She’s bad… She must be a Mum.
Breastfeeding – all the health professionals agreee its the very bestest thing on the planet. It makes babies healthier, smarter, more germ resistant, and better looking. ( okay so i made the last one up). It even makes mothers healthier, more cancer resistant and better looking. (I definitely made the last one up.) So if its so freakin fantastic, here’s some questions and thoughts.
1. If its so good for everyone involved then how come they make you feed your baby in the toilets at the mall? Right there next to the restrooms – theres the nice big comfy chair for feeding your child. Ugh. We dont make you eat your lunch next to the waste disposal so why should the baby?
2. Who in heck said that breastfeeding made you lose weight? CORRECTION. Breastfeeding makes you hungry, hungrier and hungriest. You’re up at 3am feedin that screaming child and then youre overcome with a hunger so bad you feel like youre going to fall over if you dont eat some Oreos right then and there…or even a big ole ham sandwich…or how about a Big Mac? (now we’re crossing into fantasy land here….because I’ve never been able to con the husband into going to Mcdonalds at 3am to buy me a Big Mac because “the baby needs it darling”)
3. So i get it that breastmilk is the bestest thing on the planet ( next to having Denzel Washington over for dinner…or having a really good pedicure that takes at least 2 hours) but really – do they have to be so psycho about it at the hospital? Sometimes the whole thing is just hard and when you have a new mother crying with tiredness because her milk hasnt really come in yet and the baby wont stop screaming but the fanatical nurse keeps telling her ” You have to keep putting baby on the breast…you have to keep trying…” You just want to strangle the nurse, take that new mother aside and whisper “Lady, get your man to smuggle in some formula for that child so you can sleep!”
4. Its silly to think that you can get most women to successfully breastfeed unless they have paid maternity leave from work. In Samoa they’re promoting breastfeeding but there is no legislated paid maternity leave. Yes i know you can express milk and store it and save it for baby blah blah blah. But if you have to go back to work right away because you just cant afford to stay home then formula is often the easiest answer. Especially in a country as hot, dirty and refrigeratorless as Samoa can be.
5. Yes its true that breastfeeding will give you luscious watermelon boobs of steel. You will never have breasts as huge and attention grabbing as you do when youve had a baby. And if you’re used to just having tiny hermit ones that never say boo – then it can be a buzz. Until. Breastfeeding stops. Your kid moves on to Anchor milk pastures. And leaves you. With a dejected and wilted chest. That is even sadder after all the hard work of breastfeeding. Think stretch marks. And rubber bands that have been over expanded…
I defy you to disagree with me – breastfeeding is hard work. And it doesnt always work for everybody. Heck, keeping an infant alive on any kind of milk is hard work. And anyone brave enough to parent – is a warrior.
I have five fabulous children. Who are all shockingly intelligent and rather good-looking. It is highly likely this could be attributed in some way to the fact that I devoted myself to their liquid food production when they were babies. But it wouldnt have happened without tons of other people’s support. The midwife who showed me how to do it. The mother-in-law who gave me lots of tips about how to burp, rock, and hold that feeding child. The husband who kept feeding ME so i could feed THEM. Who would take baby so I could sleep. And thus make more milk. The sister who told me about Fruit digestive biscuits being the absolute bestest snack when youre feeding a baby at 3am and starving. And alllllll the complete strangers who smiled, nodded encouragingly and didnt make me feel like a plague carrier – when i opened my top in a public place so i could feed a screaming baby. To you all I say, thank you.
And a reminder to us all to give those mums out there our support. Because even warriors with watermelon breasts of steel, cant do it alone.