I think everyone (and by everyone, I mean EVERYONE, including people who don't know me and don't own a computer, they just sense a disturbance in the force) knows how I feel about breastfeeding. If you want to refresh your memory, you can go back and read my earlier post on the topic, but let me save you the trouble and summarize my position. Quite simply, breastfeeding is an unnecessary and barbaric vestige of the pre-modern past that enslaves women while saving them thousands of dollars they can spend on psychiatric care for the resultant depression. But of course I am breastfeeding Lawson, as I lack the power of my own convictions and also fear being ostracized by the yuppie mom community, because then I would have no one to discuss my child's bowel movements with. Well, I am mostly breastfeeding him, but we'll get to that. Even though it has gone well this time, relative to last time, I can't say that I have become a huge fan, although I do hate it slightly less than I did. For instance, it has gotten me out of taking care of Charlotte at some opportune moments that involved vomit and poop.
But one thing that has definitely endured is my hatred for the band of breastfeeding Nazis that have perfectly reasonable, smart, and capable women convinced they must breastfeed at all costs in order to be the best mom to their kids. In order to convince them, they have told many lies, as propagandists do, the full extent of which has become apparent to me only now when I have had some success with this. As a public service, I'm going to reveal them now. You can send gifts of gratitude if you wish.
Myth #1: Breastfeeding aids weight loss. OK, now, this probably is true for some people, probably the same people that only gained 20 lbs in pregnancy and just love breastfeeding so much, their bodies sense their joy and work hard to make enough milk to feed all the babies in Sudan, which requires like 3,000 calories per day. I gained a wee bit more than 20 lbs. I lived it up during my pregnancy because I gained 50 lbs with Charlotte and lost it all fairly easily on Weight Watchers, so I figured I could just do that again. Well. Despite diligently counting points for 6 weeks now, I have barely lost anything. In fact, today for Valentine's Day, my scale gave me back 2 pounds I thought I had misplaced. Thanks so much. So I started doing some research and asking my friends about their experiences. It turns out breastfeeding may actually prevent weight loss in a lot of people. The body thinks it needs extra fat to make the milk, you know, in case you are crossing the Sahara without food and water while you are breastfeeding. It always comes back to that with women and weight loss, I don't know why the human body hasn't caught on to the fact that most of us don't plan to cross the Sahara anymore, we plan to sit on our sofas most of the day and watch soap operas. This does not require a lot of fat stores. Not to mention that, as Weight Watchers explains to you, you can't cut too many calories while you are breastfeeding lest it affect your milk supply. Then you might--GASP--have to put your baby on formula. So don't even think about cutting back too much, you fat cow. And that's not an insult when you are breastfeeding, either, it's just the truth.
Myth #2: Once your milk supply is established, your body will naturally keep up with your baby's demand. So everything was going well with Lawson, by all signs, he was getting plenty of food, it was about a month in. Then he started to get cranky. First it was just a couple of hours in the evening, then it became almost all day. The doctor said he probably had "colic." Some people said it was just his age. We tried acid reflux medicine, it didn't work. So one day I decided to try giving him a bottle around midday (we already were giving him one at night). It was like Bill O'Reilly suddenly morphed into a yoga teacher named Rainbow. So I guess while he was technically getting enough to eat to stay alive without the bottle, he wasn't getting enough to make him a nice person. Just like me on Weight Watchers, actually. This just confirmed my long held belief that bottle fed babies are happy babies, if dumb and disease-prone ones.
Myth #3: If you are breastfeeding correctly, it shouldn't hurt. This is just UTTER CRAP, I think that is all that needs to be said.
Myth #4: Under no circumstances should you give your baby anything but your breast to put in his mouth in the first month, to include bottles and pacifiers, because this will wreck everything. This is the advice I followed with Charlotte. After two weeks of feeding and soothing her around the clock, single-handedly, because I was the only one lactating, this isn't feudal France and I can't run out and get a wet nurse, I became a mental patient and was forced to quit. This time, I followed the advice of our sage pediatrician, who operates on the theory that if Mommy ain't happy and sane, ain't nobody happy and sane. If Mommy commits suicide determined to let no unclean thing pass her baby's lips, then baby grows up on formula fed to him by a single Daddy. So he suggested supplementing with formula at night and letting Daddy do a feeding. Newborns will suck on anything, turns out, and this way, baby sleeps better, earlier and Mommy doesn't get run into the ground like a common piece of livestock. I don't know why the breastfeeding "experts" take everything to such an extreme, it just sets women up for failure.
Myth #5: Your breasts will return to normal when you are finished. It is still too early to determine if this is true, but talking to others, I think I can preemptively rule this a lie. Just today, I was watching Rachael Ray, which goes to show you just how much TV I have been watching since Lawson was born. I was watching Rachael Ray, even though I hate cooking, don't think the name "Rachel" should be spelled with an "a," and get confused when she refers to olive oil as "Evo." But I still watched, and she had a woman on who needed help buying lingerie now that her breasts had gone from a D to a B after breastfeeding her 3 kids. This is the experience of many of my friends as well. Given that I am not that well endowed to begin with, I expect a few months of nursing Lawson will send me back into a training bra. On the other hand, my butt will no doubt stay the size of Dolly Parton's chest.
Myth #6: The formula companies are evil fiends who just want your money. Obviously, the formula companies want my money because that is the basis of operation for all companies. In this case, I will happily give my money to the formula companies because they are selling a superior product that I want. It's called capitalism, maybe you've heard of it.
Those are the key lies that I have uncovered. So far. What I haven't figured out is why these people, all women, are so committed to their gender's bamboozlement. Maybe they are all robots created by men to get out of child care. Maybe they are secret Muslims trying to institute sharia law through the back door. Maybe they are cows dressed up like humans. Maybe they are aliens dressed up like humans. Maybe they are just really mean humans. These are just a few theories I'm tossing around. But I will get to the bottom of it. Right after I finish watching Rachael Ray.