILK?!

Jen said...

Wow, that's a rather appalling message, I'd say! I breastfed all my kids and between me and frozen breastmilk, there was no formula used ever. However, breast was not a great fit for my 3rd child and I was in so much pain most of the time. I remember 3 episodes of raging mastitis that had gone systemic and left me puking with a high fever. I can't help but look back and think about what an idiot I was for not switching to formula. He would have been just fine and I would not be scarred for life - literally.

ckrasowski311 said...

Dude. Even as a "successful" breastfeeder (we did it for a full year), I think that LLL's commentary is total hooey. Why can't a father take an active part in feeding his baby? Why would they assume that the bottle was full of formula? My husband delighted in feeding my son bottles of my milk--It was a great opportunity for him to bond with our son, and also for me to have a well-needed break from having that kid latched on my boob! P.S. Don't tell them that I actually gave my son formula from time to time so I could go out and have cocktails with my friends, you know...maintain a personal life outside of just being a cow...

Every family is different, and every child is different. I was happy that breastfeeding "worked" for my family, but I feel that it is completely up to each parent to make the decision of what's going to work best for them--I've had many friends like you, who were completely ruining their first weeks with their kids by stressing out over it so much, and in the end the bottle was just a better fit!

Twisted Tibits from Bitchburg said...

Oh Jen - you went there didn't you! Kudos! The LLL can go fuck themselves and all the other crazy ass do gooders who want to tell you whats best for your family.
I never breastfed, with the girl (now 8) I couldn't because I was on meds that passed through breast milk and for the boy (now 5) I didn't even consider it. I didn't have him until I was 43 and I sure as hell wasn't going to put anymore pressure on myself than I was already under. I was already old and didn't need to add stress to the mix.
I hate a hater and these judgmental, over-the-top, crazy beeatches need to MYOB. Seriously, who the fuck asked you!
As you can see this kind of shit, fires me up, it pisses me off when someone who doesn't know another person's situation tries to tell you what YOU should do. My usual response is who the fuck asked you, fuck you very much, or thank you, now you know what you can do? Go fuck yourself.

Mary garner said...

I have to say I honestly think that people who don't breastfeed get all mad about "breast is best" because they know deep down that they made the wrong decision....and it seems like they are still so guilty about it that thu chime in in posts like this to brag about how great their kids turned out DESPITE ther poor choice. I mean, no one in their right mind truly believes formula ( milk from another goddamn SPECIES) is better. Misery loves company. All of these comments prove it.

I'll sum it up for ya... Dear La leche league, please stop talking about how breast is best because it makes me feel guilty and deep down I know I didn't try hard enough.

Furtheron said...

Our second one wouldn't take to the breast so she was on the bottle. However one thing - it meant that I as father could feed her... actually isn't the message of a father being that actively involved in feeding his child a good thing to promote?

Mandy said...

The Nazis are here! Megan, kindly STFU before we ALL punch you in the throat!!! How DARE you tell a loving mother she shouldn't be having kids if she doesn't know ALL the reasons why breast is best! SHAME ON YOU! You are being just plain MEAN by your shaming of all these wonderful moms that just shared their stories! GO AWAY

Amanda said...

OMG, we had IDENTICAL breastfeeding experiences!!! Thank you for putting it into words!!!!!!!

Kathy said...

I had very similar problems and couldn't breastfeed either. I was never so happy and relieved as the day my husband went into the kitchen and got the little bottles of formula the hospital sent home with us and stuck the bottle in my first sons mouth. I assume the baby was happy too because after 4 hours of crying and trying to feed (on the advice of the breast feeding Nazis) he fell asleep content for 6 hours. Great if you can (and want to) breastfeed but some people can't - for whatever reason. It's none of anyones business how you choose to feed your babies.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I tried nursing when my son was born and I quickly realized why so many nursing moms become boob natzis. If they didn't convince themselves it was the only good choice and that it made them a "better" mom they would never stick with it. My son screamed for days when we brought him home. It dawned on me that he might not be getting enough food. We mixed a small bottle reluctantly and he chugged it. The crying stopped and I got a happy child in return. I continued to nurse and pump but never got more than an ounce. My cousin had a baby a week after me and she nursed. My child hit all milestones first and has been healthier. I am not saying breast isn't best but the guilt has to end. Mothers are damned if we do and damned if we don't and we are doing it to each other. Rediculous!

Anonymous said...

Breast is best, but only if it gets in their mouth. My olderst was 9 weeks preemie, just under 4 pounds. I pumped and she was fed thru a gavage tube until she could take a bottle. I had to wear one of those soft plastic thingies over my nipples so she could latch on. Eventually, she didn't need it, but I went back to work when she was 5 months, so that was it. My second breastfed until she was one. But she refused a bottle, sippy cup, basically anything besides a breast. This made it very hard to go anywhere without her. She got some kind of stomach virus at 5 mos and kept throwing up everything nursed. She was so dehydrated we had to admit her to the hospital for fluids (she wouldn't take water from anything except a syringe and that just wasn't enough). I finally got her to drink out of a straw cup, yep at 6 mos out of a straw cup.

You do what you have to and fuck everyone else. No one else is in your shoes.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to be able to breast feed both kids without issue. My issue was these crazy lll nazi's bombarding me like crazy in my hospital room. For F's sake leave me alone. I finally threatened them that if one more lll came into my room I would move to formula immediately. They stopped bothering me and we breast fed baby 1 for 6 months but I hd to go back to a stressful job so we went to formula and baby 2 for a year because I was home. Kind words and encouragemt were what I expected. What a got was a mean authoritative crazy train of weirdos in my room.

Heather said...

It's just like an airplane emergency-you have to put the air-mask on yourself first before you can help your children!

Anonymous said...

Well said, my friend. Well said.

allison said...

I think what sucks is that you feel you had to explain WHY you didn't breastfeed because otherwise, if you JUST formula fed, people would think you would be a bad mom. I feel the same way and have seen countless similar stories before. I have a similar story to yours after having a 4 lb 12 oz baby (who was born at 37 weeks.) She NEEDED calories and I couldn't just "hope" she was getting enough from her weak attempt at breastfeeding with a shield, etc. My breasts are small and "perky" (says the lactation consultant) which isn't easy either, especially with such a tiny baby. Needless to say, I stopped pumping and started exclusively formula feeding after a month. With my 2nd, I was able to breastfeed, but I decided that I couldn't do it full time, so I mixed in a bottle of formula here and there. When I went back to work full time, she got formula at daycare and I breastfed morning and night until I dried up after having a cold, at 5 months. I was happy with my compromise and it worked for us. My husband could help more and I had flexibility since I also had a toddler. Pumping is not easy, and there is no way that I could have pumped the way some people do. Thanks for this post, from all the other moms who had similar experiences.

Robyn said...

I breastfed both of my girls, one for 13 months and one for 14 months. It couldn't have been more perfect for us. They were both great at it, and after the initial "breaking in" period, all was good. I'm really lazy, and being able to stick a kid on the boob any time, day or night, rather than deal with bottles, was way easier, for us. It was also WAY cheaper. I don't judge anyone who feeds a baby from a bottle--I don't know their life. But I do wish everyone could have had it as easy as I did when it came to breastfeeding. We'd probably have healthier kids and moms, and far less waste in our landfills.

More importantly, I think the divide between breast and bottle needs to be eliminated. Nursing mothers are chastised for nursing in public (or, because there's nowhere else to do it, they have to do it in a PUBLIC BATHROOM), and even when I was around friends, I always felt like I had to disappear so I wasn't the elephant in the room with my boob out for display. Everyone knew what was happening under that coverup, and it really made people feel uncomfortable. So those of you who fed your babies bottles, hats off to you for going to all the effort and for (of course) taking care of your babies. But don't forget that those of us who breastfed get our share of grief, too, especially from the moms who didn't nurse and assume we're all "boob Nazis" (what a horrible term!).

{Fresh~Linen} said...

I always find it amazing when organizations feel they have the right to tell Mothers what's best for them and their babies. Everyone is unique in their situation, and will do what THEY think is best for their baby. Whether that's breastfeeding, pumping, formula, whatever. As mothers we already critize ourselves plenty, and constantly question whether the choices we make are the right ones. We dont need organizations(or other mothers) critizing those choices!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you. Same story here except mine went: giant baby, drowsy baby, giant baby, premature baby. All of them absolutely useless breastfeeders. And all of them fabulous, healthy, intelligent, ear infection-free children now. Every mom is trying to do their very best. I will go to battle for any breastfeeding mom who is sent to feed her newborn in a public toilet, but equally, don't look at me as if I'm poisoning my baby. Breast is best, but formula is fine. Big standing O for you Jen.
P.S. the blog is awesome.

Jennifer said...

I am 55. Breast fed all 3 kids easily. ...don't hate me. I thought it was easy for everyone until I became a mother infant nurse. It's easy for some and not for others. You have to do whatever is best in your situation . Oh and the granola Dad who think its okay to guilty their wife or force her into breast feeding. Argghhh DON'T unless you are also willing to have an 8 lb being emerge from some orifice in your body.

lorihokie said...

I had a nurse at the hospital where my first daughter was born, tell me (after a particularly frustration session with the lactation consultant), "Don't let those Breast Feeding Nazis harass you. You do what's best for YOU and YOUR baby and try not to get upset if you can't do what someone else tells you that you should do."

TLC said...

I can relate to this post! I also am quite well endowed up top. Breast feeding was extremely difficult for me. I wanted so badly to nurse my babies as long as I could. In hindsight, after the first couple weeks, the desire to continue was purely guilt driven. When I finally realized that nursing while weeping in excruciating pain isn't good for EITHER of us...I stopped and switched to formula. We were all SO much happier. Screw LLL or anyone who judges me for the way I decide to nourish my child. We did the best we could and what was right for our family. Period.

Anonymous said...

Thank You! I felt so guilty when breastfeeding didn't work for me.

Three Js said...

One word: YESSSS.

Seriously, thanks for all of us that tried so hard but for one reason or another couldn't nurse for one or two years and so aren't as "good" as all those other moms.

Mommylesa said...

I've never posted before, but I have to this time. I have a really strong opposition to the "breast is best" mantra that EVERYONE loves to spout. I had NO DESIRE to breast feed my kids so how would my kids be best served if I made myself breast feed when the thought of it absolutely held no interest to me? My kids were bottle fed from the beginning (kid #1 had to be taught how to suck, too!! And he was a full term baby, I blame that on the DH as his mom said he couldn't suck at birth either!!) and they both were/are now VERY HEALTHY kiddos. I don't care if someone wants to breastfeed, that is entirely a personal choice, but I get really hot when people try to tell me that I wasn't a good mother because I didn't breastfeed my kids. My children are well fed, loved, cared for and nurtured like the gifts that they are. (Please don't punch me for saying that, because they are gifts, but sometimes they are gifts that you'd like to return, ha-ha!!) My kids did not suffer because they didn't get the breast, in fact, I'm sure they benefited from having a mom that was *slightly* more relaxed regarding feedings, and I know they got more bonding time with daddy because he could feed them too.

Sorry for the rant. I LOVE your blog, and like many others, I think we were separated at birth. You have the *chutzpah* to say what the rest of us think. Please keep writing!!

Crystal said...

As someone who dealt with much of the same challenges with my kids, this post really hit home. It's nice to know there are other people out there who had similar experiences and are tired of being told they didn't "try" or do the "right" thing when it was literally all you did and tried to do 24/7 for months or weeks... whatever your situation. Not everyone is blessed with a simple situation where trying your best really will fix it, sometimes trying everything really doesn't yield results. Sometimes it just doesn't work for your family.

Mary Garner said...

agree, lazy parents give up. I admit there are SOME cases where people are ill and on medications of some sort that prevent nursing but otherwise, LAZY....and they love boards like this because deep down they know it!

Megan said...

First off, when you refer to me as a “nazi” are you comparing me to someone responsible for the torture and genocide of the Jewish people or are you comparing the suffering of the Jewish people to how you feel about people who think breastfeeding is awesome? Either way, that’s a classy move. Secondly, I didn’t say you HAVE TO breastfeed your baby. I just think you should research why breastfeeding is best before you hand off your breastfeeding duties to a cow. Or worse, feed them a by-product of making tofu. When you reduce it to WHAT you’re feeding your child, all that lugging around, nipple confusion and achy boobs doesn’t seem THAT bad. At least to me.

Anonymous said...

A legitimate excuse is that some women don't produce enough milk for their child, even when they're not drug addicts. As a single mother by choice I would attempt to breastfeed and then pump for an additional 20 minutes every feeding. It was all consuming and stressful. So breast is best is not always the case. There are studies on what stress does to infants as well. I tried for a long time to make it work, and as soon as I realized it was not going to happen both my baby and I were more relaxed and could bond in other natural, non-tense ways. We both were much happier. He is now a sharp, healthy, relaxed 4 year old.

Jenna @ Sharing My Jennarocity said...

I couldn't agree more with you on everything you've said. I almost defriended a friend on FB because of her incredibly judgemental rants she would go on about breastfeeding. I did breastfeed exclusively for 4 months, I did a combo of formula and breastfeeding till she was 6 months, then stopped breastfeeding completely after that. I was a full time working mom. It was so hard to always be worrying about sending her with milk, worrying that I would spill the small supply I had, etc that I just finally said it's not worth the stress I feel all the time. And these moms who are just gung ho breastfeeding are probably women who are stay at home moms or women who had tons of support in their community or women who had lots of other mommy friends to help them. There are women out there who are clueless and who have a hard time and who have no support system and women who just feel like it's best for their family and what right do these people have to judge? And not to mention these women who want to make everyone accept WATCHING them breastfeed. Yes, it's natural. We get it. But we don't need to see your boob in our faces when we are out eating dinner. Sorry, I am a woman who thinks breastfeeding is great, if it works for you! But I don't need you in my face about it!

KP said...

Like mothers don't have enough guilt on us for EVERY little thing we do!! We are constantly under the microscope...depending on who you ask we parent too much or not enough. I seriously went through HORRIBLE guilt because I couldn't breast feed...I couldn't even pump! I was a dry cow with cracked and bloody nipples. I'm so tired of self righteous people standing on their soap box and preaching intolerance!

Kathy said...

When the breastfeeding "expert" told me women have been breastfeeding since caveman days I replied "during the Civil War they lopped off people's legs with out anesthesia but that didn't make it right, it's just what they had available at the time". I hate that excuse!

Mary Garner said...

And one more thing...people who say "I know I wasn't making enough milk because my baby was crying and crying and then I gave him formula and he was happy" clearly have no idea how nursing works. Supply and demand. Nurse more. Its truly sad how little information most women get...and for this, I think La Leche League has the right idea. Being informed and knowledgeable is certainly the best way to go into it.

Crystal said...

Ditto!!!

Shelley in So. Illinois said...

I guess I am not friends with any boob nazis. Good thing. Even as a new mom to preemie sized quadruplets I think I would have had the guts to tell them to go sit and spin. My philosophy has always been that while breast is best, the 17 days of breast milk that I pumped out for my 4 was better than no breast milk at all. And if it doesn't work, then thank goodness we have science to support the moms who just can't. Walk in my shoes. Then we can talk what is 'best.'

Anonymous said...

As an adoptive mom obviously formula was the only choice.Then after I gave birth to my second child after a really rough start I breast fed for three months.that was all I could stand well both boys are A students and growing like weeds life's a crap shoot roll your dice and go with it!

Justin said...

Thank you for posting this. It really needed to be said. And believe it or not, the government is overreaching on the subject right here in the good 'ole U-S-of-A.

The day after my newborn daughter left the hospital, the state of Rhode Island passed some law or policy prohibiting hospitals from giving away free formula on your way out the door. This is under the guise that it'd promote breastfeeding. In reality, that's a load of crap. If you started out bottle feeding during the 2-3 days in the hospital (for whatever your personal or medical reasons are), why do they think stopping the flow of free formula is going to make women switch back? And what about the plenty of women who can't nurse??

All the policy really does is take more money out of a new parent's pocket. Instead of having a free supply of very expensive formula for the first month (provided by the manufacturer who's going to gouge you with prices later), you now have to run right to the store and plunk down the nearly $30 for a container. It's just senseless logic...

Courtney said...

When my first son was born, I produced no milk. Zero. The child was starved and the lactation nazis said that I could formula feed him while I pumped every two hours around the clock. They told me to set my alarm for every two hours at night so I could wake up and pump, even if the baby was sleeping. Then, when Robo-Baby didn't do the job of getting milk to come in, they insisted that I be put on an Rx called Reglan that has known psychological and neurological side effects. Finally, after my OB diagnosed my post partum depression (caused most likely from sleep deprivation and the medication), my OB told me that the best thing I coul do for my baby was give him his mommy back. He was formula fed from that day on! Today, he is a healthy, smart, and very tall 4 year old with a memory like no other. So fuck you to LLL and all you other lactation nazs! How about you stop making moms feel guilty and feel like shit for doing the best they can (that goes for you too, Gisele Bundschen).

Anonymous said...

I support breastfeeding, just not near me? ooooook!

Kerrye said...

We should be more GRATEFUL that we live in a time where there are alternatives available! My grandmother had a friend down the road with triplets, and she was not able to keep them all satisfied. So my grandmother, who was nursing her own son at the time, often lent a helping breast. It's a great story now, for my 70+ yr old dad to tell how he used to "share" with those 3 little girls... How blessed we are to have other options to nourish our babies!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't read all the comments above so someone else might have already said this, but what about women who have had breast cancer and can't nurse because they had to remove their breasts to save their life (or had chemo or radiation)? I had my first baby last August, and a month before he was born we attended our birthing class. I was really annoyed at how hard they pressured the women in there to breastfeed and the guilt they placed on them. The breastfeeding guilt trips need to stop. It took me a good 2 months before breastfeeding was normal (if it can ever be that) and didn't make me want to rip my nipples off.

Siobhan said...

I breastfed both my daughters until they were 1 yr old bc I wanted to and because I was able to. I despise judgement of others' choices. What works for one doesn't work for others and I don't understand why people can't just offer support to others', especially when it concerns mothers. We all know how it is and we all know we could use a little pat on the back as opposed to being told we're doing something wrong. I feel like the LLL crazies (as opposed to people in LLL who are just trying to help, not pressure) and others who bully and degrade mothers are simply trying to make themselves seem better, more important etc.

Anonymous said...

It's the same thing in NY. They used to give away free formula along with loads of coupons in a cute diaper bag. Not anymore, now it's a cardboard box with 1 diaper & assorted ads.

Crystal said...

Or... you can read some of the personal testimonies here, and see that some of us did. Some of us used a tube to feed our babies under the nipple shield, pumped before and after nursing to "increase" supply (per direction of our Lac Consultants), made it literally just about all we did -- in between diapers and all the normal rest. And, despite it all, then some of us just never had enough supply. It isn't a try = success formula for all of us. I am angry not for guilt (I gave myself enough, trying until I finally realized that spending 30 minutes and barely getting 2 oz for my baby was not helping either of us. You don't know the tears I cried over this, until my worn out body caught the flu and it literally killed the whole proposition off for us in 48 hours). I'm angry with Jen because people seem to sit on their high horse and dismiss all that effort and heartache in a wave and with a smartass comment "Dear La leche league... deep down I know I didn't try hard enough." You seem pretty self-righteous and unforgiving to those of us who gave it our all and more. Nothing would have given me more happiness than to feed my babies naturally for longer than a couple months, but my body did not allow it. If it were not for formula, my 35 week, 4 lb 6 oz daughter would not be here today.

Mandy said...

your exact words were:"breast is best and if you don't know all the reasons before you have a kid then you shouldn't be having one." How is it ok for you to tell women they shouldn't be having kids just because they chose a different way to feed them than what YOU think is right? So yep I think you deserve the Breastfeeding nazi label

Anonymous said...

My experience with "breast is best" leads me to a totally different hypothesis. That it really may not be. I say this because my personal experience and research says the opposite. Both of my children were bottle fed from birth and yes, I chose that route! Oooooo! Shame on me right? Whatever. Anyway, neither child had an ear infection until they were school age, neither child had to have tubes, breathing treatments or anything else that ALL of the kids of my breastfeeding moms had to have. Yep. My formula fed children were and are still the healthiest of the bunch and they are now 14 and 8. I have absolutely NO problem with moms who breastfeed. I think it is awesome! I do not judge people for how they feed their children! It wasn't for me and I resent the fact that people consider me and other moms like me "2nd Class" because we chose not to breastfeed. There are many factors to keeping your children healthy and how you feed them is one small component. It continues to piss me off to this day that breastfeeding moms generally think that they are above everyone else because they can nurse. Yes, I read almost all the comments above and that is the general consensus of the statements.

Mommylesa, I am right there with you girl!! Here's to all the mom's who for whatever reason chose a bottle instead of a boob! Cheers!!

Kim Furnell said...

Oh Jen! Where have you been all my life? LOVED this post! LLL wasn't as bad when my kids (almost 22 and 18) were born, but they were still obnoxious. With my oldest, I tried to breastfeed her. Tried and tried and tried. She wasn't gaining weight, she was actually losing weight. And she cried ALL the time. So, the pediatrician had me pump and bring in what I got to be analyzed. THAT was fun, let me tell you. So, my mom came to feed my daughter the (gasp!) formula from a (gasp!) bottle while I pumped out what she would've been getting otherwise. My poor 6 week old baby girl guzzled that bottle like it was her last meal, while I produced in 45 minutes not quite 2 oz. of what looked like watered down skim milk. And I have "jugs" as well. But I also have polycystic ovaries, and the attendant hormonal issues, which basically made my body unable to produce milk. Because milk production is a hormonal thing, and if those hormones aren't right, then it doesn't matter how big you are, or how much of the crap you have (because I bought it all too), you're not going to be able to breastfeed. So, 4 years later when my son was born, the LLL chick was just aghast when I announced from my hospital bed that the child should simply be given a bottle, straight off the bat. You'd have thought I was poisoning the child. I replied to her that my options were either NOT feeding my child, or feeding him a bottle. How you feed your child is a personal choice, but not feeding your child is abuse.

BTW, my sister (who has 5 children) always made enough milk to "feed the entire city of Chicago" (as she put it.)

And my kids are happy, healthy almost grown adults. Being bottle fed didn't hurt either one of them.

Ei said...

(Applause) I hate the La Leche League. I did end up breastfeeding my son, but my milk didn't come in for a full week after he was born. I called the LLL to find out if it was normal for your child to wail hysterically for three days, nonstop, while trying to nurse. They told me it was, that he was getting what he needed, and to never, under any circumstance, give him a bottle. They also told me to get a new pediatrician if the doc told me to give him a bottle. After another day of my boy screaming, my husband got fed up and gave him a free sample of formula that we'd been given at the hospital. Lo and behold, he stopped crying. The poor kid had been starving for a week. I blame myself for not giving him formula sooner, but as a first time parent, they really made me feel like it would be the end of the world. And there was no nipple confusion. My milk came in a few days later, and he took right to it. I really just think the LLL's priorities are askew. There was a law and order episode where a mother was arrested for starving her baby to death, after being told by a LLL type organization never to give him a bottle. Before I had a baby, I thought that episode was ridiculous. After, it doesn't sound so very bizarre to me.

Christine Heusinger said...

I had a horrible time trying to breastfeed and only did it a few weeks.

Jen, have you considered breast reduction? You shouldn't have to undergo backpain due to the size of your girls!

Em said...

People are nuts! Every mom and baby is different and no mother should be made to feel as you described, but it happens to so many of us. I am one of those annoying natural birth mommies so I REALLY wanted to breastfeed my son. Problem was he was diagnosed with severe food allergies around 6 weeks so my diet was extremely restricted so he wouldn't take in anything that would make him sick (and, man, was he sick!). After struggling and completely failing at it for almost 5 months, we put him on hypoallergenic formula and he never had a problem again. Months later we were interviewing nannies, one who also happened to be a LLL member and who had a 5 year old who she was seriously STILL nursing. Yes, I did say FIVE years old. The lecture I got about formula went something like this: "Just because you haven't nursed in several months doesn't mean you can't go back. Even adoptive mothers can learn how to lactate, you just have to commit to it." It was all My Hubs could do to not physically throw that woman out of our home.

Jen said...

I totally agree!

I pumped for 3 months for preemie twins and I STILL felt guilty when I switched to formula.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This is what really pisses me off about the BFing Nazis. You are so judgmental and condescending. I see "lazy" used all the time. I worked hard for several weeks with both my boys. I consulted someone, went to boards to try to figure out anything. My breasts had bruises from all the massaging I was doing. I tried pumping for 1/2 hour and would get 2 ounces. But that doesn't matter. It is nobody's business. BUT I am a SAHM. Are you and all of your BFing Nazi friends SAHMs? Do you think that most people who don't make the sacrifices to stay home are selfish and lazy? Would you tell that to your BFing Nazi friends? BFing is all about doing what's best for your children. Why not take that extra step to stay home with them full-time as well? *note* I do not believe all Moms who work are lazy and selfish. I am simply using an analogy to point out the hypocrisy of the BFing Nazis.

Kim Furnell said...

The important thing is that you FEED your baby. Can you need READ, Mary?? Yes, most of us who had to bottle feed our babies would've LOVED to have been able to have hooked our babies up to our breasts, and had our babies eat what Mother Nature designed for them to eat. Guess what? It doesn't always happen that way! You can try and try and try, but if your body doesn't make milk, then your baby can suck you raw, and she still won't be fed!!!! So, here's YOUR punch, Mary! Go suck it!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry....you are just plain dumb.
"Anyway, neither child had an ear infection until they were school age, neither child had to have tubes, breathing treatments or anything else that ALL of the kids of my breastfeeding moms had to have. "

Re read that, and just see how dumb it sounds. I feel sorry for your kids if you are honestly that stupid. For their sake, I hope you wrote this before your morning coffee.

Mandy said...

Same here! My formula fed daughter has never had an ear infection at all at 8 years old. A handful of colds. No allergies whatsoever. My 3 nephews that were breastfed all had to have ear tubes put in, have asthma and have allergies galore. The way you choose to feed your baby is a teeny tiny factor in how they will turn out. There are too many other factors involved for me to agree with the breast is best opinion. if you can breastfeed and you want to, great, go for it! But STOP putting a guilt trip on the moms who don't choose that route. when did mothering turn into such a competition among women? it needs to stop!

Kim Furnell said...

My niece was breast fed until she was almost 1. She has celiac just like your daughter. Just wanted you to know that. Yes, your daughter may not have gotten celiac if you had breast fed her, or she may have gotten it regardless. No one knows that. What everyone of us has to remember is that the important thing is that we FEED our babies. Not how they are fed.

Anonymous said...

And I experienced the opposite.. Breast fed and was ridiculed by friends and family. Even had one family member say it was 'sexual abuse' to breastfeed your child...

Tina said...

Amen to your post. It's ri-fucin-dick-u-lous that the LLL waste their $ and time opposing this ad - that encourages a father's involvement in his child's life, which is truly "best"! This breast is best slogan needs to be retired. Like the 58 year old breath of fresh air said above - whole generations were raised on formula and other milk products just fine.

Aimee said...

Thank you, Jen! I couldn't breastfeed, either. I always felt my great, big melons should have been good for something! Turns out, they are only good for bad jokes and back pain.

I was a single, 22-year-old, first-time mother. My parents had just moved away, and my best friend and I had a falling out, followed by her moving away. I was literally, completely, utterly alone. I came home from the hospital, unsure of what to do next. On the 7th day of her amazing life, my newborn screamed for 13 hours straight. I took her to the doctor first thing in the morning (yep, she screamed through the night). First thing the nurse did? Stuffed a bottle in that kid's mouth.

She lost 16 ounces in her first week of life. Breastfeeding Nazis, you will NEVER know how horrible that makes you feel! I sit here, 16+ years later, and I weep for that baby still.

Of course breast is best, but why come down on me when I went through that? Seriously, LLL, take it someone who ISN'T on your side!

Jamie said...

Preach on sista! I tried everything with my first son. I rented an industrial size breast pump from the medical goods store. I bellied up to that thing like a cow and could never get more than about 1/4 cup of breast milk to pump out. My kids was a mess - we finally let the breast feeding go, put him on the bottle with hypo-allergenic formula, and he was a new baby! Gone were the crying fits and refusal to sleep. I felt guilty at first, too, because of the breast feeding nazis, but I got over it real quick. I made the right decision for my family, and no one has the right to question that.

Kim Furnell said...

Go SUCK IT Mary!!!

Erica said...

Breastfeeding is not for everyone, nor is it easy for everyone to do it. We put way too much pressure on ourselves as women and mothers, nd worry far too much about the judgement of others! I live near crunchy Boulder, CO and LLL is very big here. I breastfed both of my kids (actually weaning #2 at 9 months as we speak) but have plenty of friends who didn't. What does LLL have to say about kids that are adopted? OR have medical issues that prevent breastfeeding? Give me a break! They're a bunch of bullies that feed on (no pun intended) a new mother's insecurities and emotions. Do what will keep you sane ladies!

(BTW Jen, I also have humongous boobies and thought I would suffocate my kids too! If you don't have any real lingerie shops where you live try figleaves.com or lindsonline.com for proper - and pretty! - bras.)

Nepsi said...

I think there is just no pleasing some women. I bought into the crap at first and I actually felt guilty not pursuing "child led weaning" but I was weaning on my schedule so we could do IVF again. It is crazy to think I felt guilty at 21 months of breastfeeding. There is no reason I should have felt bad. I am sure they would crucify me now because when my 2.5 year old asks to breastfeed like her little sister I say no. We've all got to do what we've got to do. I remember reading one parenting blog that basically said when you become a mother you need to commit to never ever ever leaving your child with anyone other than their mom for the first 3 years... not once. I like attachment parenting and breastfeeding and for us it works but some people are too extreme. I might want to pump a bottle once in a while not because I like pumping (I actually HATE my pump as well) but because Mommy would like to get a massage or a hair cut maybe once in a while. God forbid Daddy feed them that bottle.

The Ornery Old Lady said...

My son got both human milk and formula because his blood sugar would drop dangerously low and I needed to feed him every 2 hours and sometimes didn't have enough of my own milk. Also, how do they know what was in the bottle that the dad was feeding his baby? It might well have been human milk. And since he's...duh...a man, how else is he supposed to feed the baby besides from a bottle? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Study after study has shown that breast is best- however, I think we do need to cut mom's some slack who try really hard to do what's best for their kids. I understand if people try to breastfeed, and they try as hard as possible (like in your situation), but it just doesn't work. What really annoys me though, is people who won't even try. My sister-in-law decided before she even had the baby that she wasn't even going to attempt to breastfeed because she thought it would be inconvenient and painful. She's a stay at home mom, so I don't understand the inconvenient part. To me, that was just completely selfish. My other sister-in-law tried but found it too painful to deal with (but she's also a bit of a wimp in general). I don't understand how the previous generation of women, and the one's before that, never had these issues with breastfeeding- but they didn't really have a choice as formula wasn't as available. It seems like all these breastfeeding problems are just creations of modern times, but that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't have the time to read everyone's comments, but come on! You freaking LLL idiots. Breastfeeding is such a small element of the development of a child. I can't stand any of you. I never breast fed, it wasn't for me. My kids never suffered. I have three wonderful, healthy adults, 19, 21 & 23 and they all had formula. My sister-in-laws? All whipped out the boob and never pumped. Their husbands never had that bonding time with their child that is so important. Their kids are all great as well, none more so than the other. Better for them? Really? Highly doubtful, but OK you just keep drinking the koolaid.

Hilary said...

These are the kinds of breast feeding experiences that need to be shared. I breastfed my first child for 2 miserable weeks. She got thrush in her mouth, I got thrush in my nipples, we had all kinds of medicines and paraphernalia and I went to a lactation consultant who told me in her very perky, cheery way, "Just nurse right through it!" Even to me, in my post-partum depressed, non-sleeping, emergency c-section recovery state, that just sounded wrong. I mean, I'm no doctor, but wouldn't that keep the thrush passing back and forth between us?

I had planned to nurse for a year. Then I bargained myself down to 6 months, then 3 months, then maybe the next two weeks and finally, my mother (God bless her) simply laid her hand on my shoulder and quietly said, "Just stop. She'll be fine." Guess what? She totally was.

When it came time for my second, I thought I wanted to try it and see if I could get it right this time (yes, I'm slightly anal and Type A), but my hubs said, "You don't have to do something that makes you miserable." Boy, I've got some geniuses in my midst.

Long story short, I wish I could have been more successful breastfeeding. I am a little envious of those moms who have no trouble and I applaud those moms who can and do breastfeed ad infinitum. But I also applaud the moms who were able to wade through the screaming mee-mee's of LLL and the like to come through the other side to the heart of the matter, which is doing what is best for you and your child.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. I have flat nipples and couldn't breast feed either of my boys without a nipple shield, and even then they didn't get much and needed bottle supplement (in fact, my oldest had to spend the night in the hospital because he wasn't getting enough off of me and god dehydrated and jaundiced). Breastfeeding is wonderful and it looks like it should be the most natural thing in the world, but it's not that simple and some of us just can't manage it. And it hurts that there are people who try to make us feel guilty for it.

Anonymous said...

This is what you can say to your working Mom friends, right:

Dear son,
I missed your first laugh because I chose to work instead. I missed your first step because I chose to work instead. I missed your first word because I chose to work instead.I couldn't make cookies for your school party because I chose to work instead. I couldn't attend any of your class parties because I chose to work instead. I couldn't volunteer in your classes because I chose to work instead. I'm sorry we couldn't sit down to homemade healthy meals nightly, because I chose to work instead. My dear children, I know you like us having high speed internet, computer(s), smart phones, cable, more than 1 large screen TV, name brand clothes, new cars, vacations, 20 presents under the tree at Christmas, a home larger than we truly need, eating out. I know you like all these things more than having me home so I'll work so you can have all of them.

Love,
Mom

PS I did breastfeed, so that makes up for me not being there!

*note* I do not believe all Moms who don't stay home are like this. I am simply using an analogy to point out the hypocrisy of the BFing Nazis.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I had a really hard time having kids and we chose to adopt. Obviously- breastfeeding was not an option for me. But I assure you- it still did not stop some breastfeeding fanatics give me the "Breast is Best" speech. I had 1 lady tell me about a drug that I could take that would make me lactate so I could breastfeed my children. Really? So having this drug in my body to alter my hormones would be better then feeding my babies man-made formula....GIVE ME A BREAK!!! And leave my breasts alone- they are no concern of yours!!!!

LuLu said...

My son was breastfed. For 13 months. I was the mom who could either walk around or sleep while it was going on. I, however, had to return to work. I pumped for a long time. My workplace had nowhere really conducive to pumping, so I would often do it in my car and keep the milk in a cooler. Not fun. Eventually formula was used, but I was still able to breast feed when I was with him. I was lucky I suppose, but this brand of luck comes with a lot of pain, raw nipples, and a mom who just wants her boobs back. There were a few times I just wanted to yank the poor guy off and reclaim what was "mine".
I completely believe that nutritionally, breast is best. I also completely agree with doing what works for your family. Baby being fed is what REALLY matters, right?!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad LLL didn't consider the possibility the baby may have been adopted and there was no breast milk. Or the mom is a dr working to save lives so dad gets some bonding time. Or, god forbid, mom is getting chemo or HIV positive and can't breast feed. Way to support ALL women LLL!!

Sara said...

Word. I can SO relate. I get so tired of people asking me if I'm nursing. None of your business! I'm feeding my baby, that's all that matters.

Caroline said...

Not selfish, krazymom! "If you love your kids, take care of their mom"--words to live by!

christina said...

I really think that pro-breastfeeding campaigns aren't trying to shame people who tried and could't, but rather encourage those that haven't even thought about it or don't know the benefits. Not sure why people get so defensive. I have no desire and really couldn't run a marathon, but I'm not going to get up in arms over advertisements for local 5ks or get defensive if one of my facebook friends posts that she just ran one.

Anonymous said...

Bless you! So glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. I remember seeing the " liquid gold" posters in the hospital. I rolled my eyes and took a deep breath and said " here we go". I tried to give the gold when my baby was in the NICU. It wasn't in my plan but I felt guilty if I didn't at least try. I tried, had such a melt down, I was miserable.

Anonymous said...

Robyn,
You misunderstand the group of people we talk about when we refer to BFing Nazis. You are far from that. You are respectful and wonderful Mom. If we could do the same we would. Last summer I had 3 friends on my pool deck nursing their infants under blankets. Everyone was around. Nobody made comments, nor were they uncomfortable. I am not sure who is against nursing in public, but I am not. I believe it is a loud minority, not majority. I just don't want to see someone completely exposed.
I will explain who falls into the BFing Nazi group. They are the ones who think anyone who doesn't try BFing is a selfish and lazy. They prosthelytize and are condescending to those who don't. They act superior. They are hypocritical. They are the PETA of the animal advocate world. They may be small, but they are loud and obnoxious. By no means do we think everyone who is a successful avid BFer is like that. The loud (PETA style) minority of the BFing community hurts the message and turn others off.

Unknown said...

The breast-feeding Nazis was one of my biggest surprises and also my biggest stresses when I had my little girl 6 years ago. I am also rather large busted and it just did not work. I tried and tried, but it just plain wasn't happening. My daughter was hungry and I was flipping out. The best thing I ever did was give her that bottle. And she grew up to be very healthy and happy, imagine that! If I ever have a second child, one of the greatest things I look forward to is not completely losing my mind over the pressure to breastfeed.

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

With our first prenancy being twins and the stress of one of those babies in the NICU and eventually dying after 21 days my wife was barely even able to pump, so our oldest is a formula baby. Our second pregnancy was triplets, she pumped and supplemented with formula for about a month and a half. Then very expensive for preemies formula exclusively. She wanted to breastfeed but just couldn't and my kids are just fine, plus she got to sleep at night and I got up and fed the little buggers. Screw 'em. For all they know the bottle he was feeding that baby is choc full of breast milk.

Rachel said...

I couldn't agree more. My baby was full term and completely healthy, but only 5 1/2 pounds at birth, and as the doctor described, "borderline too skinny." (Ask me what kind of nervous breakdown that sends a woman who gave birth less than 24 hours ago into). He actually latched on and fed very well. But, since I was freaking out about him being "too skinny", as soon as we got home from the hospital I started pumping so that I could be assured he was getting enough. At his one week check up the kid had gained 10 ounces! After 6 weeks of my milk from a bottle, and fighting horrible belly aches, we switched him to formula. What a blessing and relief that was to all involved! He is now 9 months old and in the 70th percentile for height. He is still in a low percentile for weight, but let's face it - his father was 6'3 and only 170 pounds when we got married. Tall and skinny is in his genes. My point is this, everyone is different. Breastfeeding was obviously NOT best for my little man, and I don't regret for one minute the decision we made to switch!

Kelly Wenck said...

I just wanted to add...mothers have enough mom guilt to deal with on their own. We certainly don't need the LLL and others making us feel worse. I've found that the people who judge moms the most are other moms. That is evidenced here in these comments. I'm sure that these judgemental ladies here have felt some form of mom guilt, or questioned a decision they made regarding their children. So it is beyond me why they would want to create more guilt for another mother. Get off your high horses. Your judgement makes you look like an idiot. I have no desire to take the advice of someone who so easily passes judgement on others.
I breastfed all 4 of my children (varying amounts of time for each one). I work full time. I question choices I make for my family daily. I'm molding humans here. It's hard all by itself. Anyone who judges other peoples perfectly healthy parenting styles deserves a punch in the throat.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was premature as well, and we had a lot of difficulty at first with breastfeeding. Unfortunately (fortunately?), my mother and sister were breastfeeding nazis who pushed me really hard. I was so incredibly stressed over the whole thing, to the point that I refused to let anyone bottle feed her. That was a BIG mistake, because she NEVER took a bottle after that. So much that she was completely dependent on me until she was about 8 months old, when I could get her to take anything (water, breastmilk, anything) from a sippy cup. I love her dearly, but seriously, momma needs a break at times.
When my son was born, I breastfed him, but taught him to take a bottle when he was 3 weeks old. My husband loved being able to be part of feeding his baby.
I breastfed my kids to 14 and 10 months respectively, and I fully believe that breastfeeding is the best thing that you can do for your child, however I do not agree that anyone should impose their own beliefs on anyone else. I know so many people who had such difficulty breastfeeding that they stopped from the stress of it. I'm thankful for the support (armwringing) of my family to have enabled me to breastfeed my kids, but I think in any case, the most important thing is to love your baby the best way that you can.

Jenna @ Sharing My Jennarocity said...

Before you go and start calling people "lazy" please listen to how judgemental you sound. It's none of your business what someone else does or doesn't feed their baby. And that includes more than just breastfeeding. Women understand it and they know what they are told on how to do it but it is truly harder for some women. I was ready to give up and just pump forever. I was exhausted, crying in the shower, thinking I was the worst mother in the world. I spent hours watching her not eat and me feeling like a failure. I finally tried it once more and it worked, but had it not, I would have given up. So lady, do NOT call me lazy, because I was anything but and it's offensive how you so effortlessly throw that word around about other people that you do not know.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea when these places were touting breast is best it meant the ONLY WAY to feed breast milk is from the breast...I always thought the whole idea was breast milk is better than formula.

Monica said...

I love that you wrote this today!!! It is a constant issue, with breast pushers making people who bottle feed there child for any reason feel like shit!! Like we are not good mothers because our babies had the bottle..well my daughters are healthy and happy kids who were bottle fed the whole time!!! Do you know about the women that donate breast milk to other moms? and that there are people who get breast milk from these STRANGERS who donate to feed there babies breast milk??? To me this is disgusting...you get breast milk delivered to you that is fluid from a complete strangers body but are against formula?????

mandiessugarbowl said...

Jen never feel bad for what you had to do as a family to care for your children. You are so totally right....what works for your family is what is best. I too had a problem breast feeding my girls. My oldest and I could just not get the hang of it. the fucking LLL lady would sit there and look at us with disdain because we did it wrong. Instead of helping, she would sit there and list off all the things I was doing wrong. As I was sitting in the hospital bed. My daughter had actually caused me to BLEED and that wench sat there and sneered at me. I pumped with her instead and fed her from the bottle. I later had to switch to formula because like your daughter, I just didn't make enough to fill her up. And ya know what, the oldest is a straight A kid and smart as a whip. The youngest was a similar situation. With her though after trying and failing at the breast for a week, I just pumped, then later supplemented with formula. While she may not have been physically taking the milk from my body, they both had breast milk for 6 months. You never forget the sound of that pump or the feeling that your Bessie.

I agree with some of the other posts that the LLL should put themselves to better use by urging for more tolerance of public breastfeeding. I was in the mall once and there was a "family" area near the women's restroom with a changing table and a bench. the women that were passing by this new mom were so vile to her for breastfeeding her child in public. She had the little boy in a sling and the sling was covered so you couldn't see anything of this woman from the neck to about her knee. You'd be hard press to guess what type of color of shirt she was wearing let alone see her hooter as she was feeding her son. the only way you could tell this child was a boy was all the sports stuff in the stroller and the monogram of Brandon. I had to give her props however. She just crooned to him, "Just ignore them hunny. Someday you'll be all grown up and you can kick they're sons asses!" I gave her a thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying what thousands of women feel! My first son had severe allergies as an infant. He had no problem nursing, but had intestinal bleeding from my breast milk. We tried everything, including eliminating all allergens from my diet (I lived on a few select vegetables and lean chicken for weeks), to see if we could get him to breast feed without distress. The only thing to which he was not allergic was this nasty formula that cost $120 for four cans. Each can lasted a day. I cannot count the number of comments I received telling me that I hadn't tried hard enough to breastfeed from people who had no concept of what it is like to open up your new child's diaper to find it full of blood or to spend thousands of dollars for formula that is the only thing that makes the bleeding stop.

Pam said...

Women shouldn't have to argue the point either way. How we feed our babies is nobody's else's f'ing business and I wish I'd stuck up for myself a bit more with my first child when I had both sides chirping in. With my second I told people quite firmly what my decision was and made it clear their opinion wasn't welcome.

Katie said...

AMEN!

Mary Garner said...

I DO stay home with my children, anonymous...we have sacrificed a lot to be able to do so....and I get that many moms tried hard for several weeks, I know all about trying hard. I ate a FULL elimination diet for six solid months and went against my doctor's recommentadions and threats... I persevered, using a damn nipple shield, herbs every day that made me smell like maple syrup, pumping out the wazoo...but I made it work. I think its totally true many people try as hard as they are willing to, and if you indeed have, you will not be offended by my or anyone else's opinions on the subject, knowing in your peaceful heart that you did your best.

It is only because you gave up that you feel offended. Just a fact.

Mama to two said...

DISCLAIMER: I'm a member of my local LLL, but hear me out :-)
Even as an LLL person, I don't agree with how the New Zealand LLL handled this. It gives people the wrong message about what LLL is really about, which is supporting women who wish to breastfeed to be as successful as possible. My hubby feeds my son pumped milk when I work and I'm glad he can. Not only does it increase their bond but I'm able to help our household financially to keep a roof over our heads. I have a physical condition that literally prevents me from making enough milk, no matter how much mother's milk tea, lactation cookies, fenugreek/blessed thistle, or oatmeal I have. I have found nothing but support from my LLL leaders who have listened to me sob about not being able to do what I feel I should be able to do. The thought that my body is failing me/my children is awful. They know I have to supplement with formula and have supported me through that as well. None of my LLL peeps have uttered a negative word about moms who choose formula because there are SO many factors impacting that decision. It's not okay to assume anything. I know we (LLL) get frustrated when incorrect information is passed along to new moms by medical professionals that almost seems to sabatoge a mama's intent/desire to breastfeed. Accurate info to support the mama's choice is important. The most common theme I've heard in meetings is that breastfeeding is a RELATIONSHIP and it has to work for BOTH mom and babe. It breaks my heart that so many women have had negative experiences with LLL and I guess I'm just lucky to be in a good local group that utltimately understands we are all trying to do what is best for our babes and support each other instead of passing judgement. All we can do is be at peace with the decisions we make for our families regardless if they are popular or not.

Mary Garner said...

Honestly, I completely agree. Children don't want THINGS. We live a very meager lifestyle, growing as much as we can, buying only used clothing (for everyone), cutting coupons, shopping sales, trying not to make too many trips out each week...all so I can stay home with our kids because that is more important than anything. And breastfeed 'em while I'm at it!

I am missing out on how staying home has anything to do with this topic...but from your comments I Can deduce that you are a stay at home mom who quit breastfeeding but since you stay home you tell yourself you are doing a really good thing anyway.

Christel said...

Wow, you really riled 'em up this time Jen!!

LLL should be picking its battles. I must add that some of the mothers here are saying we should retire "breast is best" slogan or those that are skeptical if breast milk really is better are truly, sadly misinformed. Breastmilk is eons better than formula. You honestly think we should stop telling people that? I can't stop shaking my head. I hope you had SONS!

All kids need is love.

Anonymous said...

Tell it sister!!! I had a 10 pounder and my boob was a lot bigger than her head...breast wasn't best for us either!!!

Tiffany said...

This.

I'm a new mother of a 3 month old. I really thought breastfeeding would be easy. After all, how hard can it be if the cavewomen did it right? All my other friends breastfed and no one ever warned me how hard it would be. So I didn't do my homework ahead of time and boy was I in for a shock. I've never cried so hard in my life as the first two weeks of trying to bf. My baby was born small, and was jaundiced so it was critical to get her weight up. But I was a c-section and my milk came in very late, and she wasn't latching. The feeding issue was such a nightmare that she actually lost more weight and was on the verge of going back to the hospital. On the one hand I had the ped pushing me to switch to formula and the hospital lactation nurses pushing me to do nothing but bf and no one willing to work with me on what scenario would fit my situation, and here I am a first time mom, tired, scared for the health of my baby and overwhelmed. The websites I visited never really addressed in practical terms what to do if you are having trouble breastfeeding.

Finally, I found a lactation consultant who was wonderful. Her best advice was for me to sit down and figure out what I felt was the optimal situation for my family given my specific circumstances and then aim for that. She pointed out that nursing and exclusive formula feeding aren't fixed choices so much as they are ends of a spectrum. In the end I decided that I wanted to be able to nurse my daughter once a day and supplement with both pumped milk and formula. I got lucky that eventually (like after 3 weeks) she did finally start nursing. Ever since, she gets nursed 2x a day and supplemented with formula and pumped milk because I too have the giant ta-tas that produce very little. It's not what I expected before I had her, and it's certainly not anything LLL would approve of, but they can bite me. Breastfeeding is hard. It's not our place to judge others and we can never really know the circumstances of another woman's situation. Instead of beating each other down we should be supportive of whatever choices lead to a healthy, happy baby- and that includes the choice to formula feed. And we who have already trod this path need to be much more upfront and candid to our new-mom sisters about just how difficult this is.

Hallie Moore said...

THANK YOU!!! Neither of my kids could take to the boob and both ended up being formula babies. I was even told with my second that formula babies aren't as smart or healthy as breast fed babies. Both of my kids are very healthy and at the top of their classes. Their father was able to bond with them and has a wonderful relationship with them...nothing sexier than watching your man feed a baby :) I hate being made to feel like less of a woman and mother because my boobs didn't do what they are "supposed" to do. I applaud those moms who can breastfeed and I agree that formula will never match what a mother's body can make, but the LLL needs to get a fricken clue and understand that breastfeeding doesn't work for all families!

Chelsea Edgren said...

I am a mother of two beautiful girls who BOTH were allergic to my breast milk. (Yes, that's possible). My pediatrician had me on a diet of nothing but meat, vegetables and fruit and still, after 2 months of trying, their bowl movements would still come out streaked in blood. I was heartbroken and felt like a failure but finally the pediatrician ordered me to stop breastfeeding and put the girls on a bottle. And even then they were allergic to all formulas except for a prescription formula that is broken down into amino acids so that their digestive systems have absolutely no work to do. Now, am I a bad mom? HELL NO! I tried my best and breast feeding was not an option. I was quite literally killing my babies with my breast milk or my "boobie-poison". And what if that baby was adopted, huh?! The mother wouldn't even be producing milk in that case. And c'mon LLL, isn't it about time men get off their asses and start helping with the children? But until men start producing that white gold with the birth of each child then a bottle is just going to have to suffice.

Amanda said...

My mother breastfed me for an entire year and I was diagnosed with celiac disease three years ago (I'm 31 now). Please don't feel guilty and like it is YOUR fault. Doctors and nurses don't know everything. And there are some things that we simply cannot control, despite our best efforts. I'm glad you took the time to take care of yourself.

Robyn said...

Thanks for that. I sat here reading all the comments and couldn't help but start to feel defensive myself. I always got a mixed reaction to breastfeeding--sometimes it was positive but often I got looks and made people uncomfortable. I understand what you're saying, but I did feel like I needed to speak up to make sure all breastfeeding moms didn't get lumped in with the "Nazis." You're right about the loud minority.

Brooke said...

THANK YOU! I cannot stand "Militant Lactivists". They guilt and hate and judgement they spew is counterproductive to their cause. One girl in my mamas group actually said it makes her "feel ill" to know that some women choose not to breastfeed their children. No matter the circumstances. But you know what makes me ill? Her condemnation without ever trying to understand the mother and child's unique situation.

Breastfeeding is tough business. I was one of the lucky few who had no problems breastfeeding in the beginning. Great latch, quick feeder, all good stuff. Then, my supply just tanked. I was taking 12 fenugreek pills, 4 more milk plus pills, and 3 cups of mother's milk tea DAILY and was pumping for hours and only getting 4 oz a day. FOUR OUNCES! Finally I realized I was forcing my body to try and do something it was not made for anymore. So, I quit at 16 weeks. And life was good. My daughter is healthy, happy, and growing strong. My family loves being able to feed her too. My husband gets to bond.

Last point: When have you ever stopped someone and said, "Oh my God, you're so SMART! You must have been breastfed as a child." Or watched campaign commercials for presidential candidates proclaiming being breastfed as infants? Nope. You don't, because it becomes a non-issue. The only people who try to kill you over it are the Breast Nazis!

Anonymous said...

I did not breast feed! I also feed them Mcdonalds,chicken nuggets,, Kraft mac n cheese, chips , cookies and when they are 21 I will offer them beer and wine. So how far can we take this?

Tiffany said...

Mary,

I did the nipple shield, and the fenugreek. I'm still on it. And guess what. I don't make enough to feed my daughter. So I pump when I can. I'm not fortunate enough to be a SAHM, and I can't nurse at work, so I drag myself to work every day and pump. I pump with the colleague I share an office with in teh room. I've pumped through walk-ins by male colleagues. I've missed meetings and left meetings early to pump. And I *still* don't make enough (I just finished pumping and only got half an ounce). So I nurse as much as I can and supplement with formula. Would I love for it to be different? Sure, but life's never what you plan. So I really find it offensive when someone who doesn't know me and doesn't know what I've done to make it work has the gall to call me lazy. My baby is healthy and happy and at the end of the day that matters far more than how many times my nipple was in her mouth. It's people like you that make motherhood so hard by tearing down everyone who doesn't do things the way you do it. Why not just stop judging for a moment and try being more supportive of those who weren't dealt the same deck of cards you were?

anon536 said...

It's sad that some LLL representatives put this message across. However, I think non breastfeeding mothers are super sensitive about breastfeeding, case in point, you took the LLL's message as a personal attack against you. All they are trying to do is promote breastfeeding as the normal way to feed babies, because fir so long we have been frowned upon and shamed, and we still are. Its a shame for people to judge you. But you know you did the best you could and you should be proud of that and not let people's bad behavior make you feel bad.

Anonymous said...

To Mary Garner:
Wow. Just wow. "Lazy"?!?!? How about, "smart"? Yes, smart. It takes an incredibly smart and self-sacrificing woman to know that she can not handle the stresses that BF may be causing her. You say that you "...ate a FULL elimination diet for six solid months and went against my doctor's recommentadions and threats... I persevered, using a damn nipple shield, herbs every day that made me smell like maple syrup, pumping out the wazoo..." Does that sound smart!?!?! Going against your doctor? Sounds like you were stressed, Mary. How did your baby handle all that stres you were carrying around?
Calling women who do not BF "lazy" is plain horse shit. You should be ashamed of your self. And I wouldn't hesitate to guess you are one of those that breastfeeds their kids till they're driving, right?

Signed,
Keri
(Tried to BF and it did not work for me and the stress added to my severe PPD. Formula for her and Zoloft for me did the trick. I am a very happy mom to an amazing, smart, and healthy 2 year old.)

Amanda said...

And it is only because you are self-righteous and judgmental that you call mothers you've never even met, lazy. Just another fact.

Bravo Jen!! With my third baby (in three years) my husband was deployed in Afghanistan so he missed her birth and the first precious moments with her. Taking care of two toddlers in addition to a newborn by yourself is a challenge. I managed to pump and bottle-feed (which my husband could do to bond with her) for four months until it got very difficult. And other kind-hearted and open minded people will understand that and not judge me. Lazy, my ass, I'm a fucking Marine Corps wife.

Amy said...

Thanks for punching them. They deserved it. All those of us who tried and felt like a failure deserve to see them punched. I don't have the guts, so thanks for doing it for me.

Anonymous said...

Loved this blog! I am another mom with gigantor boobs and I had to kind of push part of my boob back so my poor kids could breathe through their little noses while they bf. I breast fed my first for 3 months then had to go back to work. I tried the pumping but never got enough to get him through the day. My 2nd had a tongue tie as well and would try to breast feed, then would come off the breast and scream like I had lit him on fire b/c he was not getting enough. I told the nursery at the hospital that it was ok to give him a bottle! he also had terrible gas no matter what I ate..I was down to bread and water (and it turned out later that he also has a wheat sensitivity, go figure! lol)because EVERYTHING I ate gave him gas. Both of my kids are EXTREMELY healthy, we have had years where the only time we see the doctor is for well-child visits. I think everyone needs to do what is right for them. LLL needs to get a clue.

Anonymous said...

My two sisters and I were all bottlefed. We hear all this "concern" over development, physical and mental, but guess what? All 3 of us were valedictorians; we were and are all within normal weight and health ranges an have been out entire lives. I too get tired of the super pressure and malarkey. Children can and will "survive" not being breasted.

Amanda said...

SOMEONE GET MARY A MEDAL. Her ability to squeeze milk from her boobs and stay home with her children obviously makes her a PARENTING GOD to whom we all OWE ALLEGIANCE.

*runs off back to reality*

Trillian said...

Just like those PETA idiots, they do their cause a disservice by acting like such bitches. I breastfed (with A cups ;-)) and never had a problem, but nobody chooses to have problems. I am all for informing people about breastfeeding and offering help but not like this.

Anonymous said...

The relief that I felt when I finally decided to formula feed was immeasurable. I had a breast reduction when I was younger and had very low supply. My second baby went straight to formula.
What about these LLL women that BF their babies and then feed them crap food once they are eating solids?

Anonymous said...

Amen Sister! I had the same problem - to big Ta-Ta's - and was SHAMED by people because my baby couldn't latch on. Nothing worked except pumping, which I did as best I could, and still had to supplement, but I didn't arrive at this until several weeks of total insanity, boob infections, major baby-blues and a lot of mommy guilt. People need to settle down and let you do what's best for YOU and YOUR BABY.

On a side note, I had "The Girls" reduced when I was done having kids. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE. My OBGYN documented my back pain, trouble exercising (couldn't run without them slapping me either), etc. and the insurance paid for most of it. I can now wear normal tops, a regular bathing suit, and sort of pretty bras. I'm still a DD but it's better than what I was. Again, it was the best decision ever.

-K. said...

http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2011/02/11/newly-identified-breastfeeding-disorder-gives-new-meaning-to-letdownletdown/

I was so sad that i hated breastfeeding, i didn't know why I wanted too, but hated it. I thought i was "lazy" or angry or had PPD... but I think the article above is what happened to me and could help millions of women.

Anonymous said...

Mary - "[I} went against my doctor's recommentadions and threats". Wow - you really were considering what was best for your child. I mean, people like me were only trying to keep sane, be around their kid without cringing from the anticipated pain, and feed their child. And here you are going against doctors orders in the name of love. Way to look out for what's best for your daughter. I mean seriously. And don't even get me started about sacrificing so much to be a SAHM. Yes, I don't doubt you did sacrife a lot. But that does NOT make you a better mother than me. Trust me. I mean who knows - maybe you are a better mother, I don't know you - but it's NOT simply because you are physically at home with your children. I hate that arguement. We all do what we think is best for our children, try and remember that.

Lacy Park said...

Thank you for writing this. You have balls and I'm envious of them. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymos - did you ever think that some mom's work TO PROVIDE WHAT THEY THINK IS BEST FOR THEIR CHILDREN? Who do you think is a "better" parent? Picture a family where the father is self employed. Or has lost his job (I know it's hard to imagine in this fantastic economy, but try). The mother who works because it is the only way that she can make sure that her children have adequate healthcare? Or the mother who, is at home? What if her child was severely ill? Well I bet you the mother with adequate health coverage is going to get her child to see a better doctor. So then who is the better mother? I mean this whole "better" thing is ridiculous in my opinion. But I'm just giving you an example so you can try and expand your narrow mind.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - sorry I think I misunderstood your post. But man - this stuff just gets me so fired up so forgive me for my lash out if that's not what you meant!

Anonymous said...

AMEN! I had 5 lb twins and neither one learned the art of latching. The LLL should be praising women who still pump to give their children breast milk. My children were bottle fed with breast milk and I solely pumped to provide that breast milk for the first year of their lives. The LLL should congratulate me for going through all that extra effort to provide breast milk to my children instead of formula, no matter how they were getting it!

Whitney Jones said...

Agreed. I had twins, 1st pregnancy, & 5 weeks early. once they finally learned to latch, they were not getting enough. I felt horrible that I, their mother, could not nourish them. I was having to give formula until my milk came in and after 2 weeks, I was still only getting about 2 oz a feeing. That was fine for one baby, but not 2.
I believe breast is best but like you said, for our family it wasnt

Anonymous said...

Strange. I have read many stories like this (this one is the funniest though ;-)) where formula sometimes litteraly saved precious babies...breastfeeding miserably failed, and stressed everyone, baby included. But still, in the end, people keep on saying "breast is best". So thank you bloody Leche League, to have brainwashed so many people, so that they cannot think by themselves anymore. Bravo, you succeeded in making women guilty. But what is your real agenda???

Anonymous said...

Could not have said it better myself. My mother-in-law went into the hospital the day after my first baby was born and passed away suddenly a week later. I was a first-time mom thrown into miserable grief, and it sucked. Breast-feeding was a huge struggle for me, and I was an emotional wreck. I sat outside my mother-in-law's room at the ICU, desperately trying to breast-feed my newborn while bawling my eyes out. Awful. I will never forget the day my husband and my mom told me it was OK to stop, give her a bottle. I can't even explain how much better I functioned as a mom - as a human, for that matter - once that stress was relieved.

By the time my second baby rolled around, I didn't even bother with breast-feeding. The whole thought brought back such horrible memories of the first time around. Bringing home a baby minus the stress of breast-feeding (and the grief of losing a family member) made us feel like we were on a freaking vacation!

I'm happy to say today that my girls could not be healthier or happier, and I know it is because we made and continue to make decisions that are best for OUR family.

Terri said...

I'm sad that you would lump all La Leche Leaguers in one unfortunate category. Not all LLL members are like that. I, a self proclaimed "lactivist" and LLL member, know that breast feeding isn't for everyone, you have to do what is best for your family. I was the "World's Greatest Mother" until I had kids of my own. Everyday I eat my words and have a huge slice of humble pie. I have two sons, a 2 yr old and a 6 week old, and they have taught me that I can never say never and to not judge other mothers because you don't know their situation. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Motherhood is tough, rewarding but extremely tough and it stinks that I see so many comments on this post of mothers bashing each other. We should be encouraging and supporting one another regardless of how we choose to feed our babies. Kumbahyah and all that jazz.

Anonymous said...

No, no, no. You are wrong. Non breastfeeding mothers ARE litteraly attacked, they face a lot of agressive pressure in maternities nowadays. The LLL is totally responsible for that. Bunch of LYERS. Very dishonest people. Mothers are made guilty, force themselves to breasfeed to avoid being criticized, and sometimes, some of them cannot resist; they allow themselves to bully non breastfeeding women, who dared to resist to the pressure. Very few mothers like to breasfeed, as a compensation, they want to have a good image of themselves, they self-promote themselves, through bashing their mummy "friends"...its nasty, but human.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. The man featured
in the ad is a very high profile sports star from a slightly rough part of town (think NFL player from projects); I just loved that he was being shown feeding one of his kids.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. The man featured
in the ad is a very high profile sports star from a slightly rough part of town (think NFL player from projects); I just loved that he was being shown feeding one of his kids.

Anonymous said...

" I agree that formula will never match what a mother's body can make"

May I ask why you are absolutely sure about that ?....

Formula save baby's life, breasfeeding very often fails, it is a very, very unperfect thing that nature has put in place. Nature fails ALL the time, nature kills...
But still...breast is best. Yeah...

kjhellgirl said...

Thank you thank you thank you for being my voice!! I was made to feel so guilty when Breast feeding didn't work for me and my son, and I did pump, the same as you. But, to this day (my son is now &) I have still felt guilty. Until now. Because of you. So, again, thank you.

Anonymous said...

All three of my daughters were exclusively formula fed. I take medication that transfers through breastmilk and although I tapered down on the. medication during my pregnancies, I returned to a higher dose once they ere born. I figured it was better for them to have me around and healthy than it was to be sick for the sake of breastfeeding. Medication interference doesn't seem to be mentioned vry often, but that must impact a lot of women.

Anonymous said...

"Study after study has shown that breast is best" I am sorry, but this is not true. This is LLL propaganda...the KRAMER study on 17000 bielorussian babies has demonstrated that the only benefit the human milk might have on human babies is a slight protection (slight...) against gastro-enteritis. The other so-called benefits (IQ, diseases, better bonding, etc etc) are purely a fantasy...the studies mentioned by LLL are seriously biaised. Something is going on. LLL is a sort of catholic lobby. So please people do not repeat LLL baselines blindly. This is manipulation. And not the good sort of...

Analytical Armadillo IBCLC said...

QUOTE "We loved them and yeah, we fed them a fucking bottle of formula and I'm OK with that. "

Except the whole post screams that you're clearly not OK with that. The outpouring of angry profanities evidence to me at least that you're a million miles away from and I found the post quite hard to read because of how raw things clearly are for you - such anger isn't fuelled from being "OK".

I think anger is probably appropriate given it sounds like you were left in an impossible situation feeding wise - I'm just not sure it's directed at the right people.

You might find this an interesting read though if you scroll down to symptoms - it's also genetic so often impacts on multiple children (although often in different ways http://milkmatters.org.uk/2011/04/15/hidden-cause-of-feeding-problems-however-you-feed-your-baby/

AA
ps breast isn't best, it's just normal

Pam said...

I too had ginormous boobs when my daughter was born. The difference was she was over 11 lbs and was took right to the breast. There is no way I could have fed a tiny baby with those huge boobs! I was afraid I would squish my chunky baby as it was! I never could nurse in public because I couldn't do it without pulling out the whole big boob.
My real reason for commenting though is to ask if you've ever considered breast reduction? I had the surgery over a year ago and couldn't be happier! I went from a G cup to a D and LOVE it! My Dr removed 3 POUNDS of breast tissue from EACH side! I've started running and lost even more weight. I could have NEVER run before the surgery! I am training for my first half marathon now!

Alicia said...

OMG, THANK YOU for this! I absolutely can't stand when anyone judges how a baby is fed, breast or bottle. Hey, the baby is getting FED; shouldn't that be the most important thing?! I teared up where you said Hubs was able to bond with his babies and help you out as well...reminds me of my own Hubs. :) I BF my first for about 2 weeks and was MISERABLE. I could not deal with the pain, the lack of sleep, being ONLY one to feed her every 1.5-2 hours. It was too much, so we switched to formula and I was much happier. Now that I just had a son, I BF him immediately after delivery and all those bad memories with my daughter came back...I made the decision to formula feed from the get-go and I have been SO much happier these first few weeks than I was with my daughter. I've been enjoying my son as a newborn instead of dreading every feeding. WORTH IT.

Barbara L. said...

We were put on the guilt trip, too, for not bf'ing. My son was born 9 weeks premature and I TRIED to bf, but they kept telling me my milk was contaminated (I guess my boobs weren't clean enough). I even had the nurse hold my tit and squeeze and hers came back no good, too. We ended up giving him formula and he was fine. My second son, I didn't even bother to try bf'ing and went straight to formula. My kids hardly ever get sick and are marginally intelligent, so I guess no harm done there.

I love your blog because you tell it like it is!

Cheryl said...

I had no problem breast feeding except that I HATED it. My first born was never full. I was like a freakin' cow. I kept it up for a year for both kids because my hubby's side has a TON of serious allergies and we were told this would help. We didn't do breast milk exclusively though.
I was in a moms group. I loved that group. Most of us breastfed. Some did not. No biggie. One day we were at a playgroup where the local LLL group was also having a playgroup. My friend Jen and i were talking to a new member of our group who was still VERY preggers. We were telling her about our breastfeeding experiences. We were also reassuring her that if she tried and couldn't for ANY reason all would still be good. You would have thought we had told her to slice the baby a little at a time and suck the blood out each and every day based on the looks we got from the 2 LLL moms that were standing nearby.
I think it's important to let women know that it's all good. Love your baby. Nourish it in whatever way best works for your family and to never leave your baby locked in the car while you run into the casino for a few hours. Apparently this makes me the devil in their little circle. Oh well. My brilliant, healthy, (mostly) well-behaved, creative and loving children speak for themselves.
Thanks for the great post!

Anonymous said...

I also remember that sound and I ALWAYS felt like a freaking cow, that's all I could ever think of, wow this is what is has come to, I am a cow. I did not and don't feel bad for switching to formula and no one should. My breasts hurt so bad, I asked the dr and he said oh they are just sore, nothing you can do about it. Well sore my butt it was searing pain mofo, and I don't have to do this anymore! Well said!

Jenna @ Sharing My Jennarocity said...

"It is only because you gave up that you feel offended. Just a fact."

I don't feel offended. Quite the contrary. I feel like you are offensive. There is different. You are judgemental, hateful, and mean to women who aren't like you. I am not offended by you. I am annoyed at women like you who think everyone needs to make choices just as you make them. You are a mother, you are supposed to be understanding and tolerant of other moms too because you should know how hard it is. But you aren't. I am a full time working mom who breastfed my daughter till she was 4 months. And she talks at 15 months and she says tons of words, she walked at 10 months, ran at 15 months, she is smart and wonderful and is not suffering one bit from the choice I made. I just think before you start talking, you might want to try being a little more understanding and realizing that your family will never be bothered by someone else's choice not to breastfeed, so you need to stop caring so much. And I meant "difference" not different, I couldn't go back and change it for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Not to mention, and this is irrelevant really but, who says the dad isn't feeding the baby in the ad breastmilk from a bottle b/c mom has gone back to work? Or dad is feeding formula from a bottle because he is a single parent? I mean really, I think most of us get that breast is best but that doesn't mean formula/bottle is worst! Give me a break LLL.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I have a 9 week old who would not latch on, but screamed for food. It was awful to watch. Then I got so sick that I had to be in the hospital four days postpartum to get iv antibiotics. My milk NEVER came in so needless to say, my ChowHound eats formula out of a bottle and he's just fine. I would have liked to breastfeed him, but it was impossible. I steer clear of LLL members! Also, I think it is great that the dad in the photo is feeding the baby. YAY for Dads!

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