Parenthood is hard. It's overwhelming, fear-inducing, irrational thought-provoking and emotional. New parenthood is all of that on hormones and no sleep.
By focusing so much on these constructs of birth and breastfeeding and smacking the labels "progressive" or "feminist" on them, we're once again defining ourselves by our bodies and how they operate.
As I look back on my pregnant life, I can say that I was so set on this for my child that I had some pretty nasty judgments on women who bottle fed. In my mind, there was no other option. Why wouldn't you feed your baby something so pure?
Breastfeeding is not political for me. It's not a statement. It's not a battle that I'm fighting in the mythic mommy wars. I don't even have to tell myself it will cure cancer and make my baby brilliant. I just do it because Eden needs to eat and I need to feed her.
I quickly chose my fabrics, knowing full well that I had little time to meander as life with a newborn baby has me on the tight milk leash. I headed to the fabric table, which I will subsequently refer to as the 'hellmouth.'
UP-SET [Fr. upset + up or awake]: Feeling of profound disappointment that a parent has when a baby wakes up much earlier than usual from his nap.
Socially and politically, breastfeeding seems to be having a big moment in this country. Unlike the birth process, which happens quickly and is hidden from public view, decisions around breastfeeding follow mothers for several years and become unavoidably public.
That moment in the morning, when Mike and Mazzy are both still sleeping and Harlow and I are tethered together in a way that only a mother and child can be... That moment is mine. Ours. For now.
I have gotten as far as taking the breast pump out of storage, but I cannot seem to make myself use it. It just seems like too much effort with not enough payoff, although some of my friends have expressed annoyance that I cannot be more flexible.
The shame meted out on women and the harsh public criticism leveled on moms over openly breastfeeding makes no sense -- especially when there are so many other disgusting things we, as humans, allow other humans to do unchecked, unpoliced and unpunished.
Breastfeeding isn't just good for babies; it boasts many health advantages for moms, too. One benefit, especially noteworthy during October for Breastfeeding Awareness Month, is the reduced risk of breast cancer in breastfeeding moms.
New research out today confirms that buying breast milk on the Internet via milk-sharing sites may not be safe. Not surprising, I suppose. And although breast milk purchased from online sites may be free or as cheap as $1 an ounce, it may carry significant risk for babies.
Given that we don't have the equipment to breastfeed, we considered our options and saw donated milk as the best path. Having turned out just fine we had no strong aversion to formula -- it seemed though, that if possible to feed our little human babies human milk, that made more sense than processed milk from a cow.
Everyone has an opinion on your parenting methods. The advice comes at us from medical professionals, friends, family and even strangers on the street. We are exposed more than ever before to more information, but also more evaluation and more judgment
They are a natural part of your body, no big deal, something to hide, something to be ashamed of, bought in a doctor's office, something to flaunt, a prize, part of a show for entertainment, something to change, something that produces milk, an industry. They are an enigma.
Breastfeeding can be challenging enough as it is for many moms, so when you introduce the return to work and the need to pump milk, it can be daunting.