My twins were born six weeks early.
We were thrilled. Really we were. I had gone into labor at 28 weeks. On April 5th I was 28 weeks pregnant and in labor and I moved into the hospital and my amazing doctors and nurses were able to hold off childbirth for six more weeks. It was hard and scary and boring and really, really expensive even with good insurance, but it was the most important thing I have ever done.
My daughter was 4 pounds 13 ounces. She was tiny and see through but somehow she was able to latch on. My son was 6 pounds 8 oz, not bad for a twin and a preemie, but he couldn’t eat. We had to feed him through a tube in his nose.
When I say we, I really mean the NICU nurses and my husband fed Ian through a tube in his nose. My body was pretty wrecked and some of my muscles had begun to atrophy from the bed rest. Add that to the fact that I had just had an emergency C-section, and the spinal block from it had made spinal fluid leak into my body, and that the spinal fluid leak gave me a migraine, and that every time I saw the tube in my son’s nose I cried, and you might understand why breastfeeding was near impossible for me at the time.
If I had exclusively breast fed my children would have starved to death in the first week.
This is why the mean girl lactivists make me so angry.
We all understand that breast milk is best, but a lot of us have reasons why we can’t nurse.
I was lucky. My milk came in after a week. My children got the colostrum and I was determined to keep trying even though I was on crazy pain medication, more likely because I was on crazy pain medication. My production was okay, but it wasn’t stellar enough to feed two babies exclusively so I nursed and we formula fed. Both.
I nursed them for nine months. By the time I dried up they were eating solid food, yet I am judged for giving them formula.
It is so shortsighted to knock moms for using formula. People have their reasons. The reasons range from adoption to inability to produce milk to medications that the mother takes and needs can harm the baby. Yes, some people choose not to for less imperative reasons but they have their grounds too, and it is none of my or your business.
So when people attacked our own Samantha Bee for saying that breastfeeding took all of her boob-meat (which is hilarious and gross at the same time) it made me even more angry. This woman nursed three children and the lactation purists are still somehow attacking her saying she (and Disney and Babble) are in bed with Similac? What the hell?
Sam didn’t even mention formula. She nursed all of her children. Also, she is a comedy writer. The post is funny. IT WAS A JOKE. Samantha Bee is hilarious and you mean girls take yourselves too seriously. You are like those people on Facebook that yell at articles from The Onion. Take a deep breath and relax. There are actual atrocities going on in the world and none of them are in that post.
Yes, some parents are formula feeding their children but some people aren’t feeding their children at all. I am not saying you shouldn’t be vocal about what you believe in. I am saying that in this case it was misplaced. I do not understand why so many lactation activists are so quick to make personal attacks. Do you really believe that people that formula feed don’t want what is best for their baby? Everyone that writes for Babble Voices is a parent. Every one of us loves their children. We love them enough to spend our days writing about them. You may not think our jokes are funny, but do you really believe for one second that we are telling you that we have saggy boobs to discourage people from breastfeeding?
Can’t we at least try to disagree in a more civilized fashion? The whole exchange could have gone like this “Science says that nursing doesn’t make your breasts saggy”. “Oh, I know, it was a joke.” The end.
Being a parent is hard. Being a writer and putting yourself out there every day is hard. Being snarky in a comment section is easy.