Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And they wonder why they're called breastfeeding Nazi's

Sometimes breastfeeding lactivists (aka breastfeeding nazis) really piss me off. They seem to think that its all or nothing with breastfeeding, when in reality, we need to support all mothers--especially those who try & struggle with nursing. I saw a tweet on twitter tonight that really pissed me off stating, "Dear @tommeetippeeUS: The claim that ur "bottles r designed r b the closest thing r natural #bfing" violates the WHO Code". This just really got me angry. While I understand the WHO code's purpose (especially in poor/3rd world countries), I think some of these ladies are stretching a bit far for their own agendas. Don't they ever think that maybe some women in the world can't physically produce enough milk to make our babies survive & just maybe said mom's use pumps & bottles shaped like mom's breast to keep that breastfeeding dream (and baby) alive as long as possible?! What if there were no pumps (because afterall, they're not actually supporting breastfeeding but rather giving baby breastmilk) & only regular bottles to cause nipple confusion (which is so NOT a myth btw).

My girls would've never had a chance if it wasn't for a pump & something to supplement them with. I physically did not have enough dense milk-making tissue to ever satisfy either of them. Well, technically I did when Maddy was born premmaturely, but seeing as she only got enough from me when she was still under 4lbs isn't really a good enough example--she outgrew my supply before she came home at still under 5lbs. I thought I was a bad mother because of how WIC, LLL, etc. told me how every mother can make milk for their babies & I will as long as I keep doing "suchandsuch". What most of them (and the bajillion books/websites/articles) leave out is that while mothers CAN lactate, we don't all physically produce enough to nourish our baby & keep them alive. I'm grateful I had a wonderful lactation consultant in the NICU who understood how hard I tried & finally diagnosed me with hypoplasia of the breast (not enough proper tissue growth). You better believe I'm going to do everything I can to nurse Newbie. I've found a new wealth of information and new herbs/different medicines to try once he/she arrives, but I'm not going to be depressed if I can't do it exclusively or as long as I want to. When my milk dries up, I will be ok with knowing I gave Newbie the best chance I could (though I still hope my body suddenly changes & I get to nurse him/her for a loooong time).
I hope to encourage all mothers to try nursing their babies--give it their all & don't be afraid to ask for help or suggestions. I have tons of resources--books, dvds, articles, pamplets, herbs, pumps, etc.--you name it, I have it! I am not a nazi & completely understand giving bottles is also ok. I am from the frame of mind that as long as you try to give your baby the best start possible, you're a success--no matter how much or how little they actually received. I wish I had support like me when I first tried nursing Sophie 3 years ago. I wouldn't have been on the verge of ppd probably & would not have been so hard on myself for being a "failure". I am all about education, love, and support, but please stop seeing something most likely designed to help keep breastfeeding going & turn it into a problem. Ok, off of my soapbox now.


  1. It's unfortunate that you were made to feel like you weren't doing enough to make milk for your girls. As a lactation counselor at WIC and a member of LLL, I know from professional experience that that there are circumstances that can hinder a mother's ability to exclusively breastfeed. In our practice, we focus on how much breastfeeding a mother can do and support her as much as possible. Of course we wish that all babies could be exclusively breastfed, but that is not a realistic goal because there are medical and environmental factors at play that are beyond our control in some situations. Be proud of yourself mama! You worked hard to give your girls your milk and it is certainly true that every little bit counts! :) Your story is encouraging for others to read.

    everyone advocates differently though. i don't always agree with some of the breastfeeding extremism but i appreciate where those women are coming from and what they are fighting for. i don't feel that it is fair to compare us lactivists to Nazis, a group solely responsible for the decimation of millions of people. i realize that people use this term in reference to extreme lactivists, but it's offensive.

    i'm really glad that you shared this post because it is really helpful to have insight to another mother's perspective and feelings about her breastfeeding experience. oftentimes when working with moms they hold back on their frankness for fear of hurting feelings or whatever. best of luck to you- i really enjoy your blog!

  2. I've seriously considered doing what I need to do to become a lactation consultant. With a social work background and working with people and the success that I have (blessedly) had with breastfeeding, I feel like I can really be a passionate supporter for those who are wishing to brestfeed. I, too, hate that you felt as tho you were somehow failing because you were not able to produce enough. I hate the opposite end of that spectrum too, when mommas feel like they need to give formula because their milk "hasn't come in yet."

    Good luck with newbie.


I love getting comments! Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails