Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tits Only

Wandering around the breastfeeding store yesterday, I saw the onesie: "TITS ONLY," it read, and hmm, I thought, wow, tits only. That's one way of putting it.

I must admit that in the past eight weeks I've felt like little more than a gigantic boob. Baby crying? Give her the boob. Baby gnawing on hand? Boob time. Baby licking her lips? Pass the milk, please.

And maybe it's just me (like when you buy an El Camino and then see them everywhere), but I also feel like breastfeeding is all over the news. It's apparently no longer allowed to post breastfeeding pictures on Facebook (as if I want Tom Ford from eleventh grade English seeing that much of me. Sorry Tom!). Then there was the whole pumping story in the New Yorker which gave fodder to intellectual mom's groups everywhere. And just yesterday, on cnn.com, a whole slew of "ireporters" were giving their two cents about breastfeeding in public.

It's funny because in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, you're more likely to be looked down upon for pulling a bottle out in a restaurant than a boob. Really. Everyone gets very sanctimonious about breastfeeding, and while I know "breast is best," I can't help but look in the mirror at my formula-fed self and over at my formula-fed husband and around at my many formula-fed friends and wonder about all the hullabaloo. I know women who put themselves through inordinate amounts of pain (the woman who had her inverted nipples "sucked out" before leaving the hospital comes to mind) and still feel self-conscious about not being uber-feeders.

I could go on and on (but baby needs boob!). Anyone want to shed a little light on this? How do you feel about breastfeeding in public? Breastfeeding on Facebook? Breastfeeding in general? I know your formula-fed minds are IQ-deficient but surely you can think of something!

6 comments:

little miss mel said...

I breastfed my first son for only 8 weeks, which included supplementing with formula bottles. With my second boy, I pumped for 6 weeks. I made only enough milk in one entire day of pumping to equal one of his 6-7 bottles.

Sure, it's quite frustrating to hear that what I am doing to my babies is considered "wrong", or "second best", but no flack has ever been given to me by the people I know and who live near me.

It's more from society in general who don't really understand what it's like for women who can't breastfeed, or for some reason or other, it doesn't work for them.

I wish society would understand people make choices for their children depending on what's best for them and their family. And no matter what that is, it isn't "wrong."

Lazy Mom Amanda said...

Boy, do I have several thoughts on this. Breastfed first daughter for 6 months, 2nd daughter 8 Daughter number 3 was the sickest, and had the most ear infections..so much for breast being better.

Breastfeeding was great for me. It came naturally and easy and I loved every minute of it. I am not a big fan of public breastfeeding, however, when it's time to eat, it's time to eat. Just have a little modesty. Don't whip out your breast for everyone to see.

As for posting pictures...really? on facebook?? people do this??? WOW
My advice is do it while you can and while you enjoy it. If it's too painful or too hard, go for the bottle. Daughter #3 is here to tell you after 2 sets of tubes it didn't make that much of a difference.

Andrea Luttrell said...

There's an entire store dedicated the breast feeding?!?!?! How many items associated with breastfeeding can one sell? Sheesh!

Heather said...

I think it's all about what works best for you... and although breast feeding is best, it doesn't ensure that your child will turn out healthy and a genius! In fact, from my experience in our little circle... it hasn't proved any better health wise at all. I breast fed Camryn for 2 weeks! My milk supply was horrible, my nipples were bleeding and blistered... I pumped in between every feeding trying to get my supply up and finally gave up. Carrigan got the boob for about 9 weeks. My second go was much easier, although I still struggled with supply. I started supplementing with her around week 4 so Jeff could help more. When I returned to work, I went down to only giving her the boob at bedtime and first thing when she woke up. I saw it as our time together. My milk supply got worse and I finally had to stop. Keaton got the boob for 3 months... same schedule as Carrigan. All of them were ear infection free til after one... no serious illness along the way either.

Now, my playgroup mommy, Mary breast fed her boys till they were 2. Both were sick, in and out of the hospital from just a few months after birth until now... they are 6 and 8. She jokes that she's the poster child for not breastfeeding! HA!

As far as breastfeeding in public... I say go for it! I didn't care when or where I did it. There is no part of feeding your child that should be considered or seen as dirty. The maturity level of those that do see it this way astounds me!

I can remember sitting in the front yard breastfeeding Keaton, while my entire playgroup was here. The kids ran thru the lawn sprinkler, and played in the kiddie pool... cars drove by, and people passed on bikes. One mommy looked at me like I was crazy for having it all hanging out... but it was July... Keaton and I were both hot, and I just didn't see what the big deal was. It's skin people!

I should have probably prefaced this entire post with a disclosure on my belief that once you give birth all modesty is gone! It certainly was for me. HA!

As long as you feed your baby, you've made the right choice. Formula vs. Breast... doesn't matter.

Maggie May said...

i breastfed my kids for almost three years each. in public, i used a blanket over their heads. when they got old enough to protest, they had to wait until we were in private. rock on breastmom! :)

Hillery said...

Just saw this post! A week late, but great discussion. I breastfed C for 18 months (and she was plenty sick, so I don't know about THAT theory!). But the cozy bonding was my (our) favorite part. It felt like so much more than just *mealtime*; it was a holding on to the physical closeness we had had those long nine (ten?) months before. Then the separating was more gradual, a little more human. As for taking this out into the world: after the first few awkward weeks, I did it in public pretty much all the time, with one of those flowery throws over the shoulder for privacy. (Restaurants, cafes, museums, subway, the OFFICE on one particularly embarrassing visit--maybe I should save that story for your most recent post about your Whitney/PBQ adventure!)