Thursday, June 15, 2006
Mommies: Breastfeed or ELSE
First we females are all to be treated as if we are "pre-pregnant" and now we had all better get ready to whip out our baby-feeders (via NYTimes): "A controversial govt public health campaign encourages new mothers to breastfeed for 6 mos to protect their babies from colds, flu, ear infections, diarrhea and even obesity." OK. I'm pro- boob. But what about this?: "Just like it's risky to smoke during pregnancy, it's risky not to breastfeed after," said Suzanne Haynes, sr scientific adviser on Women's Health in the Dept of Health & Human Services." Holy crap! Not breastfeeding is on the same level as smoking? But what about this?: "A 2 yr natl breastfeeding awareness campaign culminated in TV announcements showing a pregnant woman clutching her belly as she is thrown off a mechanical bull during ladies' night at a bar — and compared the behavior to failing to breastfeed. "You wouldn't take risks before your baby's born," the advertisement says. "Why start after?" W-w-what? OMG, they're comparing not breastfeeding to hopping on a mechanical bull after drinking it up at ladies' night and being thrown off of the bull? You've got to be freakin kidding me. Now I'm all for breastfeeding. I breastfed my daughter, but I was lucky enough to be able to quit working so I could devote all of my focus on her fulltime, and there were still plenty of issues involved w/ doing it. For instance: BabyGirl was born at exactly 34 wks gestation age. She had to remain in the NICU until she was strong enough to come home. At 34 wks of development, babies do not possess or have a very weak sucking reflex, so she could not latch on during breastfeeding, which meant she had to be tube fed my pumped out milk in the NICU. Added to this lack of reflex was her especially small "kitten-like" head & mouth, and the fact that I have been very blessed by the Boob Fairy. Can you see a recipe for disaster? So, I had to keep pumping my milk out and putting it into a bottle until she was developed enough to latch on to me. But then, once we finally got all settled into breastfeeding, lingering complications from my pregnancy developed! I had developed toxemia during my pregnancy, which caused me to go into kidney failure & led to my baby being induced 6 wks early. But even after my baby was born, I still had uncontrolled spiking and plummeting blood pressure. So my OB/GYN insisted that I go on medication that would require me to wean my baby, b/c this medication would pass thru my milk and could have seriously hurt my preemie daughter. Keep in mind: I quit working and was a stay at home mom. How exactly can working moms be expected to not only breastfeed fulltime, but also do it when there may be complications? Forget the fact that some mothers simply do not want to breastfeed, aren't comfortable w/it, or simply find it to be unappealing. But if the govt is going to insist on demanding that we moms breastfeed, then they had better damn well be prepared to give us extended PAID maternity leave (like Canada does), force insurance companies to provide us w/ breastfeeding resources, force ALL employers to allow moms to breastfeed on the job privately and/or pump out their milk, and NOT make moms who cannot breastfeed due to a plethora of reasons or who have problems breastfeeding, be made to feel like bad mothers who are on the same level as women who smoke, drink, or engage in dangerous physical activities during pregnancy. If you let a baby starve to death, then I could see the govt getting involved in this VERY personal issue. But it seems like most babies (bottle or breastfed) aren't starving, and if the govt isn't willing to do every 1 of these things I listed, then they have no right to stick their nose in our personal business, dictate to females how we have to do something, and judge what kind of mother we are based upon whether or not we suckled our child.