Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Did I Ask You?

So have you heard? 
Mayor Bloomberg loves breastfeeding.
Read here, here, and here.
Of course he does. 
He's a man.
And he doesn't have working tits.

Starting September 3rd, New York City is going to start urging hospitals to keep infant formula locked up and treat it like medication. Breast milk is probably the best option for babies, but it makes me so sad that American women feed into this culture that has made the failure or lack of desire to breastfeed seem like a shameful affair.

I struggled to breastfeed Olive when she was first born. At the hospital, my milk supply did not let down immediately, yet the nurses insisted that I not supplement the baby with formula. And so, Olive starved. By the third day of our stay at the hospital, my munchkin had lost over ten percent of her at-birth body weight. She was constantly crying because she was running on empty. By the time my milk did let down, she impatiently attacked my nipples and shook them like a piranha does to prey. Needless to say, Olive's latching technique was a FAIL, and there we were... a depressed new mother with an abdominal wound (c-section), massively engorged tits filled with unaccessible milk due to clogged nipples, and of course, a wailing baby.

My attempt to breastfeed continued at home. I provided breast milk with the aid of a pump upon our return home from the hospital. I felt Olive deserved the best. (She still does.) But even then, extracting the little milk that I had was a total ordeal. I was in constant pain, and every single day, something would go wrong. Open wounds on my nipples. Engorged breasts. Mastitis. You name it, I experienced it. With the help of a lactation consultant (yes, that is an actual occupation) and a hospital grade pump (I rented one), I pummeled through two months and was able to consistently provide three-quarters of her days' meals. (I pumped every 2 hours for two months. I was a slave to the my Medela.) The other quarter of her daily intake consisted of Enfamil. I just didn't have enough milk. Crazy Chinese soups chock full o' pigs' feet and chicken feet didn't work... But you know what?  I had tried my best.

In all honesty, I was so incredibly relieved that I physically wasn't able to provide enough milk for her, because enduring a boob malfunction every gosh-darn day was just too much for me to handle. Being forced to wean Olive off boob juice was, how should I put this... liberating.

Which brings me back to Mayor Bloomberg and his love for boob juice. I agree. It's the best. But until he experiences the hardships of breastfeeding and until he squeezes a baby out of his vagina, he needs to shut his pinhole. 



Jenny Sherman said...

My mom could not breast feed any of us. She developed a terrible strep infection in her breast when Heather was born and almost lost her boob to it. It's terrible that they made Olive starve like that. Of course you always want the best for your baby, but there are other options available too for reasons!!!!! You go girl, you did your best, and went the extra mile and that shows just how great a mama you are.

lepetitdoodler said...

and look how well the sherman gals all turned out! your family is so cute and so beautiful.. :)


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