Thursday, May 13, 2010


I was watching tv earlier and saw a commercial for Primetime this Friday night. It's a "What would you do?" episode and features a mother breastfeeding in a restaurant when the manager goes off on her.

I posted the times and info on Facebook so my friends would know to be able to watch it with me. We are funny like that. Everyone I *know* breastfeeds and *most* extended breast feed. It's the most natural thing there is and the fact that some people find it offensive offends me more than most things. In fact it probably ranks in the top ten of offensive things to me. People who butt their noses in and tell a nursing mother to cover up or feed elsewhere or the worst give the baby a bottle.

Almost daily I hear or read about a mother hassled. There is even a gal on facebook who started a page to go along with her documentary about breast feeding and how facebook takes photos of breastfeeding babies off the site. Stating it is offensive. Anyone who has perused FB knows that there are scantily clad (or less) woman all over, and breast feeding is really the least offensive things going on out there in internet land. Well she was proved right. Amazingly, she posted 5 photos of babies nursing and 1 photo of 5 fake boobed topless woman. Within days all of the bfing pictures were removed. What remained? You guessed it, the fake boobs.

Ironic that when one gets implants and they grow old the only thing that does remain is those perky fake boobs.

Breastfeeding is NOT obscene people.

Breasts were designed for babies nutrition. Pleasure was secondary. And as great as that is, babies need to come first. Formula will never the as beneficial to babies, no matter how hard formula companies tout that it is. It will never give babies immunity of the mother, it will never change as the baby grows always giving exactly what baby needs.

So now that I have spouted all that, the reason for this post is that whether we like it or not we all have some sort of judgments of others. It's not right or even close to okay but we all do it.
Whether its someone's parenting style, breast vs bottle, stroller vs Ergo, crib vs co-sleep. It could be as simple as how you overhear someone talk to their child. In that moment you form an opinion of how they parent all the time when really they could just be having a bad day and yell only rarely, or they could be putting on a show and beat their child behind closed doors.

The truth of the matter is that no matter what our judgments are, they are usually formed with little to no actual fact of the situation. I am the first to admit that when I walk through the mall and see a mom bottle feeding her infant I cringe. I know. It's SO rude. Does she love her child less, probably not. But I automatically think "wow, formula, sad". Who knows what has happened in their situation. She could have had her baby early and not been able to get her milk in properly. I know mine didn't come in after Jonathan at 27 weeks. And I know other woman who had babies that early, and they didn't get their milk in either, and yet they HAD babies to feed. That mother in the mall could have been on major meds that are bad for her baby or maybe she worked and pumping was not accommodated at her work place. (while it is illegal in Oregon to not accommodate breastfeeding mother, they DO NOT have to make it easy. I was VERY worried about this when I was planning on going back to T) Yet she is still doing the best that she can with what she has. And still I go there in my head.

And I am sure there are thoughts directed at me when I nurse in public. I don't cover my child, ever. Never have and never will. So could a breast possibly be seen, sure maybe. If you stood over my shoulder, usually not if you are looking at me directly. I have had people in my life ask me how long I planned to nurse, as if my 3 month old needed to be weaned. I have been told I should wean when teeth were had. Grayson got teeth at 4 months.

I keep waiting for someone in public to say something to me. I have comebacks all worked out and ready to go in my head. Like: (can't you do that somewhere else- like the bathroom?) "Um, sure, how about you take your lunch in there and I will follow." That is an oldie but a goodie. as well as (can't you cover up?) " sure when you put a blanket on your head to eat" or "did you know it's very hot and suffocating under a blanket? Here let me show you..." {people hate it when you get in there personal space. :)} or my favorite (I can see your breast, could you do that *later*/ elsewhere) Oh really? *FLASH BREASTS NOW!*

LOL. Sorry. Sometimes I can't help myself.

But alas, I have never had a chance to use these fun bits. I either have a) "I'm a bitch, do NOT approach" or b) "perfect parent, no advice needed" tattooed on my forehead. I'm leaning toward the former. :) So far in my 20 cumulative months of breastfeeding I have only had positive feedback.

Once when we were in Sunriver (OR) for the insurance agency state conference I was nursing G in the hallway outside the hall of the award ceremony and two different woman came up to me to tell me how proud they were to see me nursing and doing it with such confidence.

Well thank you I said.

It really wasn't optional.

That isn't to say I haven't had struggles, I have. I almost lost my milk completely when G was 5 months old. I tried everything, at one point taking up to 17 herb capsules a day. I finally was able to acquire a Rx for Dompiredone, a compounded Rx that aids in milk production. (It's not FDA approved though so it's hard to come by. I am lucky and have a compound pharmacy in my town, otherwise you have to get it over the internet from New Zealand) Turned out I was having supply issues due to the mini pill. Guess I am the 5%. It took another 7 months of struggles to figure it out though.

So what was my point here? Crap. Oh ya, Judgment.

Good ol' judgment. We all do it. And we all, well some of us, try not to and work on not doing it and still fall short.

And yet... breast is best and that's all there is to it! Just sayin'.

(Hey, its my blog and I'll say what I want!)


Marlyn said...

I love you Jaimey!

Jaimey said...

And I love you! :) Thanks.

Heidi said...

When T was a baby I had supply issues and despite trying everything (except domperidone) it never beefed up enough to bf him exclusively. I did however nurse him part time until he was 10 months old. But whenever I was in public feeding him a bottle or at Costco buying formula, I felt like wearing a t-shirt that said "I tried EVERYTHING I could, but it just didn't work." Odd that I was more self-conscious bottle feeding than I was about bfing in public.

Hilary said...

Okay, posted on fb before reading your blog (made some of the same points)I am right there with ya on EVERYTHING! All the PC crap ticks me off when people don't want to say "breast is best" in fear of offending a formula mom- it IS best! That's like not saying using real legs are best so you don't offend someone with prosthetics- That's what God made them for, it's better for your baby AND YOU, suck it up and own it. I too am judgmental (oops), and think it's sad when women CAN'T breastfeed- but one's that WON'T?- It's a choice- like daycare. Is it what's best? No, but they'll live. It's a CHOICE (for the majority) that they made. It's NOT the same, it's NOT as good. Why can't people see that!???!!!!

Jaimey said...

Heidi- I'm sorry Dom didn't work for you! I understand the frustration of wanting so badly to bf and having it be uncooperative. Which may be why you felt that way when you bottle fed in public, it wasn't what you wanted to be doing. I think I would feel the same way. Had things gone differently though and I had to stop nursing sooner, I would still feel breast is best. Even if they got cut off in a freak accident tomorrow and Jax had to have formula... I would try and find a donor to donate milk. Just my opinion... and I actually do know a few who could donate. :)

Janet Phillips said...

funny you post this...on the breastfeeding blog i read, in their most recent blog they were talking about this clip and how its all a set up, but its to see how people would really react...they said you might be surprised at how some of the comments go!

the only time riley had formula was for like the first week of life-because he was sooo big, i had had a csection and my milk just took too long to come him and he was HUNGRY! plus he had a hard time learning to nurse, but once he learned to nurse he wanted nothing else, not even bm from a bottle...only the good stuff and only from the tap! to this day he still nurses at 20 months and still prefers it over food or cows milk (but will eat and drink other things now) now that he is older i do get some negative comments and stares if he decides he wants to nurse when we are out and about, i just simply explain that WHO and APA recommend nursing until 24months...and when we get to that point i will reevaluate our situation and decide what to do from there--usually that just gets eye rolls though, but i dont let the judgment stop me at all--im doing whats best for my child!

Jaimey said...

Janet- Grayson had formula too for the exact same reasons at birth. He was just flat hungry and I wasn't cutting it yet. And that was the last time he took a bottle or any artificial nipple. :) Though I did try to pump and feed he refused as well.

I'm not saying formula doesn't serve a purpose. It does but to me, its like disposable diapers. Not for convenience only but for when necessary like traveling. But I guess that is another post entirely. LOL

1snappyfamily said...

Awesome post! Breast definitely IS best...and I think it's so funny that people are offended by public breastfeeding. I too have waited for someone to come up and make a rude comment when I am BF in public, but no luck yet! (And as you know I BF my first til she was 2 1/2!!!) I've gotten "the look", but no one has approached me. Darn! ;-)

I do have a lot of compassion for those moms out there who adopted children and aren't able to breastfeed them. I know they have the supplemental nursing systems, but it's just not the same! Makes me think of Heidi's comment...I'm sure many of them would like one of those t-shirts as well! ;-)

Jaimey said...

Mel- I totally agree. I'm sure we both know one in particular who would probably love that opportunity. I will say that some are able to induce milk with dom who have never lactated before, there is a woman my lactation consultant sees who is tandum nursing a NB and a 9 month old. Both adopted, never carried a child or lactated before. All induced and LOTS of hard work.

Hania said...

hi there...i came across your blog accicdently but i am soooo glad that i did. have been bFeeing for 22 months now..i was very lucky in regards that i didnt encounter any problems along the way.Women are covered in my culture with an AbAya(cloak) or Chaddar( long shawl) so its not that difficult to feed in public. but i am with u on all the points ur making.

eireann said...

i just wanted to put it out there too that the mom giving her child a bottle might be exclusively breastfeeding - you just don't know. the only time we gave hannah formula was when she was a week old and the pedi wanted to admit her to the hospital if she didn't gain back some weight (my milk had not come in yet). other than that she has never had formula. yet, i often bottle-fed her. generally in public, at times where it would have been extremely inconvenient for me to nurse but she needed to eat or was fussy and impatient. i have never been ashamed of breastfeeding in public, but i found it difficult to do on the bus or subway.

interestingly, i generally only covered up in public when i was with my husband. while he wanted me to breastfeed and was very supportive of it, it made him very uncomfortable when i would nurse in public. he felt like it was a private, intimate thing that should not be done in public. i told him that while he had every right to his opinion and that i respected that he felt that way, i was not going to deny my child the right to eat in public like everyone else just because it made someone uncomfortable.

eireann said...

oh ps, i keep meaning to tell you - there is a mother's milk bank in portland! it is new, and started by the same non-profit that i donated to. so if you are interested in donating... :)

Leslie said...

Ouch. This one hurts a little.

I have a lot to say, but am choosing to keep my mouth shut for fear of flaming bricks through my front window.

I'll just say this: There are mothers out there who do not breastfeed but still love their children with the EXACT same overwhelming intensity that breastfeeding mothers do. We all do things that some others may not agree with. Moms should support one another. It's a tough world out there and we need it.