Teaching Modern Society a Lesson, “One Public Breastfeeding at a Time”

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I’ve decided to teach modern American society a lesson, one public breastfeeding at a time.

LESSONS IN PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING: A Mothering.com editorial about a woman who is repeatedly asked to cover her tits while nursing her baby and/or child in public.

The really hurtful negative reactions to my breastfeeding have come from people who don’t know me—strangers passing judgment. Once I sat down outside a Starbucks coffee shop at a table with some friends and friendly acquaintances.

When I began to nurse my child, one man—a friend of one of my friends—jumped up and went to another table. I looked after him, stricken, but he didn’t return. His blatant rejection and disgust felt like a punch in my stomach.

If I sat down for some coffee with a few “friendly acquaintances” and one of them whipped out a body part without giving any warning — whatever their intentions — I’d probably get up and move too.

In the private office of a mental health professional, as I sobbed while attempting to describe my feelings, my son started rooting and whimpering. I automatically put him to the breast, but the mental health professional interrupted me in midsentence: “Do you not have something you can cover up with?”

Speechless, I fumbled around until I found a receiving blanket. It was her private office, after all, and at that moment I felt too weak and vulnerable to snap back an appropriate response. I don’t remember if I was able to finish what I’d been saying, and I never went back.

Let’s review her mistakes now, shall we?

(A) She brings a newborn along to the shrink.

(B) She whips a boob out in front of the shrink.

(C) She takes offense when the shrink tactfully encourages her to cover up.

(D) She feels too victimized to “snap back an appropriate (?!) response.”

(E) She leaves the shrink’s office and never goes back.

LVNM basically says everything that needs to be said:

Wet or Dry-Nursing Your Adopted Preschooler is Sexual Abuse

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Wow, here’s a new one: extended nursing a toddler and/or preschooler who has never before been breastfed.  These are children who were not nursed in infancy, yet they are suddenly finding nipples being thrust into their mouths as their brand-new mothers instruct them to suck and swallow.  The lactivists call this nursing; I call it sexual abuse.

When I first heard about this relatively new phenomenon, I figured a couple of sexual predators must have weaseled their way into the foster care system, but that CPS would soon nab these monsters and find their victims better homes.  Alas, it is apparently legal for a woman to adopt a child and then stick her nipple in its mouth as a means of “bonding.”  Not only is this practice considered a legitimate form of breastfeeding, but La Leche League actually encourages it.  (Really, why the hell am I surprised?)

Here are a couple examples from the La Leche League forums:

This woman clearly has issues. Infertility can be a painful ordeal, especially for women (and men) who dream of having biological children.  It can even become a source of embarrassment for those who feel as if their infertility somehow makes them “less” of a man or a woman — if not straight-out inferior to those who are able to reproduce.  (NOTE: these people have managed to reproduce.)  Yet this woman’s inferiority complex evidently runs so deep that she lashes out against ‘the normals’ in her introductory post — or as she so eloquently describes them, “fertile/nursing-oops we’re pregnant again-oblivious-insensitive-babies-popping-out-all-over-the-place-mamas.”   Yeah, I’m sure the mamas of La Leche League are just lining up to become OP’s friend.

Look, it’s one thing to breastfeed your adopted baby.  Breastfeeding a newborn you carried yourself can be difficult enough, so I can only imagine how much more of a challenge it would be to induce and maintain a steady milk supply without the benefit of postpartum hormones.  Women who successfully feed their infants this way ought to be admired for their dedication.  But to induce lactation purely for the sake of “bonding” with an older child?!  If this woman wanted a baby, she should have adopted a fucking baby.  Of course, anyone who believes bonding with a three-year-old requires sticking a nipple in their mouth probably doesn’t belong adopting anyway.

Make no mistake.  There is nothing inherently wrong with nursing a twelve-month-old.  Babies require either breast milk or formula as their primary source of nutrition during the latter six months of infancy, and you could hardly expect an exclusively breastfed baby to be weaned overnight.  But to initiate a “nursing relationship” with a twelve-month-old (premature or not) for non-nutritive purposes is indeed sexual exploitation.

This woman clearly doesn’t give a damn whether the child had been previously breastfed, nor does she care enough to find out.  All that matters here is that she wants to breastfeed.

Once again, these are children who were not previously breastfed, — children who do not require breast milk (or formula) as a source of nutrition — being told to latch onto their new mommy’s boob, stimulate her nipple with their tongue, suck, swallow, and repeat.  While the majority of these children have been thrust into completely new environments with total strangers — which is certainly traumatic enough without being sexual abused — a some of these kids have been living with their families for years.  Case in point:  (Click to enlarge.)

This little girl came to them at five months.  She was adopted two and a half years later at the age of three.  But before you conclude that this poor child must be a recently-adopted three-year-old, consider this woman’s lament: “My daughter is interested in nursing and I wish I’d started sooner.”

First of all, how does a child of any age just suddenly become interest in nursing — let alone an autistic child with severe emotional problems?  Moreover, while this woman is intentionally vague on the age of the child — “Emotionally she’s about 3.  Intellectually she’s about 6.  I think it’s safe to conclude that this kid is at least six years old and possibly older;  The child in the picture, whom I am assuming to be “DD” looks to be about eight or nine years old… and Mom hasn’t even logged into her account since a month after this post was made.  😯

If her three-year-old were emotionally three and intellectually six, you’d think this woman would be celebrating.  (But possibly still wanting to pop out a boobie in place of Champagne.)

Alas, it gets worse.  Much, much worse.  Here is a link to the original thread.  This is just a taste (sorry!) of the advice she is offered:

Mom2Mom: “…I don’t know how I would get domperidone without a dr. but what about nursing minus the actual milk if you can’t?  you could have a special chair or something and ask her if she wants to nurse and maybe hold her like she’s nursing or like when someone “bottle nurses”, even skin to skin or whatever you both feel good about.”

SundayCrepes: “I agree about trying the nursing without milk… I am currently nursing my 3 year old (she turned 3 last week.) I stopped taking the dom in March. I don’t know if I’m making any milk at this time. We nurse throughout the day.”

tiffani: I comfort nurse my adopted 2 and 4 year old kiddos (home with us at 16 mos and 3.5 yrs) and have no milk, but they enjoy the experience.

The award for best lactating sexual predator goes to Tiffani for initiating a dry-nursing relationship with an adopted toddler AND a preschooler.  The fact that she managed to get one for each boob is simply astounding.  Here’s hoping you’ve since made it onto the Sex Offender Registry, Tiff.

Extended Comfort Nursing

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I found this sparkling gem while browsing some Facebook attachment-parenting community:

The thought of my four-year-old son sucking on my nipple while “massaging my boobs to sleep” makes me want to vomit. But Sheree evidently finds this precious and describes the boobie games they play (in which her child enjoys “bopping his head into [her] boob to bounce back and forth while still latched on”) as “hysterical.. we both break out into fits of giggles.”

And she isn’t about to take any shit from her kid’s pediatrician.  When allegedly told that there isn’t any nutritional value to breastfeeding beyond the first six months (which I’m guessing is a bit of an exaggeration on Sheree’s part), she waltzed right back into the doctor’s office to give the “biased” pediatrician a WHO pamphlet and a stern lecture.

I should also point out that Sheree’s preschooler is exclusively “comfort nursing,” which she says includes nursing to bond with her.  (Personally, I prefer playing Candyland.)

Extended dry/comfort-nursing is real, it’s becoming more popular, and it may or may not leave your child with warm, milky memories.

Sanctimommy vs. Little Old Lady — KO!

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This screen cap is just priceless:

Barbara comes across as a sweet old lady reminiscing about when her 49 and 50-year-old sons were infants.  Amber plays the part of the vicious sanctimommy who rips her to pieces for daring to mention not only that the “boys” were formula fed — but that they survived.

I Starved My Baby, Part One

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My son did not eat until 23 hours after he was born.

He was my first child, and my mother (who’d adopted me at five weeks) didn’t have any more experience with newborns than I did, so we initially listened to the recovery ward nurses who said it wasn’t necessary for babies to eat within the first twenty-four hours of birth.

My son had some of the classic latching problems (which we would later overcome), but more importantly, I WAS NOT PRODUCING ANY BREASTMILK.  I never produced any colostrum, and the milk did not start coming in normally until several days after the birth.

But the nurses assured me I would produce milk if I kept trying to latch him on.  And so I did, even though it felt as if I were banging both our freaking heads again the wall.

When he was 10 hours old, I asked for formula.  The nurses convinced me it was unnecessary, and to keep on trying to latch and/or pump.  At 12 hours old, I asked again.  A nurse instead came in to “coach” me.  At this point, I was torn between “doing the right thing” (holding out to EBF) and doing what was “convenient for me” (feeding a starving baby).

Please keep in mind that I was new to all this, utterly-sleep deprived (I’d been averaging two hours a night for the past five days) and under the influence of oxycodone, yet still in a terrible amount of pain.  I figured these nurses were the “experts,” and when they offered me a newborn pacifier to “soothe” (i.e. shut up) my hungry baby, I gladly accepted.

A few hours later (and after few more timid requests for formula), they sent in a lactation consultant who simply reiterated everything I’d already read in books.  We agreed that I’d wait until he was 18 hours old before resorting to formula, which somehow turned into 20.

At 20 hours, I insisted upon feeding my baby formula.  The nurses offered some excuse or another as to why the “breastfeeding-friendly formula” (Similac) wasn’t available at that particular moment in time.  At 21 hours, I finally called my father in another state (my mom did not have her car) to go to the store and bring me some damned formula.  He arrived with Similac about an hour later, but the nurse told me it wasn’t the *correct* Similac; unless I used the RTD version (which was supposedly the same consistency as breastmilk), I’d have no hope of ever breastfeeding my baby.  (Keep in mind these people gave my kid a freakin’ pacifier!)

I’d finally had enough, and at 22 hours I told them to find me whatever the hell I was supposed to feed my baby or I was going to give him powdered Similac.  It took my mother following up half an hour later, but at 23 hours old my baby was finally permitted to eat… a single ounce of formula.  Any more, I was told, and my baby would get sick. :-\

Thankfully, my milk came in a few days later, and I was able to EBF my son for the next 8.5 months.  But because of my experience, I never lost sight of the fact that while breast may be best, it isn’t everything.  And there is seriously something wrong with anyone who would readily sacrifice their baby’s health (or overall well-being) for the sake of an ideology.

“The Backlash Against Breastfeeding”

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Zoe Williams reports on the feeding frenzy caused by the women daring to challenge the ‘breast is best’ orthodoxy

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/may/25/breastfeeding-backlash-zoe-williams

“Breastfeeding cannot be distinguished from the decision to breastfeed, which could represent a more comprehensive commitment to healthy living.”