attachment parenting, Breastfeeding, breastfeeding in public, Formula Feeding, Lies, Myths, Parenting, Parenting Choices, Parenting support, Pumping, Raising healthy kids, Tandem Nursing, toddler nursing
The dumb shit I’ve heard about breastfeeding… oh, I could fill a book. It is always surprising to me to read and hear the massive amount of misinformation circulating about something that has been around since the beginning of time. Many times, the people guilty of spreading these breastfeeding lies are people who have never done it at all! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t take marital advice from someone who has never taken those vows and I certainly won’t take breastfeeding advice from a woman who has never even attempted it. The saddest thing to me is when mothers who didn’t breastfeed try to dissuade their daughters from breastfeeding. It happens a lot, and can prove especially difficult for new moms to overcome. My own Mom is very into breastfeeding and it has been extremely helpful to have a ready-made support system in place.
I personally do not care if you breast feed or formula feed. It is most important, in my mind, for women to do what they feel comfortable with and what works best for their families. When silly myths about breastfeeding circulate and change the minds of women who were excited to nourish their babies with their bodies, but those myths made them second guess their ability… well, that’s when I get angry. We hear a lot about the challenges formula feeding Moms have, but I don’t think that many of them know that we breastfeeding Moms have an equally large group of assholes judging us! Here are a few myths that top my breastfeeding pet peeve list.
Breast milk causes colic.
Um…no. Breast fed babies can be colicky, just as formula fed babies can be colicky. Sometimes, a baby can react to something Mom is eating and her eliminating that food is enough to calm baby’s tummy. Colic is nowhere close to being a breastfed baby only condition, hence the reason for fifty millions types of formula on the market. Some babies have sensitive tummies or intolerances, it happens across the board.
There is no nutritional benefit to breast milk after one year.
Because the night before your baby’s first birthday, the anti-booby fairy comes down from the sky and zaps the nutrients right out of your milk. Now, that liquid gold is equivalent to Kool-Aid in nutritional value. Right? Ha! Breast milk is breast milk. It is as nutritious at it ever is, no matter how many months go by. Milk actually changes to accommodate the needs of your baby, providing the best of the best well into the toddler years. Besides, body builders are clamoring to BUY breast milk for it’s health benefits! If it can benefit a grown man, I’m fairly certain it is still benefitting my two year old.
Breastfeeding boys makes them obsessed with breasts.
This ridiculous ideology comes from a society that views breasts as a purely sexual body part. Breasts have a function. That function is to feed babies. It also happens that breasts are soft, pillowy and comforting. What’s not to like? I cannot imagine that breastfed boys grow up to like breasts anymore than their formula fed friends. I’m pretty sure breasts are just likeable!
Breastfeeding girls will make them lesbians.
This may take the cake for the most ignorant comment I’ve ever heard. Aside from the fact that this puts breasts and natural feeding into a sexual category again, (where it doesn’t belong) common sense would tell you this is wrong. Formula is a relatively new product for us. For millions of years before the invention of formula, breastfeeding has been the only way to feed babies. If breastfeeding baby girls turned them into lesbians, humanity would have died out long ago. You know what makes a girl a lesbian? Being born a lesbian.
You should not breastfeed in public because:
– People might see your boobs.
Because I never see breasts on display every day. Every where. From every angle. For a million different reasons, (most often to sell something.)
– It is gross.
It is gross that you think a baby eating is gross.
– What about the children?!?!?!
It just may do children some good to see a breast being used for it’s intended purpose. I would prefer my sons see a baby peacefully suckling at a breast once in awhile, other than just plastered on a billboard to advertise a strip club.
– You can just pump and bottle feed in public.
Aside from the fact that not all babies will take a bottle, not all moms respond to a pump, it takes a ton of effort and time to pump ahead, I’ll now have to carry bottles of milk and ice packs, then carry the empty bottles around and means that my breasts will be uncomfortably full and need to be pumped again at some point while we are out, aside from all of that… screw you! That is a ton of extra shit to go through simply because my baby eating makes you uncomfortable.
– You can feed before leaving the house.
And do what two hours later when he’s hungry again? Am I now only allowed to go out for two hour intervals?
– You can feed in the bathroom.
I will, but only if you will join me in there with your next meal. Come on! Pull up a stall! You don’t mind the smell of shit and air freshener with your lunch do you? Actually, I’m lying. I would never make my baby eat in a bathroom, even if you did offer to join us. You go ahead without us, and that way him nursing out here won’t bother you anymore.
– What about the perverts?
What about them? There are perverts everywhere. If some sicko wants to get excited by watching a baby eat, I have no control over that. There are people turned on by feet. I’m not going to stop wearing flip flops.
You should stop breastfeeding when: Keep in mind that babies MUST have breast milk or formula for the majority of their diet for the first 12 months of their lives.
– Your baby has teeth.
Can happen as early as 3 months.
– He can walk.
Can happen as early as 7 months.
– She can ask for it.
Babies can use sign language as early as 6 months to ask for milk.
What the hell is my baby eating for the rest of the time? These are really reasons to switch to formula?
Breast milk is only food, so it isn’t necessary after she’s eating “real” food.
Breastfeeding is about hunger, thirst, comfort, and bonding. It can fix an owie, calm a tantrum and send an overstimulated baby into sleep. Not to mention, adults eat food for many reasons other than hunger, why wouldn’t babies?
Women breastfeed longer “for themselves.”
I don’t quite know where to begin with this one. I’ve heard it a number of times, but with no elaboration. So, my interpretation is that you think…
– I must like breastfeeding? Yes, I do. I love watching my baby grow healthy and strong because I am able to provide for him. I love saving money on formula. I love the way that I can soothe him immediately, no matter where we are simply by nursing him. I love never having to get up in the night to prepare a bottle.
– And you think that by “liking” to give my baby the best, that is somehow wrong? Ok…I’m not sure who wouldn’t like having a healthy, happy baby.
– Oh, maybe it is that I am getting some kind of secret benefit by breastfeeding? Well, actually yes I am! For one, breastfeeding decreases my risk for breast cancer, so that’s a pretty big perk.
– Then again, maybe you are suggesting that there is some sexual gratification in it? Well, You are a special kind of sicko for imagining that, and it is now QUITE obvious to me that you’ve never breastfed or you’d certainly know better. So, go ahead and re-read the first paragraph where I talk about not listening to a single word of your opinion. Mkay? Thanks.
You cannot drink alcohol if you breastfeed.
This one is the question I see most often and the one that is answered with the craziest answers ever. It is very, very simple. If you are sober enough to drive (and I mean drive legally) you are sober enough to breastfeed. You do NOT have to pump and dump unless you are engorged. You do not have to supplement with formula. You do not have to avoid going out. Experiment safely and pay attention to how you feel. I know I can drink two drinks in a three to four hour period and feel exactly the same as if I didn’t drink at all.
You should not breastfeed if you are sick.
This is exactly opposite. Feed as much as possible while you are sick. This boosts baby’s system with your immunities, especially immunities to the bug you currently have. It also keeps your supply up. Drink and eat as much as possible and nurse normally.
Breastfeeding makes your boobs saggy.
No, pregnancy makes your breasts change and those changes can sometimes make your breasts sag. Breastfeeding has made my breasts less sensitive but that will probably return to normal when they aren’t being used on a constant basis.
Cow’s milk is better.
Yes, it is. For baby cows.
You should stop breastfeeding for “your man.”
And the one that pisses me off to no end… listen and listen well:
If your man has a problem with you doing what is best for your child, there is a very serious problem with your man. Your breasts are YOURS. If you want to breastfeed, do it. If you don’t, then don’t. But please, please, please do not allow anyone – including your husband or boyfriend – talk you out of it for their own selfish reasons or because of some weird hang-up.
There is one rule, and one rule only to follow here:
Breastfeed until it is no longer mutually desirable for you and your baby.
That is it and that is all. If you feel a lack of support from your friends and family, seek out a support system! Breastfeeding support groups on social media exist and are abundant. You can even message me anytime, and I will do anything I can to help you. I am no expert, but I have been breastfeeding for 27 months straight and feeding two babies for 4 of those months. If I don’t have an answer for you, I’ll help you find someone who does. Stay calm and feed on Mommas!