If you’re not a parent, or you are a parent who happens to live under a rock, you don’t know who Dr. William Sears is. But have no fear, sweet Internet, because I am about to enlighten you. He’s a crunchy-granola sort of doctor dude, the sort who has 43 kids and writes many, many different books on parenting. Not being the sort of person who tends to buy books on parenting–save for my coveted Dr. Spock book–because I figure that I do know more than I think I do, I only ran across him when I was highly pregnant with Alex and scouring the bookstore for a book on breastfeeding.

After my complete and abject failure at breastfeeding my first son, I decided that I must find the most militant book, written by the most militant author and read it cover to cover in order to be a proper breastfeeder. And Dr. Sears, with all of his 32 kids, was just the sort of militant breastfeeding advocate I needed.

It’s pretty safe to say that I was still pretty scarred from my inability to nurse Ben and had harbored a fairly large feeling of failure for the five years between the two of them. It was obviously MY fault (what shocks me as a parent is how quickly you begin to look for faults in yourself rather than accept certain truths about your child. My Ben was a lousy eater. My Alex IS a lousy sleeper. Neither of these has a damn thing to do with me) as an inept parent and everywhere I turned, this was only reinforced by everyone around me.

My brother was born in 1971 to a couple of hippies (also: my own parents) in a country hospital where breastfeeding was looked down upon as something that only savages did. The preferred choice was the far more sanitary and less savage-like baby formula, and despite my mother’s insistence that she nurse her son, she gave in to the nurses badgering after awhile.

The backlash to this formula craze was so severe, that even years later, when my first was born, I felt it. It seemed like no matter what I tried, no matter what excuse I had for why it hadn’t worked out, someone else was there to tell me that feeding formula to my son was Wrong. With a capitol ‘W.’

Even the cans of formula I carefully saved up for chastised my choice with a sweet message: “Breastfeeding is ideal.” It killed me to pay through the teeth to get the lip service from a can of formula.

(and yes, I know precisely WHY it says that on the can.)

Any parent I came across assumed that my choice to not breastfeed Ben stemmed from my age, my inexperience, and furthermore, from my abject laziness. (none of these are true, by the way. I tried desperately, but you know what? It turns out that autistic kids hate to be touched!) I’ve even heard the argument that formula ought to be available by prescription only.

Dr. Sears, whose book I did end up reading, succeeds in properly guilting anyone who dares put a pacifier near their baby’s mouth (nipple confusion!) or breaks down and feeds the child a desperate bottle so that Mommy can properly take a damn nap for more than 20 minutes. Apparently, you should only use YOUR nipples as comfort objects and consider formula that of The Devil! I mean, HIS wife breastfed their adopted children! What the HELL is wrong with you for not being able to do something SO SIMPLE?

Come on, people. Lighten up.

Sure, breastfeeding is best for the baby, I’m not claiming that it isn’t, nor would I ever. But having had one primarily formula fed (I pumped for the first month to very little output) and one primarily breastfed, I will tell you one thing: I preferred the formula experience.

I breastfed Alex initially to prove that I could, in fact do so properly (I could) and continued because I knew it was the best choice for him. Not because I loved it.

But what bugs me about the whole breast versus bottle debate is this: some of the breastfeeders tend to attack the formula feeders to the point where I’m not sure I’d tell someone if I chose to use formula.

Why should someone who chose to not breastfeed–for whatever reason–be treated like a leper? It’s not as though they’re giving their child apple juice and vodka. Breastfeeding is a deeply, intensely personal choice and–like the epidural–it’s not something that really makes or breaks you as a parent.

I’m not denying that breastmilk is best, because it is, but so is buying everything organic, free-range, and from a farmer’s market rather than shopping at Target or Aldi. Hell, why aren’t you growing your own veggies and raising your own livestock while we’re at it? And shit, you should totally make your own non-sweatshop produced clothes! Because those choices are all “better” too.

And besides, no matter how carefully you control what your baby/toddler eats, that ickle one will grow up into a child, then a teenager who will eat Cool Ranch Doritos at school for lunch, rather than the carefully hand grown carrots you sent to school. How do I know this? EXPERIENCE. My mother was that crunchy person who sent me to school with that sort of thing, and did I eat it? NEVER.

I guess all that I’m saying is why can’t we all get along? Why does one choice have to disqualify the other as a viable alternative? Because seriously, if we could stand united without having to pick apart the choices of others (*ahem* MOTRIN MOMS), can you imagine all that we could accomplish?

Or hell, maybe it’s just me and my propensity toward incontinence talking here.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

101 Responses to Dr. Sears Can Kiss My Fluffy White Butt

  • Kristine says:

    Amen, sister friend.

  • The Mommy says:

    I really hate this ongoing battle. I agree with you. It’s a personal choice that is nobody’s damn business. For the record I breastfed all 3 kids so far, but I REALLY didn’t like it (I stop short of saying “hate” because I did like the money it saved me ;) but I felt judged when I wanted to quit AT 6 MONTHS and couldn’t get my Baby Girl to cooperate. Someone asked me, “Why do you want to STOP?!?!” Hello! Because I want to! No explanation other than that should be necessary! As long as your child is healthy and fed (by whatever means you choose) it really is no one else’s business. I feel blessed that I have a pediatrician who doesn’t push in one direction or the other. Another “battle” that I’m SICK TO DEATH of? Working moms vs. Stay-at-home moms. Good lord, people! Live and let live!

  • Rachel says:

    I am on blood thinners and couldn’t breastfeed, and I am sick of apologizing for it. Hello, if I stop the medicaiton, get a blood clot and DIE, who’s going to whip out a boob to feed my kid then????

    Both kids are fine, and don’t even hate me (most of the time) for depriving them of the boob.

  • heather says:

    Some women can’t breastfeed, even though they want to. Other people just need to mind their own damn business.

    Speaking of child care books, I found one in my FIL’s house when we were cleaning it out. No cover. It had wonderful tidbits such as, leaving a cookie or biscuit in your child’s crib at night, so they will wake up and eat it, letting you sleep a little bit longer.

  • kbrients says:

    I could not have said it better.

  • Daddy Files says:

    Well, freaking, said!

    I’ve been told I shouldn’t have an opinion about this because I’m a man, but I completely agree with you. MJ fed for 3 months and hated it. I don’t blame her. And sure breastfeeding is definitely better for the kid, but formula isn’t Satan’s elixir. It’s a couple of steps down from breast milk and both parents can participate in the bottle feedings as opposed to mom being a one-woman milkmaid.

    The La Leche fanatics need to calm the hell down…

  • Mrs.Spit says:

    You know, I totally think formula should be offered by prescription. Then you could look at those miserable witches, and say “Ben’s doctor has placed him on formula. I’m sorry, where did you say that you got your medical degree?”

  • Heather says:

    This whole debate has gotten so bad that I now refuse to answer the question of what we will do, despite the fact that I have every intention of at least trying to nurse. I also have every intention of stopping after six months or so, unless I turn out to adore it… which I just can’t imagine happening. I was ALLERGIC to breast milk and had to be fed a special formula based on goat’s milk, and my mom still got slack for it. Hello? If she had breast fed me, I could literally have died from the allergic reaction, and since I was born at 28 weeks in 1980, she wasn’t taking any extra chances.

    People are ridiculous.

    • Just so you know says:

      There is no such thing as an allergy to breastmilk. Breastmilk is the perfect formula. It is entirely possible that you were allergic to something your mom was eating, but you weren’t allergic to breastmilk.

  • guilty noodles says:

    I was bottle fed and used a pacifier and I turned out fine… I’m fully capable of feeding myself and wiping my own ass. However, I do pee on myself on the occasions where I need to give a urine sample in a tiny cup (pregnant or not).

    I swung both ways. I breast fed my boys and supplemented with formula because they stayed full longer on formula. I wasn’t eating enough, let alone sleeping, so my breast milk was weak. If people are going to get in your face about stupid shit like this, you shouldn’t even waste any more of your time with them.

    And there’s no such thing as “nipple confusion”. That’s just a crock of shit.

    Oh, and btw, I prefer my clothes made by small children in third world countries. There’s something about the stitching that’s just FANTASTIC. Besides, how the hell do you think I was able to earn the money to get to the US at the age of 3?

  • a says:

    Why are people so overtly judgemental about how you raise/feed/discipline your child anyway? I certainly don’t agree with things other people do, but unless they’re doing obvious damage, I have no right to say so.

    I breastfed my daughter, but she had to have supplemental formula, because I was just not a good producer. I was worried about it in the hospital, due to high pressure nursery nurses who didn’t want to be bothered with a baby that was hungry more frequently than they deemed necessary. Then I got home, was pressured by my “she needs to be hydrated” husband, and got irritated. Finally, once we had our routine down, a bottle of formula in the afternoon was just what she needed. Note that – WHAT SHE NEEDED. That’s the important part of the equation. That’s where I think almost all mothers come from (or where I prefer to think almost all mothers come from, anyway).

    Of course, I’m sure that explains why she now eats Pop-tarts for breakfast most mornings….

  • melanie says:

    *clap, clap, clap*

    I am a mom who chose to formula feed and never even tried breastfeeding….and I was STUNNED by how I was treated! Here I sit a non-breastfed child, who graduated not only with honors in high school but college as well, no allergies, no asthma, wasnt a sickly child etc etc….. freak of nature I tell you! And heck that was 30 years ago, formula has come a long way baby! I think its fantastic if you want to breastfeed, undoubtably its best for the baby………..but it CERTAINLY wasnt best for me. I suffer from anxiety on and off, which is always much worse when I am exhausted, if the feeding of my children would have been left up to me entirely, I would have been a MESS, my anxiety would have sky-rocketed (I mean try telling an anxious person to count diapers to ensure a baby is getting enough, hell i would have been disecting the diapers to make sure I knew just how much content was in them—and I only WISH i were joking)……. couple that with a self-hatred of my body, and therefore would have made myself a prisioner in my own home to avoid exposing myself, and you have a recipe for depression & disaster. Of course I dont go into all of this when I get the comments or the “look” but I do wish the judgement would stop….until you walk a mile in my shoes, only then should you tell me how to best care for my children.

    As a side note……..I always get a chuckle when I hear/read about how sickly my children are SUPPOSED to be, since they weren’t breastfed…….. I tell you, you would be hard pressed to find kids were are ill less often than mine…..

  • Sandy says:

    I had to go to another person’s blog to find and copy and paste my comment on this subject. Here it is:

    “I am one of those rare mothers who actually chose formula feeding and has absolutely no reservations about it. I never felt guilty a single day. While most of my friends’ breast fed babies seemed to be sickly all the time, my son was always healthy as a horse. He’s now a straight A student and just won MVP on his football team this season. Imagine that – all from a formula start. And I used PARENT’S CHOICE!! EEEK!! They’ll be torching my house tonight.

    Guess what – I also don’t use hand sanitizer – ever. OMG – I may have social services called on me now.

    It’s a decision I never regretted and if I had another baby, that baby would be formula fed too. So there. Let all the mom’s come at me. Who cares. It’s a choice, people. Relax. I just thought that my diet of McDonalds and soda was not nearly as beneficial to my son as the fabulous pre made stuff with all the right nutrients.”

  • Karen says:

    Oh Dear Becky. I think it proves how much I love you that I read a full post on breast feeding simply becuase you wrote it. I am willing to get along with feeders and non-feeders and non-lactators alike. Thank you for this lesson in tolerance. :)

  • Ms. Moon says:

    Well, I have to say that I loved breastfeeding my children. I absolutely adored it. For me it just felt completely and utterly right. I understand everyone might not feel that way but my question is- why?
    We are mammals, which means we have mammary glands to feed our young. Okay, so we don’t HAVE to do that anymore. I understand. And I understand that pumping while working is a huge and major sacrifice and not pleasant. Pumping is not anything like nursing.
    But really- why have we come to this place as a species where something so very intrinsic to our survival (up until “modern times”) has become something which we don’t enjoy? We’re supposed to enjoy it. It’s sort of like, uh, the way we get those babies in us in the first place. After the first few weeks while the nipples toughen up (and yes, it can really be painful before that), it should be enjoyable. And maybe that’s part of the problem? Breasts have become so sexualized that their intended purpose now seems a bit…icky? It seems wrong to feel pleasure nursing a baby? Hell, our bodies release oxytocin when we nurse, which is the “feel good” hormone.
    But if a mother does not enjoy it and don’t really want to do it, I agree- it ain’t nobody’s business but her own. And yes, perfectly healthy babies can be raised on formula. No doubt about it.

  • Sara says:

    I have done both..ish.

    The Big Z was supplemented, because I had a C-section, and she weighed more than NINE pounds.

    The Little Z nursed for 6 months.

    I didn’t nurse because it was the best thing for my kids. I did it because I am lazy. Plain and simple.

    You’ve inspired me. I will blog about this just for you!

  • deb says:

    I too believe that it is a personal choice. All of it. Breast or bottle, cloth or disposal, organic or pesticides – all of it. That being said, I just have 2 questions:
    Do you really have a fluffy white butt and where do I find that apple juice and vodka?

  • Dot says:

    Tell ‘em to butt the hell out.

    This reminds me of the diabetes police. Every single time I eat a speck of sugar at work, someone pounces on me and tries to make me stop. Apparently people are convinced that diabetics must never eat sugar because the word sugar appears in the phrase blood sugar. That’s why we’re calling it blood glucose now, but next I suppose they’ll start telling me I can’t eat meat because it might contain blood.

  • Hey – did you come onto P blog?

  • Mama Bee says:

    Hi there! I gave you an award today on my blog! (http://tinyurl.com/8ljbot)

  • Why don’t you do what Brit-Brit does and fill the bottle with Coca-Cola? LOL. I did both breast and bottle feeding with both my boys, and was fine with both, and they’re both really healthy. I don’t understand the fighting, either.

  • Geez, how many times did I just type the word “both?” Sorry.

  • Tony says:

    Your dealing with mothers. Mothers are NOT sane. None of them. Ever.

    Oh, and for the record, I was not breast fed and I turned out just fine..

  • Lola says:

    Dude, did you see those moms on Primetime Live the other night that are still nursing their kids at six, eight and one woman who nurses her ELEVEN year-old daughter? I almost puked! No judgment, ladies, really, have at it for as long as you like, but I almost puked!

    I breastfed my boy for four months, four months of which he screamed bloody murder for hours and hours a day. He was growing like a weed, so the doctor told me that it can’t be because of the breastfeeding. I ate nothing I liked for fear it was giving him gas. Maybe it wasn’t anything to do with breastfeeding, but all I know is when I switched his ass to formula, he stopped screaming. They told me colic generally goes away at four months, so who knows.

    I didn’t love breastfeeding, but I didn’t hate it either. It’s a choice, and the nasty bitches that jump all over the women who don’t do as they do aren’t worth two seconds of your time. It’s just like the stay-at-homes judging the working moms or the homeschoolers being judged for their way of life by the public or private schoolers. Whatever works for you, folks, is fine with me. Just don’t try giving me shit for my choices.

    I say, save the feelings of guilt for the real issues in life, like eating a whole block of cheese in an hour!

  • ewe_are_here says:

    I agree. Feeding your baby is absolutely a personal decision, and I refuse to judge or allow others to judge me when it comes to feeding babies.

    I tried to breastfeed my oldest, but there was essentially NOTHING to offer him, seeing as I hemorrhaged having him. So I pumped for three months to supplement the formula that allowed him to thrive. And guess what? I preferred it that way… anyone could feed and cuddle him (read: happy grandparents), and he got just enough formula to kickstart his immunity.

    It went so well, I deliberately went this route from the get go with my second wee one, asking for formula right off the bat after I had him. And I’ll do it again with the third. I just can’t argue with the two big, extremely healthy boys, and I refuse to let anyone try to make me feel bad about my decision.

  • Kristen says:

    I totally agree, there is really nothing to debate! To each his own, both are healthy, viable choices and it is so not anyone else’s business.
    I know a woman who is a militant breast feeding advocate. She is extremely judgemental of bottle feeding as well as sometimes giving misguided advice to women who really should be looking at other alternatives for feeding their kids. Now I am all for supporting women who choose to bf, but she is ridiculous. She boycotts shows that have advertising from formula companies, etc. etc. There is plenty of need for good formula, plenty of sick babies or mommies, plenty of babies with weak latches or premies or adopted or squeamish mommies, or just women who choose to not nurse. It is her body after all. And I think that we all need to support each other and that can mean having the best formulas available as well as freedom to nurse when and where we need to. It also mean putting our judging aside and embracing each other and rejoicing in all the choice we have.

  • Betty M says:

    I never understood why anyone gets so defensive about this. Particularly the formula never did my clever sporty offspring any harm crowd – which always seems to me like protesting just a bit too much there given being clever and sporty probably has a lot more to do with genetics and life chances than formula or b’milk. I went for breast feeding as a) I found it pretty easy and b) the idea of choosing to spend time washing, sterilising and touting round bottles and powder for someone this lazy was out of the question. Have to say though that I have no hesitation of thinking the woman I know who refused to breast feed because she was worried about her boobs was unbelievably selfish.

  • Madame Yu See says:

    After nursing my son for about 3 months, while having introduced him to solids at 6 weeks – which was the thinking back in 1976, surprise, surprise, my milk dried up and I had to put him on a bottle.
    When my daughter was born in 1979, I had read the La Leche League book and pretended that I was her only source of nourishment – that there were no such things as bottles- and my baby would DIE if I didn’t nurse her. I even nursed her through a very painful breast infection. I ended up nursing her for 18 months (and she didn’t get solids till she was 4 months old, then didn’t like them).
    I think she’d still be nursing, if I’d let her. I had to go back to work and put her on a bottle at a year and a half. She drank that for another year.
    Whatever works for you will be great!

  • Meghan says:

    I agree whole hreatedly…thanks for the support:) I am all pro-formula but had I been able to breast feed I probably would have tried…a bit. I enjoy pawning off my kidlet for a moment of blissfull sleep.

  • kiwi gal says:

    Wow. Obviously a few people here that have felt harassed about their choices.

    I believe that because the evidence for better baby health with breastfeeding is so strong, we should give it a go if we can. Of course there are mothers who can’t for a variety of reasons, and we should be supporting them too. Definitely not guilting mothers out.

    But honestly. My sisterinlaw didn’t breastfeed her baby because she didn’t want stretchmarks on her boobs. And there is an increasing trend where I am for very young women not to want to breastfeed, because, well, they still want to wear bikinis. I don’t think they have quite realised what being a mother might entail.

    • Cantor says:

      “I believe that because the evidence for better baby health with breastfeeding is so strong…(…)”

      The KRAMER study on 17000 bielorussian babies showed that the only proven breastfeeding benefit was a slight protection against gastro-enteritis….

      Quotation from
      The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on the Kramer Study…
      “Admittedly, the study by Kramer et al contributes to the accumulating evidence that the overall effects of breastfeeding on later health outcomes are likely to be modest. The prolongation of exclusive breastfeeding may confer limited benefit for adiposity, stature, and blood pressure in later childhood.”

      So, you, as many people, have been manipulated by LLL…
      All that struggle for ” Limited benefits”….that will not even be noticed individually.

    • Kristine says:

      The evidence is for breast feeding is not as strong as you think it is. Much of the research is ad hoc, and the findings are based on correlation without causation. The findings for long term benefits of breast feeding have been debunked in many medical and scientific journals. Always have a critical mind about irrefutable “fact sheets” and “checklists.” It’s not science. As for women who are concerned about their boobs looking bad, doctors aren’t sure whether it is breast feeding or just the pregnancy itself that causes issues with that. In other words, if you have a baby, your boobs may go down south regardless of whether you breast feed.

  • Stacey says:

    I have a long drawn out story,complete with various surgery scars, to explain why I only nursed DS1 for 4 weeks before supplementing with formula, eventually moving to 100% formula by the time he was 4 months old. Since I begin the story by yanking down my waistband and saying ‘see this? It’s from my appendectomy, there is another one here, and here and..” by the time I reach for my shirt to show them the 4th one, no one seemed to care that I had a bottle in my hand.

    I have a really crunchy friend who homebirths and nurses and makes her own diapers and yes, they are about to buy a calf to raise for milk & eventually beef.

  • Heather says:

    Hear, hear. I tried to breastfeed #1 until I was rehospitalized and pressured by the ICU doc to give it up in favor of stronger meds to make me better? Did I waver? Only when the nurses (save but one) jumped up and down in abject horror that I would consider stopping (despite the fact I was confined to bed on my left side, doped on medication, with a newborn miles away). I did stop and haven’t regretted.

    In anticipation of getting sick again, I wrote breastfeeding off the Worry List early on with Beans. Did I regret this one? Nope.

    If we have a third, assuming I’m healthy, I may give it a go. Who knows?

    No one attackes mothers like other mothers; if it’s not what we feed them when they’re born, it’s how we get them to sleep, whether they watch television or darn their own socks, or what kind of school we want to send them too. It’s maddening. Absolutely insane.

  • pat says:

    I think, if anyone hates breastfeeding that much they are probably damaging their kid psychologically for keeping going when really they should just give up. Sure, formula sin’t best, but what’s better, a mom who is a blithering mess trying to breastfeed when she resents every minute of it, or a happy mom who can bottle feed? And remember, no one can make you feel guilty, only you can make yourself feel guilty.

  • heather... says:

    I love you and stuff.

  • Becky, As Herself
    Twitter: mommywantsvodka
    says:

    While I agree completely that no one else can make you feel guilty but yourself (and perhaps your mother), having someone openly criticize your motivation is enough to raise the hackles of anyone after the 100th or so time. What I chose to feed my child for whatever reason is really not something that should have to be defended.

    And I’m not sure why it’s the militant breastfeeders that feel as though it’s fair to openly judge and criticize others, but for some reason, I’ve never had a bottle feeder say boo about any of it.

    Who knows?

  • Kendra says:

    Amen to you and your choices! I breastfed all 3 of my kids and frankly loved it (still nursing #3). But after #1 was born, we had (apparently common) latch troubles, so I ended up pumping and bottle feeding for the first 6 weeks. Then we got a (nice) lactation consultant and a lot of help. But I learned a lot of things. I was convinced that the only way to be a good mom was to successfully breastfeed. (Oh, the number of times I’ve had to eat my words regarding “the only way to be a good mom”!) I also found that when I bottle fed in public (pumped milk, mind you) I got “the look” from a lot of mothers that suggested that I was failing my baby. And later, when I tried to breastfeed in public (you know, in a corner booth, under a blanket and a camping tent), I got “the look” from people that suggested I was flashing them for my own amusement. And though we did eventually have a very good breastfeeding experience, it was so stresful at the beginning that I’ve wondered more than once whether I would have been a better mom to my brand-new baby if I’d just given him the formula and quit stressing about it.

    It’s a very personal choice and you do what works best for you, your baby, and your family, just like every other major decision you make as a parent. And, just like every other decision, it seems there’s no way to actually win.

  • jerseygirl89 says:

    I too was born in ’71 and my mom got a lot of crap for breastfeeding me until she went back to work. What’s funny is that I’m now breastfeeding number 3 and I feel like I’m getting crap too. Honestly, every time I talk to a nurse or an OB they tell me to give my baby some formula every night, or every morning, or what have you. Why?

    If you want to give your child formula, or you have to, that’s fine with me. But why are people always bugging me to give my kids formula? All of them gained weight just fine. This one is HUGE and still I get the formula comments. How about we all just stop giving each other advice?

  • Rachel, too. says:

    aside from being a mother, breastfeeding is the most challenging thing i have ever done! i cried, i tore, i bled. i spent hundreds of dollars within the first few weeks of the monk’s life so that i could breastfeed properly. i’m glad i did it, but i don’t fault anyone that chooses not to. it amazed me how many complete strangers asked me if i was breastfeeding. hello! what i do with my boobs is my business! i wasn’t breastfed and i turned out just fine. well, except for the 11thtoe, and the wart on my forehead. minor details. ;)

  • Tina says:

    Been there, done that. I tried with #1 and failed massively. In the first week after I had him, I had a serious kidney infection and ended up back in the hospital with a 104.4 fever. I had tried fenugreek, pumping, etc. to try to increase my supply but nothing was coming out. Combine that, the stress, and the kidney infection and I was about to lose it.

    I tried to re-lactate at 6 weeks, but ended up in the ER a second time with severe chest and stomach pain. Now, thinking back, it might have been the fenugreek I was taking to get things going.

    Will I try again? I’m 99% certain I won’t. It’s just not worth my sanity. #1 is healthier than I am… he’s had 0 ear infections, and I’ve had 1. I have allergies and he only gets a runny nose when he has teeth coming in. DH’s genes were good for something after all.

    I’ve definitely felt judged for it though. But the titnazis can kiss my fluffy white arse.

  • I’ll never understand mommy wars. We are all doing our very best. I think we should stop judging each other.

  • Miss Grace says:

    I have an award waiting for you over at my blog :)

  • Calliope says:

    oof. I SO hear you. I am planning to breastfeed, but I think I am like the first woman in my family to ever attempt it. I even remember being out with Grandmother when I was a little girl and upon seeing a woman breastfeed at the mall remember hearing my Grandmother hiss, “Savages!” under her breath.

    I just can’t stand the Mom bashing about this. blech

  • SciFi Dad says:

    This, and the working out of home vs. SAHM are the two arguments I will never understand. Your baby, your choice. It’s THAT simple.

    (FWIW, my wife breastfed my daughter until 13 months, and other than a few ounces of formula in the first week because of blood sugar concerns, my son has been exclusively breastfed. She won’t even let him lick a Dorito!)

  • Ames says:

    I couldn’t have written this post better myself.

    For me, having both of my babies in the NICU, I was forced to pump breastmilk for the kiddos. Nothing says welcome to motherhood like a nurse forcing you to stick giant suction cups on your boobs for 20 minutes every 2 hours for 5 weeks. With my first, she was so small that they did gavage tube feedings for the first 3 weeks and then gave her the pumped milk in a bottle and didn’t allow me to try actually breastfeeding her until three days before she came home from the hospital. I started breastfeeding her and after two weeks at home we were told she wasn’t gaining weight fast enough and she was placed on a special preemie formula with extra calories to help her gain weight faster. With my son, because of his breathing issues they didn’t even feed him at all until he was 5 days old, he had only IV’s for nutrition. He then had massive latch issues so I was pumping and feeding him as well. Then he had massive reflux issues and was really fussy ~ turns out he’s allergic to milk and now he’s being bottle fed with special formula.

    I’m constantly criticized about bottle feeding, and I HATE it. Honestly I would have rather breast-fed, but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for me. *sigh*

  • Candid Engineer says:

    Well said. People get too veklempt about science and babies. Yes, breast milk is better, but the margin of difference is REALLY not that wide in the grand scheme of things.

    Also, can I tell you about how I’m tired of people telling my about how I’ve bought a house in a lousy school district? No, I’m not even pregnant yet. But seriously, even if I was, the fruit of my loins is going to be brilliant whether I put him/her in a good school or a crappy school. I went to a crappy school until I was 13 and I turned out fine. Maybe it was the breast milk I received as a child that got me through it all? ;)

  • andria says:

    Oh, girl, I lost two friends, who obviously weren’t really my friends, when I chose to formula feed my first child. I was a horrible mother for not wanting to pump every two hours after a horrific c-section when they were giving him the fattening formula anyway. They tried to get me to relactate because if I loved my son, I would lactate for him. When moms at Gymbohell found out I wasn’t nursing, they literally scooted away from us.

    So obviously, I breastfed second child because I wanted people to like me and think I was an awesome mother.

    And then moms were grossed out by my public nursing, you know, in my car WAY back in the back of the parking lot.

    Either way you can’t win. And I find it the most hysterical thing ever because every one of those women are going to feed their kid birthday cake in a year anyway and tote cupcakes to class every year. WTH?

  • giggleblue says:

    in the words of several famous rappers – “do you!”

  • Betts says:

    Ooo, aren’t you just tempting the trolls out there with this hot topic. Maybe next you should tackle the “family bed” issue. I breastfed my daughter for (sit down; you’re not going to believe this) three and a half years until she told me that she was a big girl, so she wasn’t going to have “na-na” anymore. The last two years were at bed time only. I loved it and it was a wonderful experience. I still miss it. It’s also a lot of work and sometimes painful, so if someone can’t or doesn’t want to, I won’t begrudge them that. We’re lucky that there is formula, so we have a choice. I’m curious if you’re going to try breastfeeding your daughter.

  • andi says:

    OMG, you kick total ass! Women who get their panties in a knot about other women’s choices need to get a hobby. And I LOVE that you said that Dr. Sears has so many kids. I loathe that man and his ability to make anyone who’s not a hardcore attachment parent feel totally inadequate.

  • Emily R says:

    i sort of feel that the pendulum has swung really far the other way and now people are afraid to argue that breast is best for fear of offending those who don’t. which is also quite silly.

    i have a list of 45 reasons sears can kiss my ass. your baby will not implode if she cries for a few minutes…

  • Kyddryn says:

    I didn’t breast feed because I couldn’t – my tits were past warrantee and didn’t work. The replacement parts are STILL on back order.

    I joke about it because if I didn’t laugh, I would STILL cry over it. I very nearly killed myself because I thought I was a failure, a bad mother because I couldn’t somehow force my hooters to become Mooo-ters at will, an opinion reinforced by the scores of women who lined up to tell me how awful I was, how selfish, how ignorant or stupid, because I was CHOOSING not to breast feed. Sigh. Stupid hormones, post-partum and clinical depressions and nosy, judgmental bitches who have nothing better to do than police and traumatize new mothers.

    Yes, breast milk is best – if you can produce it, if you aren’t on medications that can cross the cell barrier and affect the baby in a deleterious fashion, if your breast milk isn’t causing reflux or allergic reactions, if…if…if…

    I figure if the kid is fed, healthy, happy, and loved, it’s none of my concern what you feed it…mothering is difficult enough without facing a damn mammary firing squad.

    I still feel like a bad mother because I couldn’t find the damn on switch to my tatas…double sigh…but I now know that all I can do is my best and fuck the ass-clappers who think they have a right to assume and judge without first asking and knowing.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  • mnsm31 says:

    yep yep..or its you gave up to easy? um, yeah Im a single mother I can’t afford to have a baby attached to the bags all day, and the nurses and the doctors said it would have been really hard to me cause I have “very inverted nipples” I did pump, and never got more than 2 ounces, so my kid would have been starving…

    some people just make me NUCKING FUTS..

    so Amelia will be here soon aye?

  • Kate says:

    I have not yet had the joy of being a mom, but let me just say that I was breastfed, and still turned out to be one of the unhealthiest kids on the planet (progressive illness, every allergy in the book, don’t think that the words “immune system” apply to me). Yeah, breastfeeding is ideal, but it doesn’t solve everything, and formula is a GREAT option for some people. It is a choice, and, as we don’t live in a dictatorship, I believe we’re supposed to be maximizing the freedom of those choices. Someday I hope to nurse my baby, but if it doesn’t work out, ok, there are wonderful formulas out there for me to use, and somehow I don’t foresee the universe imploding as a result.

    Awesome post. Breastfed or formula fed (or both!), your Amelia is going to do wonderfully with a mom like you.

  • Molly says:

    I was bottle fed and am crazy. Correlation doesn’t equal causality. I’d be crazy either way! ;)

    Follow your instinct. Do whatever the hell you want and feel, you were born with a brain and have shown through your blog how brilliant you are. But then you don’t need me to tell you that!

  • Anjali says:

    Oh, Aunt Becky, you MUST read this essay, “Why I Hate Dr. Sears.” It’s priceless:

    http://www.brainchildmag.com/essays/eller.htm

  • Kate says:

    I had a hard time breastfeeding Luke. I did it, and even though he never really latched on properly, I didn’t supplement for 3 months. I stopped at 6 months when going back to work and my cycle pretty much screwed my supply. I was unprepared for the guilt involved, though. I feel like this time will be much better because of what I went through and I will try to go longer than 6 months, but the world will not end if I don’t. (I also ran into formula feeders who looked down on breast feeders.) Yeah, breastfeeding is the best option, but formula will not harm your child. So, my diplomatic answer to those who try to use scare tactics to bully women into feeling like failures for making a very personal choice is this: butt out and fuck off. Thank you.

  • chris says:

    We judge and we condemn so that we can make ourselves feel better through the pain of other people who just want to be understood.

    I know this is pretty vague but I hope you know what I mean that I’m with you on this issue.

  • Sus says:

    Why can’t people say the most important thing is NOT STARVING YOUR CHILD! Whatever way you can avoid that is the right way in my opinion.

    • Coleen says:

      I know that you commented on this article way back in Jan 09, but I thought I would pipe up a TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU! I had major latch issues with my daughter (she lost a pound in the hospitall; everyone assumed it was a supply problem, but it wasn’t – figured that out when my husband read “The Nursing Mother’s Companion”, but that’s another story). We were working with a lactation consultant and I couldn’t get my daughter to latch and she was screaming and I was crying and the LC touched me on the arm and said “Listen, it’s not important WHAT she eats, but THAT she eats.” So much pressure came off then and I was able to relax a bit and work things out. I’m pregnant with #2 right now and have already declared that I will have a much lower threashold for giving up on nursing if it’s not working…

  • I'm Your Anon. Troll, Biotch says:

    Frankly, if you were going to be socially responsible about the whole thing, you wouldn’t’ve gotten pregnant in the first place and would have worked to adopt a child from India or China. Those two countries are overrun with unwanted children. Here, you’ve chosen to continue to overpopulate the world with fat, lazy, American children.

    Tch. FOR SHAME, Becky. SHAME ON YOU.

  • Amanda says:

    Guess what? My daughter is being bottle fed as we speak/write and it’s not because of some medical problem on my part, it’s because I chose to bottle feed her. And the women who shoot me nasty looks in public when I feed my daughter? Well, I shoot them right back. Seriously, I want to know why other women care how I choose to nourish my daughter?

  • baseballmom says:

    Love it, girl. I didn’t breastfeed either boy, because, well…I just didn’t want to. They also both had ‘nummies’ (pacifiers) until they felt like giving them up (one at 4, one at 3) because they LIKED them. They’re both fine, and I don’t regret a minute of it. They are both smart, healthy boys, and no one is scarred from the experience. To each his own.

  • Lynn says:

    A-freaking-men!!! I think my daughter got a meager six total ounces because I could never produce. I sat with that farking pump for hours, only to get a gasp of air when I opened the collection bottle. My daughter hated latching, I hated forcing her to try. I was a much better mom when I stopped stressing out and dumped the pump. And… pssst… she’s now three, quick as a whip, and not fat. I also let her watch TV and eat pizza. OMG, I hear the paddy wagon coming down the road!

    Sing it, sister. ;-)

  • Lynn says:

    BTW – just like someone told me when I was upset that I didn’t have a “natural” birth experience like I’d planned – no one gives you a certificate that says “Hey! I breastfed my kid, aren’t you proud of me??” No one cares when your kid is in school. No one cares when they go get their driver’s license that “Bobby was breastfed. Susie wasn’t.” There’s no pat on the back for accomplishing it, for pete’s sake.

  • Edward says:

    I have to admit that the only reason I breastfed my children is because I desperately wanted to be a girl. Breastfeeding seems like a really REAL girl kind of thing. NOw I can’t say I hated it. Come #4 I had it down. Did it for 1.5 years even but not without a price. That price being my own need for sleep and space I could call my very own.

    Sharing your body with someone 24/7 isn’t as wonderful as it is made out to be even if that someone is your child.

    I say breastfeed if you want to and if you don’t want to then don’t do it. End of story.

    I tried to breastfeed baby number 6 but thank God he had a high pallette and could not do it. God knows I didn’t really want to and was already “a man”.

    As for all those parenting books…hog wash… all of them. Read them, take something, anyting that works and then toss the rest. Most of them don’t work.

    Best wishes Ms. Becky and you go ahead and keep those comfort objects all to yourself and the Daver’s! Get your rest!

  • Lynanne says:

    I have breastfed and bottle fed all 4 of my kids. At the same time *gasp* (the bottle and breast, not all 4 kids – LOL). LLL, bite my ass. I chose whatever option worked best for that feeding. My kids have grown up happier and healthier than they would if I had been completely zoned out from PPD or locked up on a psychiatric ward. I agree with you. Let’s stop judging already.

  • mumma boo says:

    Sing it, sister! As long as your kid isn’t starving, no one should care if it’s breastmilk or formula. I couldn’t breastfeed Cheeks because I had meningitis and post-partum pre-eclampsia. Kind of hard to breastfeed when you’re in the hospital and your kid is another state. When Cenzo arrived, his blood sugars were out of whack, and I knew my boobs wouldn’t cooperate anyway, so it was a no-brainer to put him on formula. Did I miss out on anything? Yeah, probably. Do I regret it? Nope.

  • Badass Geek says:

    15 – The number of times the word “breast” appeared in this post.

    1,000 – The amount of times cooler you are for speaking your mind and expressing your opinion with a “fuck ‘em all” attitude.

  • pamajama says:

    I just hate how horrible it must have been for you when you kept trying & son #1 kept rejecting, as the chorus of your family drummed in your head. Part of the initial joy of nursing for me was that my mother thought it was disgusting. He might have starved to death otherwise, as well, cause our situation was so messed up we never could have afforded formula.

    When it all goes well, nursing is easy & wonderful, literally a joy you don’t want anyone to miss out on. Lucky idiots like me, who never have a problem — even with immediate gall bladder surgery, tearing to the point of hemorrhage & blood transfusion, plus 9 and 10’11 pound babies – don’t realize how complicated it can be for other mothers & mistakenly assume it’s that way for everyone. Clearly these comments show otherwise.

    Still the vanity issues make me crazy. But then, now that my vagina is as big as a manhole, I’ve begun questioning my belief that scheduled c-sections are the devil’s handiwork. I also know I am lazy as hell and sitting in a chair for a couple of years with a kid on my tit was fantastic for a chick who loves to sit. I only wish I was as energetic as women who cringe at the thought.

    As for your troll who mentions the adoption issue — are you kidding — it’s so expensive it’s unbelievable. Who can afford such a thing? Not me. Otherwise, I’d be picking up babies like it was a trip to 7-11.

    But most of all, when it comes to the rejection thing, I would have had a bottle in the kid’s mouth quicker than a whirling dervish. I cannot handle even a smidgen of unhappy baby, rejection even worse. The situation would have scarred me beyond repair & I would never have tried again.

    Plus, you are now on baby #3 — such a different situation — the time issue is huge. I had to supplement with my son because I was working two jobs. At 20 months I ripped my boob from his mouth cause I couldn’t take it any more. Daughter went 3 years – but then with daughter I hadn’t just recently been widowed, I didn’t have a job – & I still felt like she was sucking the marrow from my veins at that point.

    Every single detail makes a difference.

  • bri says:

    Dr. Sears is a right wing born again Christian who secretly wants to keep women chained to their babies and their homes.

  • Eva says:

    Ah, breastfeeding. If I never have to give it another thought the rest of my life that would be totally fine with me.

  • God, I always mutter a little, “Fuck you,” each time I shell out eight bucks for a can of Goodstart that tells me the free food in my boobs is better.

    I didn’t go into this baby thing wild about the idea of breastfeeding. At all. But my plan was to give it a try and if it wasn’t as horrendous as I thought it would be, I’d do it. The day after my son was born, we found out he had a heart defect and would need open heart surgery between 3 and 6 months old. The really fun part? Until he has the surgery, we’re supposed to keep him calm and from crying too much, lest he turn blue and need emergency surgery. So I immediately chose to skip breastfeeding, as the bottle was a much less stressful way for him to get his food.

    And I got shit for it from the nurses, and continue to in my comments section and via email.

    Moms are nuts.

  • ainebegonia says:

    With my first two, I breastfed exclusively and got flack for it. I had the audacity to feed my first one under a recieving blanket in our car in a parking lot and was told I should be arrested for indecency. If I was out in public and the they needed to nurse, there was no place private to do it and sitting in a hot car is not fun. I was told I should go nurse in a bathroom. Really? Would you want to eat your lunch in a bathroom?

    The third one I tried to breastfeed, but she was hypoglycemic and nursing every hour on the hour and not gaining weight. The moment I switched to formula, she was happier and so was I. Then people told me I gave up too easily. Too easily? She was diagnosed as Failing to Thrive. One nurse blamed my diet & told me that if I had eaten healthier while I was pregnant and she was nursing, it wouldn’t have happened. Bullcrap. Now I was getting flack for using formula.

    With my fourth and last baby, I did both. I breastfed exclusively until she was four months old and I went back to work. I tried at first to pump at work, but trying to pump in a public restroom was way too difficult. So she got formula at day care and I nursed her at night. This time I ignored everyone who made any comments about breastfeeding or formula. She was MY baby and it was MY decision and if they didn’t like it, they could go to Hades.

    Honestly, deciding to breastfeed or use formula is up to each mother and NO ONE has the right to criticize her choice.

  • Dr. Grumbles says:

    I just started reading his book “The Baby Book.”

    It has some good info, but, yes, he is crunchy and just makes blanket statements that make good parenting sound easy and intuitive. He also doesn’t adequately address the needs of working parents (his wife was obviously a stay-at-home mom to all those children).

    And I was going to point out that autistic kids don’t always react well to breastfeeding, but, thankfully, you already know that. Not everyone is a good candidate for breastfeeding.

  • Stefanie says:

    I can’t read through all the comments cause I’m too tired. But Beck, you sure know where I stand. All the BF nazi’s can kiss my ass. It works for some and not for others and what we need to do is feed our babies. Formula produced a beautiful highly intelligent girl in my daughter Elbs and all the pumping in the world couldn’t make enough breast milk to feed my preemies. Why should I feel guilty? I no longer do. It’s our own business how we feed our babies. So anyone who disagrees can come on over and breast feed mine themselves. Good luck with that.

  • Jenn says:

    I have found that, no matter what decisions you make as a parent, there is always going to be some asshat out there who thinks that you are WRONG WRONG WRONG. Not to mention unfit, selfish or just plain stupid. (For the record I think you’re lovely and I idolize you so I am not one of those people who thinks those things.) So just do what’s best for you and your little girl and to hell with anyone else. (Unless they agree with you, haha.)

  • Fancy says:

    I encountered the same La Leche derision when I went from breast to bottle almost 15 years ago. My son hadn’t regained his birth weight at 4 weeks by breastfeeding exclusively. I switched to formula and he gained a pound in 2 days. Seemed like an easy decision to me and my pediatricians, but I was literally harassed in public by strangers. Back the f off, people! My body, my boobies, my infant, my decision!

  • excavator says:

    Mothers need each other. It saddens me when they undercut each other when they should be supporting each other.

    I’m wary of fundamentalist anything, including breastfeeding.

    That said, I did breastfeed exclusively. And I saw the anguish of many mothers who for whatever reason could not. And I realize that part of their pain is caused by the judgment of other women.

    Perhaps some of the zealousness comes from having had such a joyous experience with it makes a woman a kind of evangelist–wanting others to experience the same joy. Sometimes the zealousness comes from plain meanness.

    My son posts on youtube where there’s a raging debate over the merits of skateboarding vs rollerblading–who’s the Baddest of them all? One kid posted, “why waste energy hating on what someone else does for fun?”

    Women, mothers, should support each other and respect that they have their own (legitimate) reasons for their choices.

  • Blockhead Mom says:

    Breastfeeding may be the best. You owe no explanation to me or any other mother if you’ve chosen formula. Try to be forgiving to the nurses, family members, doctors and anyone else who just needs to insist that breastfeeding is the only way to go – they may just think you didn’t know.

    Some may feel they’re simply supplementing their baby’s formula by breastfeeding…For the emotions of those mothers trying to breastfeed, please keep trying but ONLY IF YOU HAVE AN URGENT MATERNAL INSTINCT TO KEEP DOING SO!

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  • sheralynn says:

    omg. Yes I tried with my first….he was over 9lbs and is on the autism spectrum. My nipples STILL HAVE NO FEELING. we went to formula in the hospital because i couldn’t produce enough milk. I didn’t try with the other two. why? MY NIPPLES STILL HAVE NO FEELING. my oldest will be 10 this year and MY NIPPLES HAVE NO FEELING!!

    I did like the other information in Dr Sears book a bout illnesses and common home remedies. and the acknowledgment that difficult children really sometimes have no explanation and that they are indeed difficult!

    but yeah, I failed at “attachment parenting” um hello….child on the autism spectrum, doesn’t like being held/hugged/cuddled and by god don’t change his routine LOL

    hey did I mention that I haven’t had feeling in my nipples in 10 fucking years since trying to breastfeed? cause yeah I’m still a little bitter and disappointed about that. I’m sure tank would like it more if i didn’t totally not notice him touching my tits for over 30 minutes.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I didn’t always disagree with Dr. Sears, but I didn’t appreciate that he insisted that his way was the only way. Thought that was unfair and incorrect. You know?

  • Dawn says:

    Late to the party, as usual, but I have to chime in. I breastfeed and let me tell you it was a battle with my first child. But I was determined to do it. And that worked for me. Doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to anyone else.

    But you know, you can’t win no matter what you do. While at the children’s hospital ER with daughter #1, I retired to the quiet room at the hospital emergency room to nurse my 2nd child, so as to, y’know, not TRAUMATIZE anyone with my horrendous outpopping of the boob and all, I had to listen to a tirade from a PEDIATRIC NURSE on how women were poppin’ their boobs out everywhere to feed kids and how terrible it was and not in her day, and on and on ad nauseum. I wanted to so badly to say, “You, Madame, should consider a change of specialty.” And also GO USE THE PHONE IN THE NURSES’ STAFF ROOM, THIS ONE IS FOR PARENTS OF PATIENTS!

    Sheesh.

  • Dawn says:

    Actually, let me correct that. I breastFED. My daughters are now 25 and 21, so not actually breastfeeding now, you’ll be relieved to know. As are they.

  • mrslala says:

    My twins first pediatrician was mentord by Dr Sears. No. Seriously.

    He told me that I was a bad mom when I told him that I had top stop pumping (they never latched). I was hysterical (asshole).

    It all makes sense now…

    I wasn’t able to bf the twins…with their brother its going great. I say, do wahtever works. We all know that breast milk is better, stop being Nazis people!

  • sara says:

    It’s too bad that there are so many judgmental people out there. I personally loved breastfeeding. I nursed all five of my children, and had my twins not died to stillbirth, I would have loved tandem nursing too. BUT, it was easy for me…it worked well for my family…and they nursed well, without problems or complaints. In many ways, it was the “lazy” way…ha ha…simply because I never had to make a bottle for a hungry baby…just “pop” there ya go. That being said….I never judge when a mom wants to or has to bottle feed. For crying out loud….they are FEEDING their child, and isn’t that really the only REAL goal? I think people are afraid that perhaps a mom hasn’t been educated about how to get over some of the common humps (because it used to be that bottle feeding was promoted to eradicate breastfeeding for corporate gain…so….this is what happens when the scale gets tipped too far one way or another…) At the end of the day, babies need food. For me, breastfeeding was a great choice, but as a former lactation consultant and childbirth educator…I know very well it’s not the BEST choice for EVERYONE. I loved Dr. Sears….but…love your babies, and that’s going to be enough. Live and let live….Peace sisters. ;o)

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Exactly. EXACTLY. That’s really it. Babies need to eat something and what works for the goose doesn’t work for the gander. No reason to breed hostility among new parents. Hard enough to have new babies without having to defend our choices.

      • Ravenmoon says:

        It’s interesting that so many of you had such a terrible time bottle feeding in public. I’m a breastfeeding mom (my daughter is going to be one in three days and I plan to continue breastfeeding until she doesn’t want to anymore) who felt ostracized whenever I pulled the breast out somewhere public (of course discretely). I never saw ANY other breastfeeding mothers around and I continue to feel like a nut for wanting to give my child what nature made for her. I heard a very interesting point at a breastfeeding conference that I attended with Dr. Jack Newman. When a question was raised about whether moms should have a choice about breastfeeding, especially when their experience of breastfeeding wasn’t easy and considering how inconvenient it is for working moms he asked, “what what about the baby’s freedom of choice?” We are making choices for our children’s future health. I know all of you have argued that formula hasn’t had an impact on your lives/health, but then you don’t know the outcome yet and you don’t know what life would have been like if you had been a breastfed baby. Research shows that breastfed babies are healthier in the short term and in the long term.

        I also think that it is easy to assume that not having enough milk is “normal” if you don’t know that it is only the industrial world that experiences the numbers that we do of women who “don’t have enough milk.” Also, you would assume it was normal if you don’t know that hospital practices interfere with breastfeeding as does lack of education generally in the population. It is no longer “natural” to breastfeed. It has become something that needs to be learned and we have very few people who are good lactation educators. Yes, lactation specialists can be awful. They often have very little lactation education. To get good advice you really have to go to an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant).

        Finally, due to the general population’s lack of education about breastfeeding, we really don’t know what the REAL difference is between breastmilk and formula. And there is a very significant difference. If we were more educated, we would know why breastmilk was better, we wouldn’t just know that that is what we have been told. Aside from the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, there are significant immunological benefits. But there are also many other benefits to breastfeeding.

        But in the end, it’s just like exercising and eating healthfully ourselves. It’s inconvenient and it’s not fun and it’s much easier not to do. Yes, this is true. It also does not help that as a culture we don’t live very healthfully, and as such, we do little to promote or support healthy living or breastfeeding amongst our population.

        I’m sorry if this sounds judgmental and it is, but of our culture and not of you. I did a google search on the issue of not enough milk for a friend of mine and I came across this blog. I felt there had to be at least one voice in favor of breastfeeding.

        • Your Aunt Becky
          Twitter: mommywantsvodka
          says:

          For the record, I breastfed the two children I could and pumped for the one that couldn’t nurse (for as long as it was possible).

          I agree that we do not, as a culture, support breastfeeding enough. And as a nurse and as someone who has helped hundreds of women learn to nurse their babies, I know how difficult it is. I also know the value of breastfeeding and all of the amazing benefits of breast milk.

          However.

          Sometimes, things do not work out. And for those people, they do not need to feel ashamed for it.

          Why?

          Because this is about PEOPLE. Not about who is right or wrong. Yes, breastfeeding is the right choice on paper for most women. No one is denying that. Yes, mothers should be more supported in their efforts. I agree with you.

          The debate makes me so sad.

          This is about people.

          Not about who is right and who is wrong. Because when it turns into that, no one wins.

  • Amanda Clay says:

    God, I love this.
    I had a militant breast feeding co-worker who suggested Sears’ crazy ass book to me when I was 6 or 7 months pregnant. After reading only three reviews on Amazon.com about it, I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere near it. (And, if you ever get a chance. You need to read reviews on that book. It is FUCKING HYSTERICAL. One father stated that the sequel to Dr. Sears’ book should be called “How to Cope with Your Divorce.” COMEDY.)
    I exclusively breast feed and sometimes the backlash from other breast feeding mothers or bottle feeding mothers to breast feeders can be just as bad. Other breast feeding mothers assume you are like them and TOTALLY FUCKING WACKED and formula feeding mothers assume you judge them for their choice (which, I would NEVER do.) The fear of failing at breast feeding and having to deal with all of my pro-breast feeding friends actually gave me horrific anxiety and part of me wonders if it is the only reason I actually succeeded. But seriously – who should live in fear of what OTHER people will think, especially when all it is doing is impeding your ability to enjoy getting to know your new little baby!

    I love this post. Thanks for writing it.

  • The Sweetest says:

    Yes, yes, yes. I felt, and still do, the same way. My son is over 3 years old, now, and I still have underlying guilt and angst about being a “failure” at breastfeeding. Ridiculous, Dr. Sears and his 15 kids can all suck my A cup titty because formula saved my baby’s life. And mine. Oh, there is a blog I cam across called Fearless Formula Feeder. Wish I had known about it when I was struggling with a new baby.

  • Jenn says:

    How did I miss this post before?

    I was breastfed, as were my two younger brothers. My mother was VERY active in La Leche League, and even educated doctors on the benefits of breastfeeding. I had listened to her give advice on the phone on everything from mastitis to nursing an adopted baby. She was there to help me learn to nurse when my first child was born.

    You know what I discovered? Nursing is NOT easy for everyone.

    I had cracked nipples, no milk, and a kid who latched like a vice grip. The lactation consultants brought me formula. My very supportive mom told me it was fine give up. But, since it was the only thing I knew (or maybe I was just so freakin sleep deprived), I stuck with it. The nipples healed, the milk came in (seriously, I probably could have fed triplets), and well, at least the second kid had a better latch.

    So, in spite of the fact that I nursed two kids until they weaned themselves (yeah, one of them actually told me “Boobies broke”), I’m a lot LESS pro-breastfeeding than I was before kids. I get it now.

    Yay for having options!!!!

  • Melissa says:

    Ordinarily I don’t even have these conversations… but it’s you.

    I was breastfed. More, I think, because my mother’s mother had 10 kids and no money, thus…formula never came into play… I don’t think my mom ever really questioned breastfeeding.

    I, however, did. I WANTED to breastfeed. I wanted to somebody to tell me before my daughter was born how much of the medication that I have to take daily penetrates breastmilk… I know very little actually penetrates the placenta. I had doctors give me the standby, breast is best. But only one ONE study with a handful of kids… relating to breastfeeding & my meds and infants. Formula it was. She grew and thrived (challenges & issues aside) and my husband helped to feed her…. and he cherished his part in middle of the night feedings (if not the lack of sleep). I don’t regret per se.. but I do wonder what if?

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  • Chanterons says:

    I never breastfed my child. Not a day, not a minute; I do not value other people’s opinion more than I value mine. My baby is now 15 years old and…surprise surprise…perfectly healthy, strong and clever.
    As I did not breastfed my baby, I was relaxed, slept as much as I wanted to, could indulge myself with a glass of wine…and this certainly enable us to bond :-)
    Sorry, but breastfeeding, when getting wrong (and it does get wrong quite often), has many disadvantages. But La Leche League, as well as good Dr Sears, just pretend to ignore these.
    LLL lies to women. For ideologic reasons. Bfeeding is natural ? So what? “Mother Nature” is not deity, it is cruel and flawed. Nature is full of bugs…

    Kramer study recently showed that Bfeeding benefits are modest. Much more than what LLL’s pretended it was. Bfeeding can only improve babies’s digestion, but please people stop believing than Bfeeding can protect your babies against diseases, allergies, etc..It is FALSE. Bfeeding can only offer small benefits, but can cause other type of problems (mastitis, pain in general, sleep deprivation, non-stop crying baby, and therefore may harms baby/mother bonding….) Attachment has NOTHING to do with the type of feeding a mother chooses. Dr Sear’s attachement parenting has NO scientific grounds. Just make your own inquiry. Do not put unecessary pressure on yourself and do not let anybody judge you !!

  • Jenna says:

    You’re a total idiot

  • Liz says:

    Wow….ok so you say “why can’t we all get along?” While you are angry at breastfeeding moms and people who encourage it. So you had to do formula, no big deal your baby is fine. Get over yourself. I got a bunch of dirty looks when I had to breastfeed my baby in a park and I wore a cover too. There was a woman who got kicked out of the houston mall because she was nursing her baby, and there was a nurse in to support her, but guess what. the backlash online supprisingly had a lot of comments about breastfeeding whores and how it is disgusting. Even a celebrity called it incestual recently, which makes me think she is a pervert for thinking of it in that sense. I love Dr. Sears advice because i did feel encouragement and comfort from it in my choices in parenting. Remember everyone has an opinion, we can disagree peacefully and set good examples for how we would expect our children to act instead of name calling and picking fights. Who cares whether you breastfed or formula fed as long as you love your baby and take good care of them

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