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Passing Down the Bitterness to the Next Generation

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  • Having a functional life is more important than breastfeeding.

    People have gone insane with breastfeeding and baby-making in the last generation. It's OKAY to do what works for you and your family and feel no guilty whatsoever.

    Breastfeeding is good, if you can make it happen. If you can't? Your baby will be FINE. There is a slight change he will get more ear, nose and throat infections? Okay. There is also a very good chance you'll drive yourself crazy trying to attain what is mostly a fantasy: being a "perfect" mom. But also? The benefits are seriously overblown, particularly given the fact that it's a now a bludgeon with which to make moms feel bad. It's great if you can do it, and it's SUPER DUPER FINE if it doesn't work out for you.

    I mean:
    The problem is, breast-fed infants are typically brought up in very different families from those raised on the bottle. In the U.S., breast-feeding is on the rise—69 percent of mothers initiate the practice at the hospital, and 17 percent nurse exclusively for at least six months. But the numbers are much higher among women who are white, older, and educated; a woman who attended college, for instance, is roughly twice as likely to nurse for six months. Researchers try to factor out all these “confounding variables” that might affect the babies’ health and development. But they still can’t know if they’ve missed some critical factor. “Studies about the benefits of breast-feeding are extremely difficult and complex because of who breast-feeds and who doesn’t,” says Michael Kramer, a highly respected researcher at McGill University. “There have been claims that it prevents everything—cancer, diabetes. A reasonable person would be cautious about every new amazing discovery.”
    ...
    Some studies have found a link between nursing and slimmer kids, but they haven’t proved that one causes the other. This study surveyed 2,685 children between the ages of 3 and 5. After adjusting for race, parental education, maternal smoking, and other factors—all of which are thought to affect a child’s risk of obesity—the study found little correlation between breast-feeding and weight. Instead, the strongest predictor of the child’s weight was the mother’s. Whether obese mothers nursed or used formula, their children were more likely to be heavy. The breast-feeding advocates’ dream—that something in the milk somehow reprograms appetite—is still a long shot.
    Or this:
    [in one study] extended breast-feeding did reduce the risk of a gastrointestinal infection by 40 percent. This result seems to be consistent with the protection that sIgA provides; in real life, it adds up to about four out of 100 babies having one less incident of diarrhea or vomiting. Kramer also noted some reduction in infant rashes. Otherwise, his studies found very few significant differences: none, for instance, in weight, blood pressure, ear infections, or allergies—some of the most commonly cited benefits in the breast-feeding literature.
    Like attachment parenting? Breast-feeding is great if it makes sense for you.

    I say this as someone who doesn't have kids but who does watch her friends endlessly self-flagellate over their imperfections as a mother while raising perfectly happy, healthy, well-loved-and-care-for children.
    It’s just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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    • Well, I had a baby and our beautiful gremlin feeds every hour and a half. Oh, and our former power-sleeping toddler had his first bad dream and is now iffy on the entire concept of rest. WEE!

      Roly’s experience with low milk supply was totally my experience with the first kiddo. The first time around, breastfeeding didn’t work until I went back to work, and I ended up pumping for six months, which was just another circle of hell. It felt like a motherhood fail even though I knew rationally that ducts don’t determine anything. That disappointment + sleep deprivation and no wonder “Baby Blues” affects, like, 70-80%.

      This time around I’m making enough milk for a baby with a normal appetite, but now I have a hangry giant who falls asleep at my boobs after five minutes, I’m still pumping, and we’re still making bottles of formula. I really just want to give her as much COVID vaccine milk as I can, but she needs to work. with. me.

      And maybe a generational thing? My mother is so confused about why I'm stressing over it.
      YUP. This. My mom got me stacks of formula both times.
      LaaLaa
      Is starting to scare isadora a little bit.
      Last edited by LaaLaa; 05-21-2021, 04:56 PM.

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      • You make the cutest babies, Laa. Like for reals, for reals. Actually, all of the nono babiez have been cuter than the average babies, I mean that's just factz.

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        • Congratulations! New baby, yay. Much love from me.
          sigpic

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          • YAY! Congrats, Laa!
            It’s just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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            • Woo hoo, congrats Laa! Happy cheek squishing!

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              • Originally posted by LaaLaa View Post
                I ended up pumping for six months, which was just another circle of hell. It felt like a motherhood fail even though I knew rationally that ducts don’t determine anything. That disappointment + sleep deprivation and no wonder “Baby Blues” affects, like, 70-80%.
                Congratulations, Laa! Your baby has the best wardrobe I've ever seen!

                RE: Feeding - this is my life right now. My kid is 4 months old and has never latched so I've never nursed her and I've been exclusively pumping since my milk came in about a week postpartum (she was on formula for the first 10 days or so of her life) and it's killing me.
                Everything I read is adamant that you have to keep up pumping at night to maintain supply (and I get super engorged/clogged if I go more than 5 hours) but she's basically sleeping 6-8 hours now and I'm still setting an alarm to get up every four hours to pump.

                I made my peace with not nursing her when it quickly became apparent that wasn't going to happen and I feel grateful that I have the supply so I'd feel extremely guilty not giving it to her but my life revolves around pumping (even more than it does the baby) and I don't know how much longer I can do it.

                All the moms in my solo parents support group successfully nurse their babies so I get a lot of empathetic nodding and "that must suck" but no real understanding regarding the lack of sleep. And all the moms in my childbirth class who are exclusively pumping have a partner to get up with the baby at night so they're only getting up to pump.

                I feel like when I go back to work in August, I'm going to have to drop the night pump to get real sleep and I'm trying to accept it might be the start of weaning her off breastmilk. I'm also salty about the language that gets used when people suggest I'm not "breastfeeding". I'm not *nursing* her but all of her food comes from my breasts so what the hell else would I call it?

                Anyway the whole feeding convo is just used to shame moms AND. IT. WORKS. I was shocked at how much I felt like a failure when she was literally just hours old and that's pretty much never let up. She's super cute though so that helps.



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                • Your babe is SO SO CUTE.

                  And for real, hormones tore up every rational thought I had about breastfeeding and cranked up the shame and determination to be a martyr for boob droplets. Living to pump is horrible and if you feel like you’re spending more time milking yourself than cuddling the kid, I say chuck the pump into a river. I HATE that the dominant thought is that babies just latch on instantly Blue Lagoon-style and the rest of their infancy will look like a fucking Pampers commercial. Now that I have a baby that latches occasionally? Breastfeeding is just...fine. Skin-to-skin beats sore nips x2000.

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                  • I have nothing to add on the breastfeeding convo (because obviously) but it sounds to me like you are both doing GREAT and you are both GREAT MOMS and you should be very kind to yourselves and very very gentle with yourselves and also:



                    Congratulations, Laa! Your baby has the best wardrobe I've ever seen!



                    Y'all both have crazy stylish bebes! I never had the chance to have that!

                    It reminds me of when mr.o insisted on dressing the ogirl in a black turtleneck and black leggings when she was two and then we took her to a restaurant like that only you know, the opposite of that. The other couple we were meeting there were like . . . uh . . did you purposely dress your kid like a mime and I was all like LOOK WHAT I AM DEALING WITH HERE. So the partner thing, while often times very useful, is also sometimes really not.

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                    • you are both doing GREAT and you are both GREAT MOM
                      Quoted for truth. I am so angry at the patriarchy for causing this to mix in with post-natal hormones and make things hard for you.

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                      • Originally posted by LaaLaa View Post
                        I HATE that the dominant thought is that babies just latch on instantly Blue Lagoon-style and the rest of their infancy will look like a fucking Pampers commercial. Now that I have a baby that latches occasionally? Breastfeeding is just...fine. Skin-to-skin beats sore nips x2000.
                        OMB I feel like that Blue Lagoon scene is imprinted on my brain. It was like my formative image for nursing years and years before I even considered my own kid.

                        And yes! She actually did latch once for about 2 minutes when she was a month old and I was still trying regularly to nurse. It HURT LIKE HELL and she never was willing to do it again but at the time I was like, I'm not sure this is better? She's still very snuggly against me when I'm giving her a bottle at 4 AM.

                        Thank you O and V!!

                        That image of baby Ogirl as a tiny mime is both adorable and hilarious!

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                        • That image of baby Ogirl as a tiny mime is both adorable and hilarious!


                          IT WAS NOT FUNNY AT THE TIME but yes in retrospect 13 yrs later, it was hilaradorable. I wish I had taken pics.








                          My kids were obviously formula-only and didn't even get the benefit of anyone pumping for them, but it seems to have worked out okay so far? They are the healthiest two individuals I have ever met. Neither one of them have had either a cold or the flu or anything more than mild allergies in years and years. I get that's not the main reason to use breast milk, but considering I had no options like that (and they were already toddlers before I met them) YES ABSOLUTELY let go of any residual guilt or anything like that about latching or lack there of.


                          Your kids will be FINE either way.

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                          • BREASTFEEDING IS A SCAM! Do what works best for you and remember that everyone is here to judge literally everything and most of the time someone will let you know you came up short. FUCK THOSE PEOPLE.
                            It’s just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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