Do we have your attention? Oh, good.
Perhaps you’re reading this and are entering into your 9th month of pregnancy and have included “Eating Over The Sink” as part of your breastfeeding research. For God’s sake don’t let this be the only stop on your journey, but still, we are glad you have found us. Pull up a chair. Or, just lay there on your side, like a piece of ripe fruit that is swollen and ready to spill all over the place.
Perhaps you’re a doula, midwife, or lactation consultant; we welcome you, too. We know you’re the expert here but there are one or two things you can learn from a comedy blog. We know, hilarious.
First, our ‘credentials’. (When speaking about breastfeeding, these seem to be very important to people):
Allana Harkin breastfed both her children, had a midwife and doula for both of her births, and listened to profound amounts of yoga music to “open” her vagina (Deva Premal, you’ll always be connected to my nether regions).
Samantha Bee has been pregnant and or breastfeeding since May 2005. Do the math: This is longer than most medical school programs. It should also be noted that Allana has never seen Sam at any point within this time frame, without a significant view of her boobs. Although this may sound special, most of New York can also say the same.
Coincidentally, Allana and Sam both ate their placenta to aid in their BF-ing experience. Not each others’, because that would be weird. And actually, not so coincidentally because Sam told Allana to eat her placenta and Allana just said “okay”. (Another post, another time…)
So here’s the thing, after our last post entitled “Breast Meat” in which Sam pondered the idea of whether her breasts would change after she stopped breastfeeding (which seemed perfectly valid ) though most commenters showed overwhelming support, a significant number accused her of being anti-breastfeeding for even raising the question in the first place. As though it would somehow turn all those women who seek their practical advice from comedy blogs, off of breastfeeding.
SEVENTY TWO MONTHS PEOPLE. She’s allowed to ask the question. In fact anyone at anytime is allowed to ask this question. And guess what else…
Breastfeeding can suck.
It’s also quite an achievement to master. It can be an incredibly wonderful bonding experience that supplies your child with free and nourishing milk. At other times it’s a total pain in the ass. And THAT’S OKAY.
Breastfeeding experts can change everything. There are incredible support networks out there that are ready and willing to help you. Use them! But remember, a specialist should be there to support you, not to support their agenda. Sam was bullied beyond belief by one of the most highly regarded lactation gurus in NYC. Ask her about it some time and she’ll tell you the whole sordid tale. (Also, she has a lot of great tips. Ask her about those too.)
But for now, let this be the takeaway: If you’re not being shown the respect you deserve show them the door. Or just leave. Try someone else. Bullying and negative energy do not help or encourage the breastfeeding experience. Hold on. Bullying and negative energy don’t help or encourage any experience. Ever.
And also, some of us just were not born with plentiful milk producing bosoms. You were? Oh good for you. No seriously, you’re lucky. Besides eating kale for months on end as well as supplementing with fenugreek, milk-thistle, a human placenta and breastfeeding non-stop – Allana never achieved maximum fullage. And although she did not stop BF-ing (her personal choice–no medal required) if you try and tell her she didn’t do enough she will create a voodoo doll with your name on it and squeeze its nipples blue.
When Allana and Sam were growing up in the seventies, it was one inch away from being perfectly acceptable to share a smoke with your own baby ‘just to take the edge off’, so we think we’re doing pretty well by comparison.
Haha. Humor is funny.
The point is, if you choose to breastfeed, feed your baby formula all the time, some of the time, hire an eighty two year old wet-nurse, or coax a live goat to live in your home and gently suckle your newborns through adulthood, it wouldn’t matter to us, and it shouldn’t matter to anyone else either. Do whatever. Love your children in the best way you can manage. Exercise your own choice.
Parenting is amazing, frustrating, achingly painful, emotional, hilarious, and can often be an incredibly bonding experience for mothers. You know, when we’re not busy running around admonishing others for doing it wrong.
You are a magnificent creature. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
p.s. from Sam: I wouldn’t change a thing about the length of time I have spent breastfeeding my children, but please, cut it out with telling me about ‘scientific studies’ that prove without a shadow of a doubt that it doesn’t have the potential to change the shape of a woman’s breast. I hope your boobies look like pert cherry cupcakes, but I have a ‘scientific study’ taking place right now in my blouse that tells a different story. 72 months. Deal with it.