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Get your Legislation off my body


Just read that a bill is getting pushed through to bar hospitals from sending new mothers home with formula. Guess who's backing this? Breastfeeding advocate groups. Before you get your back up, let me say that every friend I have that breatsfed their children said it was beautiful, wonderful, a glorious bonding experience... Okay. And it's free. And studies show it's better for babies. yes, I know all of this, and I can agree with the statistics.

However.

I didn't breastfeed. I find it gross. Sorry. I'm not saying I find YOU gross, if you chose to do it, but there was a mental block with me to do so. Then there was the little problem with my body not wanting to cooperate (Because, see, I read all the books, knew all the stats, and was going to force myself to do something I didn't want for the sake of my baby, but my body said "No.")

Then there was the little issue of the hospital withholding food from my newborn son for 24 hours, to encourage him to want to suckle, and put me in more classes with a bunch of strange women with their tits hanging out (I'm private with my body), plastic cups on my nipples to make them produce milk, and finally, FINALLY, when one of the La Leche women told me they could EXTRACT THE MILK FROM MY BREASTS WITH A NEEDLE AND DEPOSIT IT IN THE BABY'S MOUTH I yelled at them to give me a friggin' bottle.

Because I had every intention of breastfeeding when I went in to deliver (I also planned on natural childbirth, but the nurse looked at me and laughed, saying, "honey, didn't you know natural means 'no make-up?'" Ha!!) I didn't have any formula at home. The hospital sent me home with starter bottles, and enough formula to get me through the next several days. Thank you.

My most special memory (aside from the actual birth) of my son was 2AM every night for the first month. He'd wake up, little fist curled and flailing above the bumper pads of the crib, I'd gather him up, take him into the quiet of the kitchen, turn the dimmer switch so there would be just enough light to see by, and heat up a bottle. That one minute of waiting was my favorite. He would look up at me with his little mouth in a perfect O, eyes wide and bright, and my hair would curtain his face from everything else. Is this less special, or unhealthy for him because he waited one minute? Because he wasn't attached to my body? I'll say this: that boy has been sick three times in 9 years. You read that correctly. He wasn't harmed by having formula.

I have problems with one group who feel their way is the ONLY way pushing legislation onto my body and my choices. Feeding a baby formula isn't going to HARM the baby. Breastmilk is better (due to the immunities a baby can get, etc.) but that doesn't inherently make formula BAD. I was raised on bottles, as were my sisters because it was thought in the middle part of last century that breastmilk was BAD. And we three turned out alright.

I think everyone read the rant yesterday about not having sex with men who don't care about you and your choices to have a baby, based on legislation about abortion, sex ed, etc. This follows along, in my opinion. I am so tired of my government holding my hand on EVERY issue, as they see fit. This isn't like helmet laws (which I'm on the fence with, also) or not allowing people to drink and drive. This is legislature about something very primal with a mother, and they need to step away and spend their money on something more important, like, say... making sure poor kids get a free breakfast at school. How about that? Or... making sure that some of the mothers that leave the hospital know how to RAISE A CHILD? GET A JOB? EDUCATION?? Feh.

I don't need no stinkin' legislation at my tits or twat, thank you very much.

Comments

( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
sangpassionne
Mar. 5th, 2005 07:52 am (UTC)
Personally I breastfed both my kids, but if someone tried to tell me I had to, I'd have told them to piss-off. It really is a matter of personal choice and no one has the right to force to do it.

Good on yer.

*hugs*
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:09 am (UTC)
Exactly. Is IS a matter of personal choice. And good for you, too. I know intellectually that you made a good choice for your babies. And it was a beautiful experience for you, I'm sure.

*hugs you back*
sangpassionne
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:16 am (UTC)
And it was a beautiful experience for you, I'm sure.

LMAO! Only if you think leaking all over the place everytime the kid cries, having such sore nipples that you wanna cry every time they latch on, and never being able to get out of the 4am feed, fun. Still don't regret doing it, though. If for no other reason than it was free and if I hadn't, we probably wouldn't have eaten. :-D
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:23 am (UTC)
Bwah!! I'll let you say the con issues, so I don't get raked over the coals. Definitely the price is right, and babies have less problems digesting BM than formula...

But I could give my husband the baby sometimes....

*hands you lifetime supply of udder cream for those sore nipples*

I went to church (gasp! I was religious waaaaay long ago) a week after #2, sans babies. Felt good, milk almost gone, then a baby next to me started crying, and I "let down" allllll over my pretty dress I had just started to fit back into. Nice mom of said baby lent me a baby blanket to drape over myself to walk out of church in the middle of service.

Motherhood is beautiful. Ha ha ha, tell me another one! ;-D
sangpassionne
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:26 am (UTC)
Damn, I shouldn't laugh but yeah, totally with you. LMAO It used to happen at the worst times, plus for the first few weeks I'd kinda go catatonic. The only thing I could think of was feeding the baby, not convenient when you're halfway to the shops. This was the first one BTW. The second wasn't so bad. Though I only fed him myself for 3 months, then I ran out of milk. Greedy little bugger. :-)
buffyx
Mar. 5th, 2005 08:02 am (UTC)
Exactly. Breastfeeding is an individual choice, and I'm sorry, but even if it may be shown to be overall better for babies, formula sure as hell isn't harming them.

I am so tired of my government holding my hand on EVERY issue, as they see fit. This isn't like helmet laws (which I'm on the fence with, also) or not allowing people to drink and drive. This is legislature about something very primal with a mother, and they need to step away and spend their money on something more important, like, say... making sure poor kids get a free breakfast at school. How about that?

ITA. This is not about the well-being of children-- this is about the government and lobbying groups wanting to dictate everything about women's choices, because god knows we can't make our own!
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:10 am (UTC)
As to you ITA, EXACTLY. It about interest groups taking over this country and pushing forth their agenda, while things like education, raising minimum wage, etc get pushed aside, making things worse for a growing number of folks.

Stay out of my body!! (Not you. You? Climb on it. Ha!)
grifyn
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
This icon has never served me as well as it does today.
They pushed it on me as well, especially since Uberkid was 2.5 months premature. (Uberkid was what they call a Big Honkin' Baby, though, so this meant he only weighed 7 lbs. instead of the 10 they were expecting.) But my mother hadn't been able to lactate, or whatever the damn verb is, and neither was I, which caused her psychotic Christian Fundamentalist mother to decree that my son, like me before, was not intended by God. That was fun.

I was relieved when they said I wasn't physically able and backed off to leave me to my formula-heating, because my boobies are a serious, tremendous erogenous zone, and I was too creeped out at the thought of it. I'm sure it's a powerful, magical, transcendent et al, but... No. I'm sure it's considered to be a more capital-I Important thing to breastfeed than to have blissful connubial relations as well. But I have a lack of talent when it comes to compartmentalizing such things. Let me see... this is difficult, but I'm going to go with the kid-baggage-lacking, squick-free orgasms, Bob. So, frankly, they can sit down and twirl on it.
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:15 am (UTC)
Re: This icon has never served me as well as it does today.
*laughs at the perfectness of your icon*

My...god. I... The icon WAITED for today. And I am so on board with you. My bewbies are for decoration and sex. And to make my sweaters look pretty. They are also pillows (dirty pillows, Carrie) for sleeping babies. But I was not into the idea of "clamping" and such.

No offense to those who did, which furthers my idea that it's a PERSONAL choice, and not some "you are KILLING your child if you don't do it our way!!"
tx_cronopio
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:38 am (UTC)
Right there with you! As always, Republicans are for fewer laws and less governmental control...except when it comes to their pet issues. GRRRR.
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 10:52 am (UTC)
Oh, I LAUGH at the concept of the New Republicas spouting the old Republican mantra of less government interaction.

"I don't want my gov't in my business. Now in YOUR bedroom, YOUR marriage, YOUR brain, get 'em in there quick. Oh, and who the hell needs clean water, clean air, fair wage, a safe work environment... Oh, and I'm the politics of Jesus."

ha ha ha!! *sobs*
bisi
Mar. 5th, 2005 10:24 am (UTC)
(Nothing to do with tits, but can I friend you?)
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 10:49 am (UTC)
Hee! Done, and back at you. :-D
beadattitude
Mar. 5th, 2005 10:33 am (UTC)
Yeah. Any idea that I might want to breast feed went out when my sister cried through the entire process and her nipple split.

And that bit about removing milk via needle? That's just too scary for words. Dayum.
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 10:50 am (UTC)
Seriously. OW. Poor sis.

Let's just say that when they (in their calm, it will make everything alright...) started talking about nipple needles, I was beginning to see red. There was some yelling involved.

Sweet Jesus. NEEDLE in my BEWBIE.
*points to icon*
crayonbreakygal
Mar. 5th, 2005 11:33 am (UTC)
What the hell did they do to you in that hospital? A needle? No wonder you were squicked beyond belief. They obviously did not know what they were doing. I've never heard of that ever.

Personally, I breastfed both exclusively. They never had formula. I know from other people's experiences that it just doesn't work sometimes. Formula is OK too. It has to be. Most of us were raised on it. It's not bad at all. Since I didn't work, the breastfeeding worked. I'm glad I did it.

But for someone to advocate not sending home formula is a crock. Do they want babies to starve? That's just not right. Not everyone can do it. They just need to lay off of mothers, whether it's dealing with formula or not letting mothers breastfeed their children in public.

Lastly, I have never heard of a hospital withholding any kind of food for twenty-four hours. What, are they crazy? Lawsuit happy? If this was approved by the La Leche League, that's nuts. I've never heard of them withholding food just because a baby had a hard time suckling. Someone there obviously doesn't know what they were doing.

So sorry that you had such a horrendous experience. It shouldn't have happened that way. But you know that your children are happy and healthy. That's all that matters.
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, I knew from the time I was very young that I was not comfortable with breastfeeding, but I knew it was a better choice (health-wise) before I delivered, but it didn't work out.

The room with all the women plugging their kids on (and I was the only one it wasn't working for) was weird. I'm not comfortable with my boobs out in front of strangers, and they were all making a point of trying to help me, then it just kept on and on.... Like some weird competition.

It's interesting to note that there are NO LAWS governing anything concerning the male body's reproductive system, yet we have laws about birth, birth control, teaching girls about their bodies, and perhaps how females can FEED their babies from the get-go. Outrageous.
crayonbreakygal
Mar. 5th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC)
As usual, some guy trying to dictate what we do with our bodies.

I was lucky the one time I had a problem, my childbirth educator came to my house and helped me fix it. No, no hanging out for strangers either. I always covered up all the way when feeding. I never wanted anyone to look at me or be distracting to the baby.

You know, it didn't work out for you. No biggie. I would just hate it if someone was trying to touch me when I was doing it and stuff. Too weird.
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
And having twins... It's taxing on your body in many ways. I have lots of friends that wanted to breastfeed longer, but their bodies disagreed.

The main problem is the bullying by people who want their way to be the only way. I've always known that BF is better, but an alternative is formula. For each of my children I was always encouraged to try BF again, but was given formula so the babies could EAT.

Legislation needs to stay away from my body!!
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
AHH!! See? This is the subconscious of my brain making it not work. I have TERRIBLE arthritis. YIKES!
bisi
Mar. 5th, 2005 01:01 pm (UTC)
My most special memory (aside from the actual birth) of my son was 2AM every night for the first month. He'd wake up, little fist curled and flailing above the bumper pads of the crib, I'd gather him up, take him into the quiet of the kitchen, turn the dimmer switch so there would be just enough light to see by, and heat up a bottle. That one minute of waiting was my favorite. He would look up at me with his little mouth in a perfect O, eyes wide and bright, and my hair would curtain his face from everything else.

I love the way you put that. That special little bubble with you and the baby in it, staring at each other with big big eyes. I guess if breastfeeding is the way you've experienced it then you might think it was THE BREAST part that did it.

Well....most of the physical things to do with reproduction are really really disconcerting. Varicose veins....menstruation.....labour.....stretch marks......sex.......some of it's worth reconciling to....

When my mother had my older sister, in the 50's, not a single woman in the ward with her was able to breastfeed because, 'colustrum, that's not really milk, who needs it?' was the official policy. I've just read what I've written and I can't believe the babies weren't fed for three days - wish I could remember what she said about it. But breastfeeding? I was satisfied with it. Legislation? Incredibly stupid and insensitive.

stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
Throughout Western culture, there has been a HUGE flip flop on which is better. Wealthy women didn't BF, they had wet-nurses. Then came the Great Depression, and when we began to prosper here in the US, BF was something poor people did.

It's just such a primal/primitive response to feed your baby. I mentioned above that there are no laws governing male bodies in this manner. Instead of spending money on all of this, how about educating women on birth control? Free meals in school? Education? housing for the poor? I just feel that there are more important issues at hand right now than whether or not hospitals are allowed to offer formula for new mothers to take home. (Or, how about letting new mothers stay one night extra and get their strength back?)

Thanks for coming back over. Pop in any time! You always have something interesting to say!
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
I talked about this in an above post, about my experience with the BF Brigade.

And as a mother who used formula, I LOVED those free samples! Ha. My second was born in Utah, and ALL the women BF. So the nurses rounded up their formula (at the women's request - no robbery!!) and sent it home with me. I don't think I had to buy formula for a looong time. :-) But there you have a good example of how it can be: women are educated to which is healthier over all, told that formula is a fine alternative, and then let them choose.

I just want the government ofdf my reproductive parts!! As my husband just said, "well, someone should tell the government to write a law so my prostate exams are more gentle. And there should be a measured dispenser for lube." There's a reason why we're married: we're both nut jobs. :-)
(Deleted comment)
paynbow
Mar. 5th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
yeah...that should really be a choice. Let's face it, the government likes to say they're all progressive. "Look how far we've come with women's rights!" But it's all BS. They still feel like they have the right to legislate our choices, because lord knows we can't do it on our own.

I thought the whole thing about living in a free country was the ability to make choices like this FREELY. So, yeah, they need to back the fuck off. My tits are not their jurisdiction.
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)
Maybe YOUR gov't thinks it's progressive. We're stuck with Dubya and his End of Days/God's Glory politics. They don't care about the environment, because the apocolypse is nigh and God will cleanse the earth with fire, so it doesn't matter if we log every friggin' tree or drill for oil in the last pristine place in the US. God's behind us. So quit that hom-uh-sectial bidness and you women knock off them shoes and be like the 50s.

Just a few more years and he's gone...
paynbow
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I am counting them down. Canna wait for that day...my own special rapture called: Bush is called away from office. I'm getting so sick of legislation that controls women's bodies...problem is, even if our government wants to be progressive, we get pressured by the US government. Our Gay marraige bill keeps getting pressure for lobbyists down south. Like, welcome to Canada not being part of the states :p

Hmmm...maybe I'll write a hymn...

cityphonelines
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
I'm kidless, and I kinda feel like I can't truthfully comment either way until I do have rugrats crawling around. I do know that I was breast fed and everyone claims that it's the reason my mom and I are so close, the "bonding", everyone that is, except for my mother and me. We're close 'cause we've been through a lot together, point blank.

My baby cousin was only breastfed for a brief amount of time, her mother is a vegetarian and was unsure if she could provide enough nutrients. The baby is doing wonderfully well, progressing at a natural rate which is remarkable since she was quite premature. Though she does seemed to catch colds easily. *shrug* Who the fuck knows anyway? If we wait a week there'll be a new study. Again.

I think everyone read the rant yesterday about not having sex with men who don't care about you and your choices to have a baby, based on legislation about abortion, sex ed, etc.

Everyone except me, as usual. Point the way, please, sounds intriguing.
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
The rant about sex and legislation etc was here.

The main point was not about debating breastfeeding vs/ bottle feeding, but about someone telling me which I should do, or limiting someone to do contrary to what they wish I would do.

Which is a long way of saying keep your laws off my body. (Not YOUR laws. YOUR laws I welcome with a whimper and a quiver.)
cityphonelines
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm...

I don't exactly see the correaltion between the article and the post. Is it just me? Am I missing something? I read both twice and I'm coming up blank. Help a sista out?
cityphonelines
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC)
Also, I law you, I law you all night til I can't law no more.
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC)
*shivers*
Thank you, ma'am, can I have another?
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC)
As to any correlation, I am referring to the men of the world dictating any and everything relating to a woman's reproductive organs. As mu husband pointed out earlier, "there aren't any laws saying I should have a more gentle prostate exam with a pre-determined amount of lube."

The whole "stop fucking them" bit wasn't the connection, bu the link from her post.

I confuse even myself. *drinks more wine*
cityphonelines
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
No, dork! ;) Not the correaltion between your post (which I agreed with 102%) and the article, I meant the correaltion between her post and the article. I didn't see what the article she linked in her post had to do with the "stop fucking him" mantra. I didn't comment to her post because a) I figured I was missing something and would come off all retarded and such and b) I don't wanna kerfuffle w/ her or anyone else; but I do feel that birth control/absintence (or the lack there of) are MY decision, no one else's, and has nothing to do with my partner. The article didn't balk at the use or disuse of condoms it stated birth control, and though I've heard of guys not wanting to wear condoms I've never encountered this (at least not when to the point where it became a personal issue for me). I also didn't see the whole "men have the orgasms, women have the babies" because I know a lot of my male friends (whom are all under 25) that do take care of their children, emotionally and financially, whether they are still with the mother or not. I guess I didn't like that I felt she seemed to be assuming that women were simply weak and obliging. *double shrug* /end rambling

"there aren't any laws saying I should have a more gentle prostate exam with a pre-determined amount of lube."

Though, wouldn't that be nice? It could work out for his benefit ;)

*grabs your wine glass, takes huge gulp*
greenstone_j
Mar. 5th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
Look, as much as I believe that breastfeeding was the right choice for me, I think the key word in that sentence is choice. I mean, I was in a household were I was constantly badgered NOT to breastfeed and quite frankly, the stress of having and looking after a baby is enough in itself without having to put up with the "I must tell this person they are doing that wrong cause it will make me feel better about my own failures as a parent" crowd. And I get into a lot of debates about breastfeeding cause I breastfed till my son was 4, and to put it mildly, some people find that offensive...to me it made perfect sense...I had done a lot of reading, seen health and emotional benefits, and was still able to (plus for the last 2 plus years it was just a comfort feed at night in the privacy of my own home, cause these puppies don't get shown in public...anymore...*rolls eyes*). I also was not in a relationship, and we both enjoyed the time, plus FREE milk!! It worked for me. *shrugs* But what pisses me off is that people will try and still tell me that it was disgusting and that it shouldn't be allowed and that the kid was too old. And the reason it pisses me off is because that is just a recent societal taboo, I can quote case stories of it being common place in England up to the age of 6, and there are parts of the world where 4 would be considered nothing (hell, there are parts of the world that think that it is fine to breastfeed dogs and pigs as well as babies...it may squick me a little, but hey, makes sense in their world, so I'm not going to judge). Bottom-line, woman should be able to choose what is going on with their body. The only thing I would ask is whether it is an educated decision, not just a "someone said I had to" one. And yes, breastfeeding and choices can get me all ranty. I was going to do my thesis on breastfeeding...

PS. Where would that leave HIV mums? Last I heard the medical profession was at odds as to whether they should breastfeed?

And a needle...ewwwwwww!!!!
stoney321
Mar. 5th, 2005 05:42 pm (UTC)
I KNOW!! No needle in the nips, please.

As to your choice to breastfeed (and as long as you did) as my husband just said over my shoulder, "while I don't agree with the length of time, because that is unfamiliar to me, I applaud her ability to make the choice to do something that was safe and healthful for her child." And I second that. When we were in Europe, it was not uncommon for me to walk into a restroom (in Hungary, in Austria) and find a mother with a toddler lying in her lap, nursing. That was incredibly foreign to me, but that doesn't make it inherently wrong, just unfamiliar. And as I am aware of the benefits to mother's milk, who's to say it isn't far better than some milk from the grocer that has been pumped full of chemicals and such?

It's the telling someone what to do with their body (and it doesn't involve a body hitting/punching/driving their car into/ another body.)

And the HIV mother is an EXCELLENT point to bring up. (What about mother's who can't produce milk? Who have inverted nipples? Who were molested and have body touching issues? They all exist.)
silver_sihde
Mar. 8th, 2005 07:20 am (UTC)
A resounding, "I agree" and "Good on ya!" With this and the "stop fucking him" post, I can't help but think of the movie Down With Love.
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