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Is breastfeeding a dying art?

by (2308)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created March 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

It seems like so many people I speak to in my age group (I'm 25) are foregoing breast feeding for their newborns and opting for bottle feeding instead. This of course does not apply to people who cannot breastfeed for whatever reason.

It seems really unnatural to me (and kind of terrifying) to opt for an artificial product over our own bodies naturally produced formula.

Is breatfeeding a dying art?

Is this a generational thing? (ie, in the past, breastfeeding seemed much more common place where as now most people seem to go right to the bought formula approach).

Have we made it impossible for young women to feel comfortable in public areas when it comes to breastfeeding? Is this a media/society thing?

Are we no longer educating our young moms on what is healthiest for our new borns or what the pros/cons are of manufactured formulas? If we're not, shouldn't we be? We're talking about future generations here.

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15443 · April 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I believe that formula companies utilized effective marketing including convincing both mothers and doctors that formula was somehow better than breast milk, that babies needed formula for optimal health, etc. meanwhile the convenience of it appealed to many people. This of course is contrary to millennia of human evolution. Kind of like thinking that eating 15 servings of refined grains per day is a great idea...

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15443 · April 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM

More background: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2443254/

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1021 · April 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

please dont say the doctors said it has too much saturated fat

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1021 · April 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

why the fuck would doctors discourage breastfeeding? that doesnt even make sense.

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2308 · April 18, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Thanks for your input! I wish there was more emphasis on the benefits and more importantly more support on how to breastfeed. It seems like that would be the natural first step after delivering at the hospital -- get support/direction on how and why to breastfeed and be pointed in the direction on where to get continued support and resources. Right now its completely up to the mom to seek out help/advice (which is fine to an extent, personal choice/freedom and all that) but what about people who just don't know the pros and cons of breastfeeding vs formula? Shouldn't they know all the facts?

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2308 · April 18, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I completely agree, thanks for your input!

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2308 · April 18, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Growing up I never even heard a single mention of wet nurses (should this be addressed in health class? Uneducated or unexperienced parents/school issue?), and when I broached the topic with different groups of people none of them knew what it was. Many people I ask about it to make 'disgusted faces' like it's something super unnatural and socially unacceptable...

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1816 · April 05, 2013 at 4:31 PM

79.5 hours to be exact for the first, yes. For what it's worth, I delivered at the Brigham in Boston for both, and the lactation consultants there are funded so well -- she spent OVER AN HOUR with me for my first. It was amazing. So wonderful. Such an amazing person. Couldn't have been a better place to begin breastfeeding! My labors are sooooo long; I couldn't imagine ever doing a natural birth again and I do get frustrated at times with the negativity towards epidurals in the paleo community...

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM

And congrats on your nursing relationship!!! :)

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Sarah- 80 HOURS?!! OUCH! If I had labors as long as you did, I would definitely consider an epidural. Fortunately, that is not the norm for most women. And I never implied that everyone has a miserable hospital experience, just that, for most, it is not the optimal environment to promote breastfeeding. There are always exceptions!

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1816 · March 15, 2013 at 9:47 PM

It took all I had to nurse him. And with my daughter, I was happy to work a bit harder, since I had slept through the last 6 hours of my labor and then not felt the pain during delivery (my children were both almost 10 lbs.) So not everyone has a miserable hospital birth experience. If we have a third, I will ABSOLUTELY opt for an epidural around 7-8 cm if I can. Hopefully I'll actually WANT to nurse then. (And yes, I'm still nursing my second, who is now 7.5 months old and we're going strong!)

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1816 · March 15, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Dragonfly - I have to chime in here. I had an epidural birth with my first after 80 hours of labor. I was eager to breastfeed after she was born, but she was sleepy so it took a bit of work, but we eventually latched and she nursed for 13 months. With my second, I had a natural birth, which was the stupidest thing I've ever done. Why, oh why, would you NOT have an epidural? Not even because of the pain -- I was so strung out and hysterical after 49 hours of horrific pain that even though my son was ready to nurse... I didn't even want to hold him, let alone nurse him.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Totally agreed, Monte. It was bad enough when people started getting little dogs just so that they can put them in a huge Coach purse and carry them around like a pair of designer sunglasses. But now they're doing it to babies so they can get a Louis Vuitton diaper bag and design a nursery.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 7:42 PM

YES, Cherice, thank you.

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986 · March 15, 2013 at 7:39 PM

I'm so sorry if it came off as if I was judging all women who formula feed. I'm certainly not. I have literally heard moms in my age group (<25) in a bar bathroom talk to each other about how glad they are to be formula feeding so they didn't have to worry about "pumping and dumping" - they could drink however much they wanted that night! These are the type of women we are referring to; the women who really are only thinking of themselves when they decide to formula feed.

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26182 · March 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM

I would say that you are fighting the wrong fight. If parents decide to feed their children formula, that's their decision. We should respect their right to make their own decisions, and not judge them for it. Your efforts would be better placed fighting the environment that prevents parents, who want to breastfeed, from doing so. Because they don't have a private location to do so at work, Because they are sacrificing advancement opportunities, because a half-way decent pump cost $300; Because lactation consultants cost $175/hour and are not covered by insurance; etc.

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26182 · March 15, 2013 at 6:52 PM

@Luckie, My comments were targeted at Roth. Just hit a little too close to home with how my wife was treated.

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39841 · March 15, 2013 at 4:36 PM

I think there are probably some cases where a woman has such a poor diet that breastfeeding is actually worse than formula.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM

... for your kid at preschool. It's okay to compromise sometimes, but occasional compromises or well-thought out compromises aren't what the OP was originally discussing, nor were they what I was referring to.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

On an individual level, you're right, it's nobody's business. But on a widespread scale, it is everyone's business. Just like on an individual level, no one has the right to say "You shouldn't give your kid Adderall!" because they may not know the whole situation, etc. But as a national epidemic, when we're talking statistics, it is everyone's problem when those kids are overly medicated, the older ones start abusing it or selling it, or their development is stunted because of the drugs. I'm not saying "NO COMPROMISES!" and I certainly don't think it's wrong of you to get lax on the food-rules

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Many moms cannot afford donor milk. It is very, very expensive. I agree that many people aren't prioritizing, but making judgements is a very slippery slope. I quit my job and put our family on a strict budget after the birth of my first. Some people would argue that continuing to work is not prioritizing the well-being of the child but is instead prioritizing material things/money. I don't think that, but some people do. I think we need to be really careful about how we judge others, especially women...people in glass houses and all that. Good luck to you in the rest of your pregnancy.

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM

CD, that is AWESOME!

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 3:59 PM

other day a friend of mine was asking me how I was staying in shape and I told her that I'm still eating paleo (after a year) and she asked what my girls ate.I told her they eat what we eat and she looked horrified. On the other hand, when they are at preschool, they eat what every other kid eats.Pretty sure some paleo eaters might be horrified by that too.I've made a conscious choice to not make a big deal over treats at school.That is the definition of "knowingly giving your child less than optimal nutrition just because it's easier." That doesn't make me a bad mom or justify judgement, IMO.

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 3:54 PM

The point is, it's just nobody's business, even if she chooses not to for the sake of convenience. Every parent makes concessions and everyone's priorities are different. Maybe the mother is deciding to formula feed because she turns into a monster without 8 hours of sleep and figures being a patient mother will be more of a benefit to her child than breastfeeding. Women are smart. By assuming that they aren't carefully weighing their decisions is disempowering. Parenting is really fing hard and I it sucks that mothers are constantly feeling judged for the decisions they make. Hell, just the o

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

That's awesome, CD! And I do want to clarify that I am not judging anyone who makes decisions with their children's best interests in mind, or who is unable to breastfeed for any reason, or when making the effort to feed breastmilk would result in dire consequences (like losing a job). I only think it is wrong when it is simply a matter of convenience or vanity.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:33 PM

... in her OP (hassle, uncomfortable, or my add-on of vanity) then that's different than "I tried really hard but baby wouldn't latch" or "My milk ran dry." I don't go around IRL telling moms what to do, or judging them because they are using a bottle, because I don't know their situation. But when we're discussing it on an online forum KNOWING the situation, then yeah, I have an opinion, and that opinion is that it is wrong to knowingly give your child less than optimal nutrition just because it's easier.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Oh, yes, no one who doesn't have children could possibly have a valid opinion. I suppose that thinking diabetics should eat whole foods instead of sugar-free Russell Stover's chocolates is wrong, too, since I'm not diabetic. Men, also, shouldn't have opinions about how their children are fed, too, since they're not mothers with breasts. My point is not that bottle feeding is wrong in all situations. Obviously, if the mother is unable to for whatever reason, or for convenience sake once in a while needs to bottle feed, that's fine. But if they refuse to breastfeed for the reasons Linds laid out

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:28 PM

If you want to take "acknowledging and pointing out a problem" as judgement, that's your interpretation. Just because I'm not into holding people's hands and telling them it's okay as they knowingly make bad decisions doesn't make me a terrible person. And I just used the "man take his body to work" as an example of it not being a gender issue. The point is, parents need to use their bodies for the betterment of their children. in one way or another, right down to using their arms to hug them and their vocal cords to say they love them.

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Linds~ I didn't get that you were judging--just asking some very good & understandable questions!

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM

+1 Thank you for ALL that you are doing, CD! :)

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

est for another six months afterward. Nursing that long and having pregnancies so close together was very difficult for me. I would never have admitted it at the time because I wasn't seeing clearly, but I think I had some postpartum/perinatal issues with my mental health and it's possible that I shouldn't have breastfed for so long.I'm glad I did it, but it would have broken my heart to see someone give me a dirty look if I pulled out a bottle. Anyway, just my two cents. I know you didn't call moms selfish or lazy, but other posters did. FWIW, nursing used to be taboo in my mom's generation.

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 12:33 PM

You never know what's really going on when a mom says she is formula feeding because breastfeeding hurts, or is inconvenient, or has low supply. My best friend pumped for 4 months until she finally got her daughter to latch on, all while battling severe postpartum depression.She wouldn't stop nursing due in part to the depression/anxiety causing her to be so anxious about doing everything perfectly. It was really sad to watch. I ended up breastfeeding my firstborn, got pregnant 9 months postpartum, nursed through the second pregnancy, and tandem nursed for a year follwing, then nursed my young

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM

And for what it's worth I wasn't calling new moms who bottle feed necessarily selfish or lazy -- I just feel like to say you don't want to breastfeeding because it hurts or you don't want to do the research to learn about why your body is producing this milk in e first place (along with its benefits), you're not giving your child the best possible start and to me that's where the lines get blurred. I think every mom wants the best for their children and it takes work -- as you said I will not pass judgment but rather lead by example. Thanks for your thoughts!

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Thanks Mandy -- I agree with you and do plan to be a role model and educator when it comes to breaking out of what has seemingly become the norm around me and breastfeeding without shame! I did not mean to come off judgmental -- just worried. I am a huge advocate for women and this area is something I especially hold dear for my own reasons. I wish someone had been there for my mom to show her the way -- I just hope that I can help be a part of a new way of thinking by leading by example. We mothers all need to rally together for the sake of future generations! :-)

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4632 · March 15, 2013 at 4:33 AM

I especially agree on not judging if you're not doing anything to make anything better. My midwife tells me that women who were raised in a family with breastfeeding generally have more success because it was something that was learned, in a way, though I am sure there will be difficulties. We could all use more positive role models and advocates and support! I also know a few moms who formula fed their babies for differing reasons, and they were still excellent moms. We're not all exposed to the same information. I'm glad you found success through any difficulties!

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4632 · March 15, 2013 at 4:19 AM

Luckie - so you don't want to support but you want to judge, I don't really get that. I also don't tell my husband, or any man, to take his body to work to provide for his family. I've actually been the breadwinner for several years, but now I am taking a break in my career even though he's in med school, in order to give our son the best that we can. But I don't judge parents who choose alternate paths or have kids even though they can't have a parent stay at home, even though it's what we think is best, and decided in advance that when the time came, this is what we would do.

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4632 · March 15, 2013 at 4:06 AM

Thanks Dragonfly! I have a great midwife and doula so I hope that support will help. I have personally seen more of a return to breastfeeding with a lot more of my "conventional" friends as they have had children. I used to be more judgmental before this pregnancy, when I started having a lot of people project their issues on me - like my one sister who thinks vaginal birth is gross and elected to have 3 Cs. I often wonder if she projects so much onto me because she has gotten a lot of pressure from others, so I just let it roll off my back because I don't know every woman's story.

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 3:04 AM

Thanks for chiming in, Mandy!

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 1:54 AM

Awesome response, Dragonfly.

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 12:47 AM

Definitely gives me hope :) thanks!

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 12:45 AM

I completely agree that compassion is sorely needed for new moms and support/education should be provided to anyone willing to listen. I'm not judging anyone (after all, who am I to judge), I'm simply trying to express my frustration in the way our society is shaping future generations when it comes to food and nutrition. I would love nothing more than to see breastfeeding become the main stream norm--which may be coming down the road with the rise of nutrition awareness. I just wish we didn't have to have children act as experiments for lab formulas when we have Mother Nature at our disposal.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Yeah, it would definitely be easier. But just because it's hard to do the right thing doesn't mean it's acceptable to do the wrong thing.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Jackie~ I was once one of those harsh judgers and it took a few years of actually working with first-time moms to understand the issues they face and learn some much-needed compassion. I know several moms with strong personal convictions about breastfeeding who still had a LOT of difficulty--often due to latch issues, tongue-tie and other things that weren't caught early enough. I hope you have a really easy breastfeeding relationship, but please don't hesitate to ask for help right away, if you need it!

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Judgement may be harsh, but what's worse is children growing up sick and never being able to reach their full potential because their parents didn't have the will to make the choices they knew were right. It is not more telling women what to do with their bodies than telling a man to take his body to work to provide for his family. No one is denying that it can be harder - but just because it's hard doesn't mean it's okay to shirk your duty to your child.

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2187 · March 14, 2013 at 11:11 PM

And now we see the negative ramifications of a society that views people as objects. Life itself becomes a "fashion" accessory and those least able to define or defend their own dignity are the ones that suffer.

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4632 · March 14, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I can't agree more with your post. The judgment is really harsh - who here is perfect? Some people will learn in time. I'm 35 weeks with my first and will absolutely breastfeed come hell or high water, but that's because it is a strong, personal conviction of mine. But I am also lucky that I come from a large family with a history of natural birth and breastfeeding, so it has always seemed to just be the way it is, but I know many who weren't raised with that exposure. The judgment seems like just another way of telling women what to do with their bodies.

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1974 · March 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Part of the problem is the way that breastfeeding is viewed my society. I can count the number of times I have seen a woman breastfeed in public... this makes breastfeeding more difficult. I am 100% for breastfeeding and look forward to breastfeeding wherever/whenever I want when I have a child but I think that breastfeeding would be much easier for women if society accepted it outside of the home.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 10:10 PM

There seem to be a lot of Paleo folk who are pretty well wedded to medicalized childbirth and all the issues I mentioned that come with that particular birth environment. Most hospital maternity wards in this country have nothing to do with supporting physiological birth, that's for sure. But there ARE plenty of birth activists and educators working to change that, fortunately!

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 10:09 PM

RK~ Given the relative newness of the "Paleo community" I suspect it will take more time for the pennies to drop re: breastfeeding. As Truth said, a lot of Paleo folks still don't know or care where their food comes from.

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Dragonfly, don't you think we should be seeing more overlap between homebirth/extended breastfeeding and the paleo community? Most moms I know are still in whole grains (even if whole foods) mode, vegetarian, or at best nourishing traditions. I was NT for my last 2 births, and they were so much smoother. I almost want to have child #5 just so I can do a paleo pregnancy and birth! (I've also been crossfitting, and I'd love to see how all my squatting can be put to good use). I always did my part to normalize breastfeeding by doing it in public, much to my husband's horror! lol

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM

There's actual a paleo breast-milk donation bank as well, for moms who want/need donated milk that comes from paleo eaters (how cool is that?). not sure how active it is, but i'm on the facebook group

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 9:29 PM

The great part about having lots of kids is you get a chance to screw everything up once and then learn from it. :)

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584 · March 14, 2013 at 8:36 PM

The only time I've ever had problems breastfeeding a kid in public is when I was using a blanket or happened to be in a place like a corner that made me look like I was apologizing for it. The rest of the time, no problem at all and I've been doing it for 7 years now. My theory is it's just bullies scouring a crowd for any signs of vulnerability and women who look vulnerable are who they pick.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 8:34 PM

To be honest, supporting others isn't really my mission in life. Also, I don't plan on having children until I am in a position to do it the way that I think proper. I'm not willing to compromise on something so important. It's probably never going to happen. If the world and it's inhabitants go to hell in a handbasket because of their choices, dietary and otherwise, it's probably going to be after I die so I don't really care. Cynical, yes, but honest. There are tons of people who don't feel as I do, though, so even though I don't have a dog in the fight, I can still throw a bone.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

There is mom-to-mom milk sharing. Google Eats On Feets.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 8:28 PM

So when you nurse your child, be a good example and breastfeed in public, join the La Leche League, teach classes... Many ways to be supportive.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Agreed totally on the righteous judgement getting no one anywhere - but sitting quietly and not having the guts to help mothers learn what is best for their babies because we don't want to be accused of interfering or "telling a woman what to do with her own body" isn't going to get us anywhere, either. There's got to be a middle ground! :)

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Luckie, I have seen plenty of moms shamed out of Breastfeeding, but zero moms shamed into it. Righteous judgement will get us exactly nowhere.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I agree with all your sentiments, Dragonfly, and I agree that it must be tough. But I think everything about raising a child is tough - and if they're not willing to try to start out right, it is only going to be tougher later, particularly if the child is ill due to lack of proper nutrition. If they aren't willing to tough it out, they shouldn't have children. It is very easy to make the wrong decisions, but that doesn't mean it is out of their hands or that the responsibility doesn't lie on the parents to make the right decisions.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Perhaps laziness isn't the right term - misplaced priorities may be more appropriate. Regardless, people who do not know how to take care of children and are unwilling to learn have no business having children.

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15400 · March 14, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Wow! You are one amazing mom, RK! Thanks for sharing.

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 7:14 PM

You may know this, but start immediately after birth with putting probiotic powder on your wetted nipple right before nursing (I think I did twice a day). It prevents the thrush from getting established. And congrats on your soon to be here new little one!

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11048 · March 14, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Exactly. I was chastised by someone without children on another question about children eating Paleo/Primal because it makes them different they couldn't just be a kid. I about came unglued. I eat this way for health and so do my children. I breastfed my second child while we passed thrush back and forth for 8 months. Hurt like hell, but he got the best possible start in life and I would do it all over again. I am due in fewer than 6 weeks and hope to breastfeed this one longer than the last. (I'm also hoping all of the probiotics I've been taking keep little one from getting thrush!)

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1242 · March 14, 2013 at 6:19 PM

To save people the trouble of googling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_nurse

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15593 · March 14, 2013 at 6:19 PM

It is a gender issue if a lot more men think breastfeeding is necessary than women - that is unless men are just more nurturing and self-sacrificial than women. I agree incidentally, that breastfeeding is close to obligatory unless it's impossible... but I also think that most educated women these days acknowledge that and feel very self-conscious if they can't manage it. If Linds is speaking to people who are less educated about the benefits (perhaps because they're younger), then that probably explains the different attitudes more than women being lazier and more selfish these days.

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 6:14 PM

We don't need wet nurses anymore since we have formula. Sad but true. Even as late at the 1970s some women were still using this system. It seems creepy to people, but once upon a time it was a matter of life and death!

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2308 · March 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

So many people my age constantly complaining about the things that they DO have and have ZERO CLUE how fortunate they are -- it's just so sad that this attitude is branching out into parenthood with god knows what effects on future generations

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

That's a great point. They don't care about their OWN nutrition, or the source of it, so why should they care about their baby's? "Soy formula is fine! They wouldn't sell it if it wasn't!" Facepalm.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Telling a person that they NEED to properly care for their babies isn't a gender-issue.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

My experience with moms these days is mostly in pagan circles, and well, ya know, they tend to be kinda crunchy to begin with. All the moms I know are breastfeeding (I don't know many, though.) One even went Primal after birth, in part due to a gestational diabeetus scare. The baby's first solid foods were home-pureed sweet potato and goat. Obviously, she's a rad mom!

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1655 · March 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM

So, Roth, do you have boobs or you were just practicing telling women what do they NEED to do with their bodies?

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 5:41 PM

If they're too lazy to breastfeed, they're probably going to be too lazy to take care of the children properly in other ways. Diet when they grow up, good parenting skills that don't include Ritalin prescriptions, educating the children instead of sitting them in front of the TV with a PS3... it's just the start of bad decisions.

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2308 · March 14, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Yep my feelings exactly! I have been hearing a little more about breast feeding in the media, but it still seems that the vast majority are only focused on saving themselves "hassle"...its brutal that I have to refer to feeding your own kids as a pain but boy do some people make it seem that way.

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2904 · March 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Women nowadays bitch too much. I straight up told this young girl (early 20s) who was feeding her kid formula that she NEEDS to breast feed. They always complain how it's difficult and it hurts. Boohoo. Stop fucking your kid over.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Please don't blame the moms--they need our compassion & support more than ever in this area.

I work in the pregnancy/birth world and I think it is very challenging for new moms who don't have support to breastfeed.

In some places in the States, you rarely see women nursing in public, and if your mom, grandma or aunty didn't breastfeed, you have to learn on your own (or with the help of an often rushed hospital lactation consultant.) My mom & my grandmother did not breastfeed, FWIW. Breastfeeding needs to be normalized.

And then you have to deal with the sexualization of the breast and how many folks are just not comfortable with breastfeeding in public & will make new moms feel embarrassed about a perfectly natural thing.

The rise of C-sections and inductions does nothing to help breastfeeding success. Studies show that babies who have been exposed to pitocin/anesthetic are slower to latch on--some never do.

Not to mention the hospitals that push formula and send new moms home with free gift packs of formula.

Only 1-2% of all births in the US are home births and the hospital environment is not the ideal place for a relaxed breastfeeding relationship to begin.

I am in awe that many moms breastfeed anyway, in spite of all these obstacles.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:28 PM

If you want to take "acknowledging and pointing out a problem" as judgement, that's your interpretation. Just because I'm not into holding people's hands and telling them it's okay as they knowingly make bad decisions doesn't make me a terrible person. And I just used the "man take his body to work" as an example of it not being a gender issue. The point is, parents need to use their bodies for the betterment of their children. in one way or another, right down to using their arms to hug them and their vocal cords to say they love them.

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Sarah- 80 HOURS?!! OUCH! If I had labors as long as you did, I would definitely consider an epidural. Fortunately, that is not the norm for most women. And I never implied that everyone has a miserable hospital experience, just that, for most, it is not the optimal environment to promote breastfeeding. There are always exceptions!

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I agree with all your sentiments, Dragonfly, and I agree that it must be tough. But I think everything about raising a child is tough - and if they're not willing to try to start out right, it is only going to be tougher later, particularly if the child is ill due to lack of proper nutrition. If they aren't willing to tough it out, they shouldn't have children. It is very easy to make the wrong decisions, but that doesn't mean it is out of their hands or that the responsibility doesn't lie on the parents to make the right decisions.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Judgement may be harsh, but what's worse is children growing up sick and never being able to reach their full potential because their parents didn't have the will to make the choices they knew were right. It is not more telling women what to do with their bodies than telling a man to take his body to work to provide for his family. No one is denying that it can be harder - but just because it's hard doesn't mean it's okay to shirk your duty to your child.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 10:09 PM

RK~ Given the relative newness of the "Paleo community" I suspect it will take more time for the pennies to drop re: breastfeeding. As Truth said, a lot of Paleo folks still don't know or care where their food comes from.

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 12:45 AM

I completely agree that compassion is sorely needed for new moms and support/education should be provided to anyone willing to listen. I'm not judging anyone (after all, who am I to judge), I'm simply trying to express my frustration in the way our society is shaping future generations when it comes to food and nutrition. I would love nothing more than to see breastfeeding become the main stream norm--which may be coming down the road with the rise of nutrition awareness. I just wish we didn't have to have children act as experiments for lab formulas when we have Mother Nature at our disposal.

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Linds~ I didn't get that you were judging--just asking some very good & understandable questions!

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4632 · March 14, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I can't agree more with your post. The judgment is really harsh - who here is perfect? Some people will learn in time. I'm 35 weeks with my first and will absolutely breastfeed come hell or high water, but that's because it is a strong, personal conviction of mine. But I am also lucky that I come from a large family with a history of natural birth and breastfeeding, so it has always seemed to just be the way it is, but I know many who weren't raised with that exposure. The judgment seems like just another way of telling women what to do with their bodies.

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 1:54 AM

Awesome response, Dragonfly.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 8:28 PM

So when you nurse your child, be a good example and breastfeed in public, join the La Leche League, teach classes... Many ways to be supportive.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Agreed totally on the righteous judgement getting no one anywhere - but sitting quietly and not having the guts to help mothers learn what is best for their babies because we don't want to be accused of interfering or "telling a woman what to do with her own body" isn't going to get us anywhere, either. There's got to be a middle ground! :)

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1816 · March 15, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Dragonfly - I have to chime in here. I had an epidural birth with my first after 80 hours of labor. I was eager to breastfeed after she was born, but she was sleepy so it took a bit of work, but we eventually latched and she nursed for 13 months. With my second, I had a natural birth, which was the stupidest thing I've ever done. Why, oh why, would you NOT have an epidural? Not even because of the pain -- I was so strung out and hysterical after 49 hours of horrific pain that even though my son was ready to nurse... I didn't even want to hold him, let alone nurse him.

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4632 · March 15, 2013 at 4:06 AM

Thanks Dragonfly! I have a great midwife and doula so I hope that support will help. I have personally seen more of a return to breastfeeding with a lot more of my "conventional" friends as they have had children. I used to be more judgmental before this pregnancy, when I started having a lot of people project their issues on me - like my one sister who thinks vaginal birth is gross and elected to have 3 Cs. I often wonder if she projects so much onto me because she has gotten a lot of pressure from others, so I just let it roll off my back because I don't know every woman's story.

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4632 · March 15, 2013 at 4:19 AM

Luckie - so you don't want to support but you want to judge, I don't really get that. I also don't tell my husband, or any man, to take his body to work to provide for his family. I've actually been the breadwinner for several years, but now I am taking a break in my career even though he's in med school, in order to give our son the best that we can. But I don't judge parents who choose alternate paths or have kids even though they can't have a parent stay at home, even though it's what we think is best, and decided in advance that when the time came, this is what we would do.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Jackie~ I was once one of those harsh judgers and it took a few years of actually working with first-time moms to understand the issues they face and learn some much-needed compassion. I know several moms with strong personal convictions about breastfeeding who still had a LOT of difficulty--often due to latch issues, tongue-tie and other things that weren't caught early enough. I hope you have a really easy breastfeeding relationship, but please don't hesitate to ask for help right away, if you need it!

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 8:34 PM

To be honest, supporting others isn't really my mission in life. Also, I don't plan on having children until I am in a position to do it the way that I think proper. I'm not willing to compromise on something so important. It's probably never going to happen. If the world and it's inhabitants go to hell in a handbasket because of their choices, dietary and otherwise, it's probably going to be after I die so I don't really care. Cynical, yes, but honest. There are tons of people who don't feel as I do, though, so even though I don't have a dog in the fight, I can still throw a bone.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Luckie, I have seen plenty of moms shamed out of Breastfeeding, but zero moms shamed into it. Righteous judgement will get us exactly nowhere.

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 10:10 PM

There seem to be a lot of Paleo folk who are pretty well wedded to medicalized childbirth and all the issues I mentioned that come with that particular birth environment. Most hospital maternity wards in this country have nothing to do with supporting physiological birth, that's for sure. But there ARE plenty of birth activists and educators working to change that, fortunately!

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM

And congrats on your nursing relationship!!! :)

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Dragonfly, don't you think we should be seeing more overlap between homebirth/extended breastfeeding and the paleo community? Most moms I know are still in whole grains (even if whole foods) mode, vegetarian, or at best nourishing traditions. I was NT for my last 2 births, and they were so much smoother. I almost want to have child #5 just so I can do a paleo pregnancy and birth! (I've also been crossfitting, and I'd love to see how all my squatting can be put to good use). I always did my part to normalize breastfeeding by doing it in public, much to my husband's horror! lol

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1816 · March 15, 2013 at 9:47 PM

It took all I had to nurse him. And with my daughter, I was happy to work a bit harder, since I had slept through the last 6 hours of my labor and then not felt the pain during delivery (my children were both almost 10 lbs.) So not everyone has a miserable hospital birth experience. If we have a third, I will ABSOLUTELY opt for an epidural around 7-8 cm if I can. Hopefully I'll actually WANT to nurse then. (And yes, I'm still nursing my second, who is now 7.5 months old and we're going strong!)

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1816 · April 05, 2013 at 4:31 PM

79.5 hours to be exact for the first, yes. For what it's worth, I delivered at the Brigham in Boston for both, and the lactation consultants there are funded so well -- she spent OVER AN HOUR with me for my first. It was amazing. So wonderful. Such an amazing person. Couldn't have been a better place to begin breastfeeding! My labors are sooooo long; I couldn't imagine ever doing a natural birth again and I do get frustrated at times with the negativity towards epidurals in the paleo community...

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26182 · March 15, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I am appalled at many of the comments here.

I have three kids, my first was breastfed for 9 months and then she quit. The second never latched on (despite $2000 in lactation consultants). With the third, my wife dried up around week 8 (again despite significant efforts with lactation consultants). She was absolutely devastated, and when a woman (we did not know) approached my wife at a park and gave her hell about feeding our child formula, my wife slipped very close to depression. Luckily we are financially in a position where we were able to get the counseling and support she needed.

All three of my children are smart, healthy, and active.

I support breast feeding, and certainly agree that it is the best when it works. But, for me, formula is a miracle. Two of my amazing children would not be here without formula.

Making judgments about parents who choose to feed their children formula is ridiculous. Some did not have the option. Others their schedule doesn't allow for it. Others make their own decision. It's their right. We need to work to create an environment that ensures that anyone who wants to breastfeed their children have every opportunity to. We do not need to talk down to people who choose not to.

Other than bitch on the internet, what have you done to enable women to make their own choice easier? Personally I have created a space at my office that allows women to pump at work as well as maintaining an under-the-desk freezer inventory to loan out to breast feeding mothers. I have also allocated an extra 4 hours per week for pumping so the women do not need to use their lunch hours and loose out on that social interactions or work reduced hours.

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM

+1 Thank you for ALL that you are doing, CD! :)

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

That's awesome, CD! And I do want to clarify that I am not judging anyone who makes decisions with their children's best interests in mind, or who is unable to breastfeed for any reason, or when making the effort to feed breastmilk would result in dire consequences (like losing a job). I only think it is wrong when it is simply a matter of convenience or vanity.

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26182 · March 15, 2013 at 6:52 PM

@Luckie, My comments were targeted at Roth. Just hit a little too close to home with how my wife was treated.

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26182 · March 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM

I would say that you are fighting the wrong fight. If parents decide to feed their children formula, that's their decision. We should respect their right to make their own decisions, and not judge them for it. Your efforts would be better placed fighting the environment that prevents parents, who want to breastfeed, from doing so. Because they don't have a private location to do so at work, Because they are sacrificing advancement opportunities, because a half-way decent pump cost $300; Because lactation consultants cost $175/hour and are not covered by insurance; etc.

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM

CD, that is AWESOME!

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I think breastfeeding is coming back. It definitely took a hit in popularity, but I think even mainstream media has become hip to the wonders of breastfeeding.

  1. If it hurts that much, they're not doing it properly or they haven't done it long enough for their breast to become used to it.
  2. Hubbies, grandparents, babysitters can all feed breastmilk in the bottle for those times when mommy can't be around, or just so daddy can bond with the baby, too.

I have also heard the excuse of "I don't want my boobs to get yucky/saggy/chewedup." The sheer disgustingness of putting that level of vanity over the welfare of your developing child is really sickening to me.

IMHO, if you aren't willing to do what it takes to properly care for your baby, DON'T HAVE ONE. They aren't little dolls to dress up and have fun birthday parties for - they are little human beings. I think that's really the part that's missing for a lot of people. They think of babies like their key to the mommy social circle or as a fashion accessory.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

My experience with moms these days is mostly in pagan circles, and well, ya know, they tend to be kinda crunchy to begin with. All the moms I know are breastfeeding (I don't know many, though.) One even went Primal after birth, in part due to a gestational diabeetus scare. The baby's first solid foods were home-pureed sweet potato and goat. Obviously, she's a rad mom!

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2308 · March 14, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Yep my feelings exactly! I have been hearing a little more about breast feeding in the media, but it still seems that the vast majority are only focused on saving themselves "hassle"...its brutal that I have to refer to feeding your own kids as a pain but boy do some people make it seem that way.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Totally agreed, Monte. It was bad enough when people started getting little dogs just so that they can put them in a huge Coach purse and carry them around like a pair of designer sunglasses. But now they're doing it to babies so they can get a Louis Vuitton diaper bag and design a nursery.

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2187 · March 14, 2013 at 11:11 PM

And now we see the negative ramifications of a society that views people as objects. Life itself becomes a "fashion" accessory and those least able to define or defend their own dignity are the ones that suffer.

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40 · March 14, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I am breastfeeding my third baby - he's 3 months. It's a full time job, but so worth it. I think a lot of people don't do it because it's just "too hard." It is hard... but I personally wouldn't have it any other way. That being said, I respect other people's decisions not to do it. I just can't imagine not doing it, for my own kids. For what it's worth, I DO feel like a granola munching hippie, whipping out the boob in public!

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM

I have personally been surprised even within the paleo community to see a lack of holistic thinking applied toward children. What could be more paleo than breastfeeding? It shows that so many people view paleo as a diet or weight loss tool, not as a lifestyle.

I nursed my 4 children ... one until 12 months old, one until 15 months, one until 18 months, and one until 3.5 years old. You wouldn't believe the derision and mocking I have faced, especially with the last child. "Good grief, get that kid off your breast!" "Haven't you weaned him yet?" Etc. And this from people who eat healthy, whole foods, even paleo.

The child who nursed until 3.5 is the sturdiest, healthiest, most independent kid you've ever met. I wish I had nursed the others longer. One took a pacifier, and one started thumb sucking when I weaned them. They obviously still had a strong sucking need. (Most children lose their sucking need between ages 3 to 7).

It really is a short amount of time in your life. I spent 7 years breastfeeding, and I can tell you it was a blip. Yes, some days they felt like parasites! But long term it minimizes so many problems. With 4 children, we have had 3 ear infections. Total. 2 with the oldest (when I was young and stupid and thought giving babies juice was a good idea). And 1 in one of the other kids. Other than that, no antibiotics, no late nights up crying, nothing. I'll take the parasites any day. :)

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15400 · March 14, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Wow! You are one amazing mom, RK! Thanks for sharing.

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 9:29 PM

The great part about having lots of kids is you get a chance to screw everything up once and then learn from it. :)

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11048 · March 14, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Exactly. I was chastised by someone without children on another question about children eating Paleo/Primal because it makes them different they couldn't just be a kid. I about came unglued. I eat this way for health and so do my children. I breastfed my second child while we passed thrush back and forth for 8 months. Hurt like hell, but he got the best possible start in life and I would do it all over again. I am due in fewer than 6 weeks and hope to breastfeed this one longer than the last. (I'm also hoping all of the probiotics I've been taking keep little one from getting thrush!)

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 7:14 PM

You may know this, but start immediately after birth with putting probiotic powder on your wetted nipple right before nursing (I think I did twice a day). It prevents the thrush from getting established. And congrats on your soon to be here new little one!

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5356 · March 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM

To me this falls into the same vein as???

Q - Do you KNOW what they do to those chickens? A - No, but it???s delicious.

People today REALLY don???t know where their food comes from, at any level, and as much as I like most of you love the visual feast that is cleavage, I don???t stop to think what the fundamental purpose of breasts are, even though it???s two fold, a sign of fertility and a means to feed said late night fertility encounters.

Also, the amount of women who demand ???C??? sections is growing every year, which, I get it, the crying, the pain, feelings of helplessness???and that???s just the father asking universal questions like??? ???Does it hurt????

I???m hoping when people stop trying to ???burn at the stake???, mothers who breast feed in public, maybe then, everyone will finally remember how it is we got this far on the road of life???I wonder what those puppies get to the gallon, cause when you figure mileage to the gallon??????.sorry, I was taking this in the wrong direction, I meant???.Breast Milk is Awesome???wait, that sounded like I???m still???.

Truth.

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10490 · March 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

That's a great point. They don't care about their OWN nutrition, or the source of it, so why should they care about their baby's? "Soy formula is fine! They wouldn't sell it if it wasn't!" Facepalm.

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584 · March 14, 2013 at 8:36 PM

The only time I've ever had problems breastfeeding a kid in public is when I was using a blanket or happened to be in a place like a corner that made me look like I was apologizing for it. The rest of the time, no problem at all and I've been doing it for 7 years now. My theory is it's just bullies scouring a crowd for any signs of vulnerability and women who look vulnerable are who they pick.

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 2:14 AM

I especially don't think that anyone who hasn't had children has a right to judge. If you've never had a child, you have no idea what it is like in those first few days/weeks/months. Not only is it physically difficult, it is emotionally difficult (hellish for some). The doubt and second-guessing that goes into those early days can be nerve-wracking. If my mother hadn't breastfed and if I hadn't been reading up on it for 9 months, I'm not sure I would have continued breastfeeding my daughter. We got the hang of it, but it was hard at first. I don't think judging other women gets us anywhere. I think Dragonfly is right. If you are interested in breastfeeding and infant nutrition, be a good role-model, be an educator, be an advocate. Don't sit back and judge something you haven't experienced.

For what it's worth, I know a lot of moms who formula fed their babies and not one of them is selfish, lazy, ignorant, or superficial. Not breastfeeding your child doesn't by default make you any one of these things.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM

... for your kid at preschool. It's okay to compromise sometimes, but occasional compromises or well-thought out compromises aren't what the OP was originally discussing, nor were they what I was referring to.

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32518 · March 15, 2013 at 3:04 AM

Thanks for chiming in, Mandy!

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 3:54 PM

The point is, it's just nobody's business, even if she chooses not to for the sake of convenience. Every parent makes concessions and everyone's priorities are different. Maybe the mother is deciding to formula feed because she turns into a monster without 8 hours of sleep and figures being a patient mother will be more of a benefit to her child than breastfeeding. Women are smart. By assuming that they aren't carefully weighing their decisions is disempowering. Parenting is really fing hard and I it sucks that mothers are constantly feeling judged for the decisions they make. Hell, just the o

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 3:59 PM

other day a friend of mine was asking me how I was staying in shape and I told her that I'm still eating paleo (after a year) and she asked what my girls ate.I told her they eat what we eat and she looked horrified. On the other hand, when they are at preschool, they eat what every other kid eats.Pretty sure some paleo eaters might be horrified by that too.I've made a conscious choice to not make a big deal over treats at school.That is the definition of "knowingly giving your child less than optimal nutrition just because it's easier." That doesn't make me a bad mom or justify judgement, IMO.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Oh, yes, no one who doesn't have children could possibly have a valid opinion. I suppose that thinking diabetics should eat whole foods instead of sugar-free Russell Stover's chocolates is wrong, too, since I'm not diabetic. Men, also, shouldn't have opinions about how their children are fed, too, since they're not mothers with breasts. My point is not that bottle feeding is wrong in all situations. Obviously, if the mother is unable to for whatever reason, or for convenience sake once in a while needs to bottle feed, that's fine. But if they refuse to breastfeed for the reasons Linds laid out

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Thanks Mandy -- I agree with you and do plan to be a role model and educator when it comes to breaking out of what has seemingly become the norm around me and breastfeeding without shame! I did not mean to come off judgmental -- just worried. I am a huge advocate for women and this area is something I especially hold dear for my own reasons. I wish someone had been there for my mom to show her the way -- I just hope that I can help be a part of a new way of thinking by leading by example. We mothers all need to rally together for the sake of future generations! :-)

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM

And for what it's worth I wasn't calling new moms who bottle feed necessarily selfish or lazy -- I just feel like to say you don't want to breastfeeding because it hurts or you don't want to do the research to learn about why your body is producing this milk in e first place (along with its benefits), you're not giving your child the best possible start and to me that's where the lines get blurred. I think every mom wants the best for their children and it takes work -- as you said I will not pass judgment but rather lead by example. Thanks for your thoughts!

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 12:33 PM

You never know what's really going on when a mom says she is formula feeding because breastfeeding hurts, or is inconvenient, or has low supply. My best friend pumped for 4 months until she finally got her daughter to latch on, all while battling severe postpartum depression.She wouldn't stop nursing due in part to the depression/anxiety causing her to be so anxious about doing everything perfectly. It was really sad to watch. I ended up breastfeeding my firstborn, got pregnant 9 months postpartum, nursed through the second pregnancy, and tandem nursed for a year follwing, then nursed my young

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

est for another six months afterward. Nursing that long and having pregnancies so close together was very difficult for me. I would never have admitted it at the time because I wasn't seeing clearly, but I think I had some postpartum/perinatal issues with my mental health and it's possible that I shouldn't have breastfed for so long.I'm glad I did it, but it would have broken my heart to see someone give me a dirty look if I pulled out a bottle. Anyway, just my two cents. I know you didn't call moms selfish or lazy, but other posters did. FWIW, nursing used to be taboo in my mom's generation.

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4632 · March 15, 2013 at 4:33 AM

I especially agree on not judging if you're not doing anything to make anything better. My midwife tells me that women who were raised in a family with breastfeeding generally have more success because it was something that was learned, in a way, though I am sure there will be difficulties. We could all use more positive role models and advocates and support! I also know a few moms who formula fed their babies for differing reasons, and they were still excellent moms. We're not all exposed to the same information. I'm glad you found success through any difficulties!

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 3:33 PM

... in her OP (hassle, uncomfortable, or my add-on of vanity) then that's different than "I tried really hard but baby wouldn't latch" or "My milk ran dry." I don't go around IRL telling moms what to do, or judging them because they are using a bottle, because I don't know their situation. But when we're discussing it on an online forum KNOWING the situation, then yeah, I have an opinion, and that opinion is that it is wrong to knowingly give your child less than optimal nutrition just because it's easier.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

On an individual level, you're right, it's nobody's business. But on a widespread scale, it is everyone's business. Just like on an individual level, no one has the right to say "You shouldn't give your kid Adderall!" because they may not know the whole situation, etc. But as a national epidemic, when we're talking statistics, it is everyone's problem when those kids are overly medicated, the older ones start abusing it or selling it, or their development is stunted because of the drugs. I'm not saying "NO COMPROMISES!" and I certainly don't think it's wrong of you to get lax on the food-rules

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2626 · March 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

If it makes you feel better, breastfeeding is actually on the rise in the US and has gone up significantly just in the past few years. According to the CDC's breastfeeding report card it was up to 77% in 2009, and the 2008-2009 change was the largest annual increase in the past decade (this is women who initiate breastfeeding at any time, even if they don't continue it as long as recommended).

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2308 · March 15, 2013 at 12:47 AM

Definitely gives me hope :) thanks!

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15443 · April 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

As others have noted, there are many obstacles to it, the actual mechanics of breast feeding itself sometimes don't come naturally to mom or kid, many doctors are ambivalent about it, and in the US at least it's often considered taboo to nurse in public and it can be frowned upon at the workplace.

I was formula-fed, and my mom would have preferred to breast feed but was strongly discouraged from doing so by her doctors (this was in the late 60's and early 70's), back then the male doctors all thought they knew better than the women having the babies I guess.

If you want to get a good source of support for breastfeeding I suggest looking up a midwives practice in your area, they tend to be very woman-and-baby-focused and have a more helpful and realistic view of breast feeding. My kids were breast fed until 18 and 20 months and we think this was great for both mom and kids.

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15443 · April 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I believe that formula companies utilized effective marketing including convincing both mothers and doctors that formula was somehow better than breast milk, that babies needed formula for optimal health, etc. meanwhile the convenience of it appealed to many people. This of course is contrary to millennia of human evolution. Kind of like thinking that eating 15 servings of refined grains per day is a great idea...

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1021 · April 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

please dont say the doctors said it has too much saturated fat

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1021 · April 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

why the fuck would doctors discourage breastfeeding? that doesnt even make sense.

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15443 · April 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM

More background: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2443254/

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2308 · April 18, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Thanks for your input! I wish there was more emphasis on the benefits and more importantly more support on how to breastfeed. It seems like that would be the natural first step after delivering at the hospital -- get support/direction on how and why to breastfeed and be pointed in the direction on where to get continued support and resources. Right now its completely up to the mom to seek out help/advice (which is fine to an extent, personal choice/freedom and all that) but what about people who just don't know the pros and cons of breastfeeding vs formula? Shouldn't they know all the facts?

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1353 · April 18, 2013 at 1:44 PM

My wife volunteers for a breastfeeding support organization and it's true that the majority of people who initially don't want to or have great difficulty either listen too much to the older generation, i.e. mothers and mothers-in-law who were themselves told that it spoils babies or ruins your figure etc., or they come from immigrant cultures that are gaga over anything artificial and man made thinking that that must make it superior. Then there are the women who listen too much to their mouth-breathing boyfriends/husbands who are so socially stunted that they find something sexual about seeing their wife or another woman breastfeed a baby, and therefor it makes them uncomfortable. Needless to say I don't feel too much sympathy for any of these cases. Just stop being stupid.

That said, there is a significant number of women who wish very much to do the right thing but can't due to insufficient supply, unusual skin sensitivity, or other reasons outside their control and it's very important not to judge as they are often totally devastated that they can't do it. In many cases they feel as if they've failed a basic aspect of being a woman and mother, which is tragic. In a natural society these cases would have been covered by the fact that the other women of the community would take on the responsibility for the woman who had difficulties.

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2308 · April 18, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I completely agree, thanks for your input!

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986 · March 15, 2013 at 12:46 AM

I'm 23, pregnant and will ONLY breastfeed. Even if I can't produce my own milk, I'm certainly taking advantage of donor milk.

I just don't really think our generation understands anything about nutrition. We were also raised by parents that formula fed. In my case, even my mother and her sisters were formula fed. Breastfeeding was seen as taboo in the 1950s-1960s. When I asked my grandma why she used formula she said, "It's just what women did back then." I just don't think that our age group understands the importance of breastfeeding since it's not ingrained into our culture.

I also don't think there's a huge support system for breastfeeding. La Leche League is doing what they can, and I applaud them for it. But breastfeeding CAN hurt when the infant doesn't latch correctly, and if no one is around to correct the baby's latch; then yeah. Of course women aren't going to continue - IT HURTS!

We live in a culture that doesn't prioritize well, which is a shame because it's really affecting the general population. All we can do is show our own children that breastfeeding is normal, and hopefully our good decisions will pass on to the next generation.

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2022 · March 15, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Many moms cannot afford donor milk. It is very, very expensive. I agree that many people aren't prioritizing, but making judgements is a very slippery slope. I quit my job and put our family on a strict budget after the birth of my first. Some people would argue that continuing to work is not prioritizing the well-being of the child but is instead prioritizing material things/money. I don't think that, but some people do. I think we need to be really careful about how we judge others, especially women...people in glass houses and all that. Good luck to you in the rest of your pregnancy.

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10490 · March 15, 2013 at 7:42 PM

YES, Cherice, thank you.

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986 · March 15, 2013 at 7:39 PM

I'm so sorry if it came off as if I was judging all women who formula feed. I'm certainly not. I have literally heard moms in my age group (<25) in a bar bathroom talk to each other about how glad they are to be formula feeding so they didn't have to worry about "pumping and dumping" - they could drink however much they wanted that night! These are the type of women we are referring to; the women who really are only thinking of themselves when they decide to formula feed.

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1242 · March 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Just curious: Whatever happened to the concept of wet nurses? Why hasn't each community a pool of wet nurses available for hire?

'cause the reality is many career women simply won't do it. So why not pay the eligible minimum wagers and welfare moms a fair amount to fill the role?

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1242 · March 14, 2013 at 6:19 PM

To save people the trouble of googling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_nurse

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM

There's actual a paleo breast-milk donation bank as well, for moms who want/need donated milk that comes from paleo eaters (how cool is that?). not sure how active it is, but i'm on the facebook group

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32518 · March 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

There is mom-to-mom milk sharing. Google Eats On Feets.

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5792 · March 14, 2013 at 6:14 PM

We don't need wet nurses anymore since we have formula. Sad but true. Even as late at the 1970s some women were still using this system. It seems creepy to people, but once upon a time it was a matter of life and death!

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2308 · April 18, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Growing up I never even heard a single mention of wet nurses (should this be addressed in health class? Uneducated or unexperienced parents/school issue?), and when I broached the topic with different groups of people none of them knew what it was. Many people I ask about it to make 'disgusted faces' like it's something super unnatural and socially unacceptable...

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5 · September 19, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I am still nursing baby number 3-he turned a year on 8/31. I cannot believe I stopped at 10.5 and 9.5 months with my first two! It was my fault-I had listened to the doctors and family-they had juice cups and whatever snack they wanted. This child (food allergies) does not get a cup-he can have some of my water when he is thirsty or he can have ME. He eats when he is hungry but prefers breastmilk to "food" anyway. I sit next to the soccer field every or gymnastics room every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and nurse my 1 year old in public, WIHTOUT A COVER (ha) and have only had ONE "mom" say to me "oh he is a breastfed baby..." my reply-" YUP he loves his boobies!!"

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221 · March 14, 2013 at 10:43 PM

I don't have kids and don't plan on ever having them... but if I did I would get them breast milk somehow. This is the most healthy and natural way of eating for any mammal in its infancy and even beyond sometimes.

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