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Old 03-02-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,134 posts, read 22,102,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
I don't expect you to understand being that you haven't had the same experience with it as I have. I realize that you and others may think it is silly or pathetic or whatever that I have attached such meaning to it. But I was asked why I am passionate about the topic, and I am trying to explain what it has meant in my life and with my children. Of course there are worse things that could happen to me than to not be able to breastfeed a future child. There are always worse things that could happen it seems. Being on the edge of the "special needs" parenting community for the past few months has certainly shown me that it can always be harder than what I'm going through. But I can tell you, whether you think it's silly or stupid or pathetic or what, that it really would be devastating to me. Just as it was to the mothers who I mentioned before (the one who had to be treated for cancer and the one whose baby was born with a cleft palate) - when they lost their breastfeeding relationship with their children, it was another heavy blow, in addition to the already difficult medical situations they were in. This is not something that I expect for anyone to understand who hasn't nursed a child, or who hasn't nursed for more than just the food.
As I said, though, I don't believe you are sad or pathetic - but I DO believe it's unfortunate that you believe that you might not have the same closeness or parent child relationship with a child you couldn't breastfeed. I also don't believe that's that case. I think you'd surprise yourself. You'd certainly miss it - not questioning that for a minute. But do I think you'd have "less" of a bond with your child? No.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:09 PM
 
424 posts, read 635,310 times
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I'm curious: If a woman is just nursing for food or a woman exclusively pumps (no latching required! LOL), where do lactivists stand on that? I'll be honest - I always get the feeling that many lactivists push the bonding aspect and I feel that you're looked down on it if you're "just" providing food.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,952,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
As I said, though, I don't believe you are sad or pathetic - but I DO believe it's unfortunate that you believe that you might not have the same closeness or parent child relationship with a child you couldn't breastfeed. I also don't believe that's that case. I think you'd surprise yourself. You'd certainly miss it - not questioning that for a minute. But do I think you'd have "less" of a bond with your child? No.
I would hope that you are right, if it came down to it. I'm sure that we would find other ways to "bond". Would it be the same? I don't know. But I hope that I never have to find out.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:17 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,319,241 times
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Question:

If breast feeding is somehow supposed to create this unique bond.... How do you explain the closeness of a father to his children? My dad was my best friend. We were too peas in a pod and he sure as heck didn't nurse me. He also wasn't very "huggy". Oh, and we never discussed my periods. (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:19 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
Breastfeeding is the biological norm. There are not advantages to breastfeeding, there are risks to not breastfeeding. That is my point.
That's it? That's all you got? There are risks to not breastfeeding? That's your point? Well then. Point taken. Agreed. There are risks to not breastfeeding. There are also risks in breastfeeding. And there are risks in every single decision you make for your child. EVERY SINGLE ONE. There are actually MUCH worse risks, that you probably already take, with your children every day. How about - the risk of a car accident whenever you place your children in a car. How about - the risk of abduction, whenever your children are in the mall, with or without you. How about, the risk of being beaten up at school. How about, the risk that your child will have a mutant strain of your DNA and end up with a debilitating disease that cripples him for the rest of his life, or ends it before he's an adult, all because you chose to get pregnant in the first place.

There are SO many risks you take, with every single decision you make about your child. The possibility that your baby might wake up one day with hayfever, or catch 3 more colds in his life than a breastfed baby does, or says "I love you mommy" twice less than a breastfed baby does, should be the least of your worries. The fact that it isn't the least of your worries, is what makes me feel sad for you. And for your children.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,134 posts, read 22,102,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
I would hope that you are right, if it came down to it. I'm sure that we would find other ways to "bond". Would it be the same? I don't know. But I hope that I never have to find out.
Knowing your passion for parenting...I have no doubt you'd find a way. It might not be the same but even with breastfeeding - isnt' your bond with each child unique anyway? That is not to say "less" but every relationship between people is different. I have a different relationship with my son than with my daughter (if I had two daughters - or two sons - I have no doubt my relationship would be different with each of them). They are unique individuals and how we relate to each other is unique. I am not closer to one than the other nor do I love one more or less. Different doesn't necessarily imply worse.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:21 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
As I said, though, I don't believe you are sad or pathetic - but I DO believe it's unfortunate that you believe that you might not have the same closeness or parent child relationship with a child you couldn't breastfeed. I also don't believe that's that case. I think you'd surprise yourself. You'd certainly miss it - not questioning that for a minute. But do I think you'd have "less" of a bond with your child? No.
I think -she- would have less of a bond, because she has chosen to place more value on the bond of breastfeeding, than the bond of motherhood. If that weren't the case, she wouldn't even be -thinking- that there might be less of a bond. Sheesh I have more confidence of my bonding with my cat.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,788,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
I think it all boils down to what Zimbo was trying to say at the get-go...why do we allow any group to undermine our support for each other and our choices? As women, sisters, wives, mothers we need to support each other - make knowledge available but no need to pound down those whose choices are different.

ADventive - I respect your choices - even if I don't agree with them. But - it's kind of like religion - those who fervently prosthletize do so truly believing that they are saving you - that your eternal life is at stake and that you are simply too ignorant of the fact to make the proper decision. Do you appreciate that? I'm guessing not.
yes, exactly. Well said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
That's an interesting question. I first decided that I would breastfeed when I was in college and I took my first immunology class. I was really interested in immunology in general as a fascinating field, and it is what I later went on to study in graduate school. But in that first class as an undergrad, I first learned about how the immunities transferred in breast milk, and I was really struck by how important that was. I knew that I would breastfeed then. My continuing studies in immunology really reinforced that too.

When I became a parent, I did breastfeed, but in the beginning it was basically because of nutritional an immunological reasons, probably the reasons that a lot of people start out breastfeeding. It was for the milk, the food. As my daughter got older though, breastfeeding became about more than just the milk for me, it became a way of life, a way of parenting, integral to my relationship with her. If I couldn't breastfeed a future child for some reason, I feel like I don't even know how I would parent. I wouldn't feel guilt - I would feel anguish, devastation. It's not that bottle-feeding parents can't bond with their babies, but my whole way of life would be different, and I would worry that our bond would not be like that I have with my two breastfed kids. Some see breastfeeding as just another way to transfer milk into a baby, a feeding method - I don't anymore. It is part of my lifestyle now.

When my daughter was 5 weeks old, I was told by a store manager that I couldn't breastfeed her in his store. That set off an anger in me that led me to research my rights, and it led me to a community of other mothers who breastfed too. In that community, I heard stories over and over from women who were told that they couldn't breastfeed, not only in public, but because of medications they were taking or because they were going back to work or because their baby was low on the growth charts, etc etc. And over time, I saw that so many of these mothers were really being misled. There are rights to breastfeed in public. You don't have to choose between breastfeeding and working. There are meds for almost every condition that you can find a way to breastfeed with. Babies come in all shapes and sizes, they are not all 50 percentile. I heard so many stories of moms being sabotaged in their efforts to breastfeed. And still, I hear more stories. Women are told that birth interventions don't affect breastfeeding rates, that they should send baby to the nursery to get some sleep, that there is no such thing as nipple confusion, that formula is necessary to fix jaundice, that colostrum isn't enough in baby's first days. Women are told that they shouldn't let their baby suck for comfort or they should only nurse every 3 hours or that they should always stick to 15 minutes per side. They are being told that their milk has no value after X months, that they can't nurse while they are pregnant, that they shouldn't nurse a toddler. And, they are told that it doesn't really matter, that formula is just as good.

Because of the health implications of breast milk feeding, but also because of the value that I place in my own nursing relationships with my kids, I feel so frustrated that so many mothers' nursing relationships are being subverted in this way. It makes me want to dispel the misconceptions and help other women to breastfeed. It has led me to become a breastfeeding advocate.
Thank you for your answer. What's interesting is that with the exception of the highlighted part, I agree with most of what you said, and I'd guess the majority of people here would agree too. I am one of the biggest advocates of breastfeeding, always have been, always will be. The reason for that is that I am also an advocate of women and children, so I WILL NOT advocate breastfeeding at the expense of a womans feelings, self-esteem, or general mental health. In my experience people are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, and in most instances do everything within their power to breastfeed if that is what they choose to do.

I do sincerely wonder what the motivation is for extremist lactivists? We should be supporting mothers, offering and sharing information, offering a shoulder when things are tough. Instead some lactivists feel justified in belittling mothers, treating them as though they are selfish or stupid. This often comes at a time when women are feeling insecure in their abilities, emotional, and don't need to be made to feel even more guilty.

What I am looking for, but not finding in your posts is that you are an advocate for women, you state over and over that you are an advocate for breastfeeding, but never women. Curious. For you the relationship with your children was enhanced by breastfeeding. That's great. That just is not always the case with other women. Healthy mother-child relationships do not always equal breastfeeding.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,134 posts, read 22,102,729 times
Reputation: 35503
Quote:
Breastfeeding is the biological norm
For feeding one's children - providing nutrients, not necessarily for bonding. That is a pretty recent philosophy. There are many many ways to bond with one's child.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,952,246 times
Reputation: 2620
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinacool View Post
I'm curious: If a woman is just nursing for food or a woman exclusively pumps (no latching required! LOL), where do lactivists stand on that? I'll be honest - I always get the feeling that many lactivists push the bonding aspect and I feel that you're looked down on it if you're "just" providing food.
I think that you are right that a lot of people look down on EPing. At least EPing by choice. Most people I have known who have gone the EP route have not done it by choice, but because their baby couldn't latch, and they really wished that they could breastfeed directly and really hated EPing. But I think that a lot of breastfeeding activists see them as rock stars because EPing is really hard. What is harder to understand is EPing by choice, because EPing is so hard and it seems like the hardest of both worlds. It's all the hardest parts of breastfeeding without some of the nicest advantages. I think that people react to EPing by choice (or breastfeeding just for food), because they feel that it perpetuates another misconception - that breastfeeding "should" be just about the milk - which can have a lot of negative effects on breastfeeding in general.

The notion that food "should" be the only purpose of breastfeeding may be the root of many obstacles that nursing mothers face these days. It can lead people to schedule nursing, which can lead to decreased milk supply, or even failure to thrive. It can lead people to think "Baby shouldn't be hungry again ALREADY!" and doubt their milk supply and start to supplement. It can lead people to think they need to use a pacifier so that their baby won’t rely on them for comfort sucking, which may contribute to a poor latch for some babies or decreased milk supply for some mamas. It can lead people to be stressed out about night nursing because they think that their baby shouldn't "need to eat" in the middle of the night anymore. It can lead people to believe that toddlers shouldn't nurse anymore because they can acquire their nutrition elsewhere. And it can also lead people to think poorly of nursing in public, because they think the mom should just schedule her outing around her baby's feedings, or else just pump a bottle.

They may also think it minimizes breastfeeding to imply that it is only about the food, and therefore equivalent to the bottle. You've heard the term "human pacifier" to refer to comfort nursing - treating breastfeeding as only about the food is like thinking of breastfeeding as a "human bottle", and breastfeeding enthusiasts like to think of it as much more than that.

That being said, I feel like breast milk is more of a health choice while nursing is more of a lifestyle choice.
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