from the blog.

Passion Is Not Disdain

I’ve become a lactavist.

I didn’t intend for it to happen. I never really thought I’d care this much, I just figured breastfeeding was what you did and so I did it. I breastfed through a painful tongue tie. I breastfed through painkillers and vasospasms (basically frostbite of the nipple). I’ve breastfed now through two teeth, and while I can’t say that I have loved every second of it,  I do love it.

I go to a breastfeeding support group meeting once a week at the hospital where I delivered. I go to La Leche League meetings monthly at a church down the road. I’m in about 14 breastfeeding-related support groups on Facebook and I’m kind of the go-to person for a lot of my friends who are pregnant or recently had babies.

All of this came out of nowhere! I didn’t expect any of it. I jumped in with both feet though and now, here I am. I’m the first person to jump on a tongue tie because trust me, those suck!! They always tell you that breastfeeding might be uncomfortable, but if it’s toe-curling pain, stop and get help!! I’ll be the first person to tell you that your daycare provider is probably overfeeding your baby by giving them 4-5 ounce bottles every 2 hours. I stood my ground for feeding only what I said and we’re doing just fine with 3 ounces every couple hours. I’m the one that will show you how to use the “two shirt method” so that you can nurse in public without a cumbersome cover and say fuck the haters if they see your nipple anyway!

My passion for it stems from the healing I get when nursing my son. I want that for everyone. I know how soothing it is for both me and O to melt into each other at the end of a long day. He centers me after a rough day at work, his little hands exploring my face while he feeds. I want that feeling for everyone.

I know that breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone. I know it isn’t even possible for everyone. I don’t think you’re a bad mom for not doing it, I swear. Please don’t mistake my passion for breastfeeding as disdain for you not doing so (by choice or by circumstance). My questions are not meant to accuse, merely to attempt to help. My pride in what I do is not meant to demean you, my celebrations are not meant to mock. I want to support you, my intentions are pure. If I’m being overwhelming, please tell me to back off.

We are all branches of the same tree, parents just trying to keep their kids growing. We need to stick together.

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2 Comments

  1. Oh, the two shirt method! I loved breastfeeding, but admit I was excited to wear whatever I wanted (including dresses!) when we were done.
    I feel lucky to have had such an easy time with breastfeeding and to have enjoyed it so much. I think you’re right about it being a source of healing.
    I, too, know how hard BF can be for some women, and I understand the feelings that come along with struggling (even a few short nursing strikes had me in tears). But I wish people wouldn’t assume that “lactivists” or those promoting breastfeeding are saying other ways are wrong/bad/don’t measure up. I imagine it’s hard when it’s a sore spot for you and/or something you really wanted to do (like how I feel when people tout unmedicated births), but being a big proponent for BF shouldn’t earn you the title of “Breastapo.”

    1. I never realized how many dresses I owned that weren’t nursing friendly until we had to go to a wedding last weekend!! New clothes for me!!

      I’m with you on the sore spot. I wish so badly I could have had an unmedicated birth as well, but I try not to take it personally unless someone is outright saying negative things about a medicated birth!

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