Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Breastfeeding Rant

I just posted this in response to a thread about why more women don't seek out help with breastfeeding, especially when it's offered.

For myself, I was afraid that I was going to be told to do things that I just wasn't capable of doing. So many spout off all of the advice without any consideration for where the mom is at the time. In my own case, I was given a laundry list of things to do - including a list of foods to remove from my diet (like garlic - ever try to avoid garlic when you are living on takeout and convenience foods). I was exhausted, depressed, felt like a failure for not being able to do this "natural" thing correctly, and the only physical support I had was my husband. What I needed was someone to talk to me, not just spout all the info that I had already read on KellyMom. And then there's the sentiment that because I was unable to do these things, I was somehow looking for an "excuse" to quit or I was being lazy - which is just so helpful to read when you are going through this. Nothing makes me want to seek out help more than the thought that the person/people I'm seeking help from are talking about me like that on a public message board/blog/or to their friends.

A little bit of empathy can go a long way, as does the reminder that women who are having problems stumble across boards like this all the time and are turned off to even thinking about asking for help. It's no wonder that the ped who nods his/her head, says breastfeeding is hard and goes on to suggest a course of action that will probably result in the end of a nursing relationship is turned to more than the so called advocate that essentially says - of course it's hard but you just have to suck it up because otherwise you are just looking for an excuse to quit and then I can complain about you on a public message board.

Until we can let go of the thought that most women are looking for an excuse to quit because it's too hard, we end up alienating the very people we need so desperately to support. Besides, I think most of us can agree that being a new mom *is* hard, and there is no face lost in doing so - frankly it would go a long ways in stopping the ever present mommy wars if we stopped being catty and just started to support one another.