Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Have Failed.

Since I got pregnant approximately 15 months ago, I have blabbed on and on about the benefits of breast feeding to my husband.  He read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding along with me, supported my desire to join the La Leche League, and takes up for me when people say dumb stuff like, "Atticus is six months old.  Haven't you weaned him yet?"  He's perfectly okay with me nursing into the toddler years, and he's always praised me to others for my desire and determination to not give our son anything but breastmilk. 

That being said...

He's a breastfeeding nazi. 

This past weekend, we were at a local bowling alley celebrating a few birthdays in Michael's family.  There was a small baby with her parents one lane over.  She was probably two or three months old.  We admired her cuteness from afar, and I went to take my bowling turn.  I came back from my strike (I totally beat everyone there - by 60 points), sat down, turned to Michael to gloat, and he slapped me on my leg. 

m: Look at that baby.
a: What about her?
m: <points emphatically>
a: <shruggs>
a: Okay. 
m: Do you think she knows that breastmilk is better?  I bet that baby has a snotty nose.  I can't believe this.  Do you think she even tried to breastfeed?  I bet she didn't.  I bet she just wanted to be lazy.  That baby isn't very old.  She can probably re-lactate.  Do you want to go talk to her? 
a: <sigh> Please be quiet. 

That went on for four bowlers, and then it was Michael's turn again.  Thank God.  I went after him (another strike) and returned to my seat beside him. 

m: Seriously.  That baby has been eating forever.  No wonder she's so fat. They're over-feeding her.  You know, you can't over-feed a breastfed baby. 
a: They're not over-feeding her.  I think it takes longer to feed a baby from a bottle than from the boob.  (Does it?  I have no idea.  I pulled it from my butt to get Michael to be quiet.  He bought it - hook, line, and sinker). 


Fast forward a couple of days, and we had some people at our house doing some estimates.  We were sitting through a presentation, Atticus was fussy, and I pulled out my boob (under a cover) to feed him.  

sales guy:  Oh, you're breastfeeding?  That's great.  Our son was almost nine pounds when he was born, so my wife never tried to breastfeed.  There's no way she could have kept up with him, so we just went with formula from the beginning. 
m:  Atticus was nine pounds, five ounces, and he's never had formula!  Ashley is a wonderful mother. <beams with pride>
a: Uh, well, if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a crap.  Like, right now. (Because that was less awkward than having to sit there). 


Don't misunderstand me.  Breast.  Is.  Best.   It's a proven fact, and it's not worth arguing over.  

I don't eat vegetables.  I don't eat any of them.  None.  I don't like them, and that's not likely to change.  I'm not dying because I don't eat them, and a baby is not going to die because it was fed formula instead of breast milk.  That, my blog friends, is also not worth arguing over. 

We are fortunate to live in America.  We can say what we want, carry guns, vote for the candidate of our choice, and some people even abort babies and (gasp) formula feed.  

While I am very happy that my husband is joining me in "lactivist" status, I wish he would try to educate and support, not belittle and judge.  

We should all strive to do that, myself included.  


  1. With all due respect, i agree with you that all should strive to be less judgemental and belittleing. Coming from a mom who has tried her hardest to breastfeed her child with multiple bouts of Mastitis, as well as thrush....some are just not cut out for it. After multiple doctors and lactation specialist, we concluded that my body was just not made for it. I fought with the feeling of defeat and that i wasnt good enough as a mother, when actually i was helping my child more by being a happy healthy mother, even if that meant feeding him formula.

  2. some mother's physically cannot breastfeed, and some kids cannot latch on. I know the point of your post wasn't to belittle, but as a formula feeding mom, who tried to breastfeed, I think sometimes it's Boob-Nazi's (I use the term lightheartedly ) that need to be educated.

    We tried desperately to breast feed, but despite our best efforts, I was only producing 1oz a day. And my son had a short tongue, which meant he COULDN'T latch on. Was physically unable to. So formula it was. And it was the best thing for us.

    My son was 10lbs at birth, and within a month was in the 25th percentile for his weight. He has never been considered "Fat" ( I don't think babies can be fat ).

    All that being said, I applaud any woman who can breastfeed, but I also applaud any mother who makes the difficult decision to feed their child formula, despite the ridicule they may face for being a lesser mother.

    Oh and Atticus is adorable by the way! :)

  3. I hear you about your hubby being a "Nazi" on certain things. But husband is similar, he grabs onto an idea ( granted a really good idea) and he gets a really strong opinion on it. And while I agree with all his opinions, I try not to judge people who do differently simply because I realize that different things work for different people. And if there's a clearly "better way" of doing something, some people don't do it, because they simply cannot, not because they don't want to or are bad parents!

  4. You can over-feed a breast fed baby. I produced so much that my son would projectile vomit after eating from both sides.

  5. I miss your posts! Where are you?