Monday, August 8, 2011

Boo on Breastfeeding

My mom wasn’t able to breastfeed me. She blamed it on the fact that she was older when she gave birth, but she found out recently that because she has thyroid issues and a C-section, there was snowball’s chance in heck that she would be able to nurse. She tried for six weeks, but milk absolutely refused to come out.

That didn’t stop her sister, the card-carrying La Leche League member who nursed her son years after he had teeth, from torturing her about it, though. “How can you just let that bond that you create between your baby and you while you breastfeed go? Don’t you know that breastfed babies are smarter? And healthier! Because they have to suck harder, their faces get more developed and they become prettier, too!”

Okay. Personally? I think it’s all a load of garbage. I have no idea why the feminist movement thinks it’s liberating or whatever to breastfeed your child. To me, it’s one of the least liberating things a woman can do. She is literally shackling herself to her child for the first six months of his or her life, forcing herself to be on call 24/7 to feed the baby. It doesn’t matter if mommy’s a high-powered attorney who has to be in court tomorrow. She still has to wake up at three in the morning to nurse the baby.

To me, most of the pros of breastfeeding are cons or downright lies. I’ll only address the ones by darling aunt ever said to my mother, though, because I’d be writing a book about it if I didn’t limit myself.

Breastfeeding creates a bond between mother and baby: Please explain to me how having a baby tucked under your breast, out of sight, creates a bond. What if you’re in public and nursing with your baby under a blanket or sheet? How exactly does covering your baby up and keeping him or her completely out of your sight forge a bond? When a mother bottle feeds, she’s holding her baby in her arms, facing her child. Doesn’t it create a stronger bond then?

Breastfed babies are smarter: Oh, for the love of God. Not to toot my own horn here, but I’m pretty dang smart. I have an eight-page résumé, have won more competitions and contests than I can count, and when I took the SATs at age twelve, I scored so high that I was offered a one-course scholarship to NYU. You think if I had been breastfed my résumé would be nine pages by now?

Breastfed babies are healthier: I’ll use myself as an example again. After sixteen years of life, I’ve had one ear infection and one case of strep throat. Those were the only two times I’ve ever been on antibiotics. I’m rarely ever sick (thank God), and next to never take off school days for health reasons. So I guess if I had been breastfed, I never would’ve gotten that strep throat. Darn, I knew I shouldn’t have pooped in my mother’s womb and forced her to get that Caesarean. Blast those bad thyroid genes, too.

Breastfed babies are prettier: I’m not even gonna dignify this one with a response, it’s so stupid.

Let’s not forget all the cons of breastfeeding: the fact that a mother has to be up every two or three hours to feed the baby, both feeding and pumping can be extremely painful to do, it can be really awkward in public, weaning can be very difficult, plus dozens of other reasons.

Formula is extremely expensive, yes; I’m not going to deny it, because it’s fact. Especially once you have to buy the special non-allergenic ones. Considering the fact that breastfeeding is free, and all the related accoutrements are tax deductible at this point, formula prices skyrocket in comparison.

I know this article is extremely extreme. I wrote it like that purposely, because I daresay that someone like my aunt would write an ever stronger article for the opposite cause.

To be honest, at the end of the day, I feel that women should be able to breastfeed or formula feed - whatever floats their boat and makes the most sense for their situation. When with God’s help I have a daughter of my own, I have no idea what I’ll do. I’ll think about it when I have to. Whatever I end up doing, it’ll still annoy me that the IRS will give tax breaks on $50 breast pumps that can last as long as needed, but not on 32-ounce $30 baby formula that disappears pretty quick.

Tonight begins Tisha B'Av, the fast day that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temple. May everyone have a meaningful and inspiring fast.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I've always wondered what the feminist stance on breatfeeding was, and assumed it was pro-bottle...I guess not. I love this blog for standing up for your beliefs even when they go against what mmost of the feminist communiry believes. I, personally, think breatfeeding is a personal choice, but I wouldn't do it myself.