I’ve never expected much from my boobs. It would be like expecting something from the Easter Bunny – hard to have expectations around things which don’t exist. Although I make fun of my flat chest & accept that when it’s cold I look like a wall with light switches turned on, I did expect that since the boobs didn’t score me any tail, they could at least breastfeed my children when I eventually had kids (and I looked forward to actually filling my A cup!).
When I was pregnant with Jude, I joined Babycenter. It’s a great website with lots of info and great message boards – you can find women who are due at the same time as you, which is a huge blessing! You can even become a fan on Facebook (although you should become my fan first!). So I was on Facebook a little while ago and the fan page sent out an update with tips for parents who are formula feeding. The outcome? Yet another breast vs. formula debate. The first comment out of the gate was something intelligent like “if you are breastfeeding then you don’t need formula tips”. Come the fuck on.
The women who get on their lactation boxes and ram their boobs down my throat make me want to strangle them with their own giant nursing bras.
I don’t need to be constantly reminded of what I have missed out on. Or my personal favourite diss, “you just didn’t try hard enough”, so because our kids were on formula, I am a lazy git. Yah, formula is the lazy way. It’s so much easier to get up in the middle of the night, warm formula to room temperature, prepare a bottle and then feed my baby – that’s if the formula is all ready prepared, if not – add another step. Picking up my baby & attaching to my boob wouldn’t be easier at all! Oh yah, and it’s super easy to spend $150 on formula every month! I enjoy making Alec’s wallet hemorrhage every time I get groceries.
After Emmy was born, she latched perfectly. Nursing was a breeze – for a couple of days. The milk never came in. My doctor immediately put me on Domperidone to increase my milk supply. Being stupid & naive, I filled the prescription. I also chalk it up to being exhausted, in pain and in survival mode – 80 some stitches will do that to you! It was only after I was doubling over with stomach pain and spasms (comparable to labour pain) for days on end did we figure out it just might be the new drug. This was what we found – Domperidone is approved in Canada, as a medication to modify upper gastric motility. Use of domperidone for increasing milk supply, through the drug side effect of increasing prolactin levels, is an “off label use” of this medication in Canada. I went off that shit immediately and we stocked up on formula. When Jude was born, he was nursed until my milk didn’t come in and he started on formula. I will not allow myself to be bullied by my doctor, studies or people trying to push their boobs into my life.
If my kid is hungry, I will do what I need to do to feed my child.
Breastfeeding is a priviledge which not all mothers are granted – and for goodness sakes, it is not a reflection of my abilities as a mother. Just like it takes more than sperm to make a father, it takes more than boob juice to make a mother. So if you are a breastfeeder, thank God you were given such a gift and should you come across something designed to help people who are formula feeding, leave it the hell alone. Please recognize that when people are using formula, it probably wasn’t their first choice. And just like breastfeeding, formula feeding has it’s challenges – except there isn’t as much support for us. There’s no La Lache, there’s no consultants. It’s trial and error wading through an ocean of guilt and disappointment, where your only means of support is your partner and maybe the pharmacist.
Since I cloth diaper my baby and use baby sign language, does that give me brownie points with the boob mothers out there – would they accept me if they knew that? Aw, screw it, I don’t need to be accepted.