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i'm back, and with a little rant or two

June 14, 2006

What is it about telecommunications companies? Our cable was out for two days because a cable company employee saw that our cable hookup on the roof wasn’t marked–and disconnected it. Why wouldn’t the employee put in a quick call to find out if this apartment number has a valid and current account with the company? Why wouldn’t he or she make a note of the disconnection so that when we called in to find out what was going on, we’d get an answer?

So many whys, so few answers.

At any rate, our internet access at home has been restored, so I can once again work in the comfort of my pajamas if I want to. And thank goodness for THAT!

Meanwhile, has everyone seen this? It’s not bad enough that attachment parenting types harangue women about breastfeeding, now the government is going to, also? Yes, yes, yes, breast is best. But as the article rightly points out, not all women CAN breastfeed (physically, I mean), and many others don’t, because they have to go back to work and can’t pump at work, or work in jobs where pumping is impractical.

Is anyone else mystified by the status of parenting in this country? On the one hand, more and more women are undergoing elective C-sections with scheduled delivery dates–often for convenience, not for health reasons. But rather than decry that increasingly popular practice, public health officials choose instead to speak out about the dangers of not breastfeeding–when most women will hear throughout pregnancy, and after delivery, that breastfeeding is the best choice.

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Categories: of note
  1. June 14, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    yes, this country’s approach to parenting is very messed up. both governmentally and socially. my kids are older now, and when i look back at all the stress involved in raising the very young children, i’m appalled. it kind of goes away once they’re older. why? why is there so much judgment aimed at the mothers of babes?

    When my younger daughter was approximately 3 months old, I made the decision, based on her physical misery which resulted in my own, to take her off the boob, and put her on formula. for the first time in 3 months, the girl SMILED. She giggled. She lay on the floor and happily looked around.

    Within a week, while at the park giving her a bottle, I had another mother approach me with, “I do hope that’s breastmilk in that bottle.”

  2. June 14, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    Don’t even get me start on this. I read that article and steam started coming out my ears.

    I never once, not ONCE, heard any official type person talk about how much breastfeeding hurts at the beginning. If I hadn’t been able to pay for expensive lactation consultants and had time off and had an extensive support network, I never would have managed further. I see very little in that article about the logistics of breastfeeding: the time, the pain, the support you need, the fact that for some people it makes them feel emotionally like hell (not me but friends), etc. So, basically, that article serves to make moms feel guilty and yet gives no guidance.

    But what do I know. I don’t even think elective C-sections are all that bad, so I’m sure that the hippie birth police have my warrant out.

  3. June 15, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    Well… How can I not comment?

    a) If it’s doable, breastfeeding is healthier for mother AND baby. Did you know it’s the only way you can actually reduce the number of fat cells in your thighs instead of just shrink them? For that alone…

    b) People are, often, stupid. And stupid often goes hand in hand with sanctimonious (also tactless). Government people are no exception.

    c) It shouldn’t hurt for either party. For what it’s worth, never did for me. Until that one time when someone’s teeth were coming in; weaning happened in short order thereafter.

    d) Have you seen the infant mortality/morbidity rates for this country? They are absolutely shameful. If you don’t think planned (and unnecessary) C-sections are part of that, well — when was the last time you thought being sliced open was safe? Really, no-risk, safe?

    Sorry Kristine, I’ll get off my soap box and stop hijacking your comments. It just irritates the heck out of me that the government comes in all heavy-handed, and riles people so that they turn negative about breastfeeding. The benefits (physical and economical) are huge and the potential downsides of not breastfeeding can be serious. But if you’re unfortunate enough to have rare but serious problems with it, you shouldn’t be subjected to other people’s judgment. Or even if you just decide you don’t want to. Ok, I’ll stop. But if anyone has trouble, try calling La Leche League. Last I checked, they don’t charge and they’re the world’s best experts — experienced moms.

  4. June 15, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    My only issue with LLL is that they are often the worst at laying guilt trips on moms who can’t or don’t breastfeed. From what I understand, LLL members are the LEAST likely to recommend a nursing mother supplement with formula if they don’t produce enough milk, and almost universally will tell new moms to keep their babies ONLY on the breast. For women having problems, that’s not the best message. A better message would be: yes, breast is best. But it’s FAR more important that your baby thrive, and if that means supplementing with, or switching entirely to, formula, then do it.

  5. Jean
    June 16, 2006 at 8:18 am

    Actually, LLL’s mission is to help a mother breastfeed as long as she wants, whether that be one day or several years. And the best way to increase milk supply is to nurse, nurse, nurse. Supplementing with formula just decreases milk supply further. There are a few women who simply can’t breastfeed, but many more women stop breastfeeding because they don’t have the correct information or help they need. Often women think they’re not making enough milk because their baby is nursing constantly. In reality, the baby is just having a growth spurt and the mother’s supply will increase to meet the baby’s needs if she just keeps nursing and doesn’t supplement.

    I have a friend who didn’t breastfeed her now 2 year old because her pediatrician told her formula was just as good. Her daughter’s been sick constantly, and she really wishes she had been given true information by her pediatrician.

  6. June 18, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    Our local lactation consultants, too, were a bit… how shall I say… strident. One told us to throw away the formula samples the hospital had given us, because a hundred years ago babies weren’t given formula. (Yes – I didn’t tell her – a hundred years ago babies were given a flannel rag soaked in cow’s milk.)

    If you know a bit about the history of formula, and some of the marketing tactics taken by the formula companies, the militancy becomes a bit easier to understand. There are a lot of people – myself included – who will never be reconciled to Nestle for their past evil deeds.

    For what it’s worth: as a father, I’m completely convinced that nursing (when possible, etc., insert boilerplate disclaimers here) is far the best for mother and baby. (Why, yes, it is easy for me to say.) I agree, though, with the observation that started this off: the ad campaign sounds awful. Add another thing to the list of things done badly.

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