jenn_unplugged: (Resistance is futile)
It seems like there is some sort of organized campaign against breastfeeding these days. There are always the asshats who think it's gross and perverted to feed your baby the way God/nature intended, but in this case, the effort seems to have been spearheaded by women who breastfed their babies and somehow found it a miserable experience.

Okay, I get that BFing isn't for everyone, I really do. But why belittle those of us who not only BF, but who went out of our way to make it work by pumping to start or maintain our supplies? Why mock us for that commitment? Clearly Judith Warner had major issues with her own role as a BFing and pumping mom. Fine, whatever.

But if it weren't for the pump, I would never have been able to nurse Carter. At all. Ever. Breastmilk is more than just "best" for preemies; it saves their lives. In the city I live in, if the mother of a preemie doesn't pump, the doctors write prescriptions to get donated breastmilk for the babies. Since they started doing this, NO preemie here has died of intestinal infection -- and there are 5 NICUs in the area.

I was PROUD to pump for my baby, because it was the ONE thing I could do for him while he was hooked up to machines and living in a heated plastic box. It helped me heal from the devastation that is an unexpected premature birth. It helped me cope with almost 8 weeks of visiting my baby in the hospital before he could finally come home. It made me feel like a real mother, something I desperately needed.

So pumping was and is really, really important to me. Clearly Judith Warner has no idea what it's like to walk in my shoes. She makes good points about society needing to support working BFing moms more, but the idea that a breast pump is some sort of torture device that should be relegated to a horror museum (yes, she basically says that) demonstrates not only ignorance of situations like mine, but also the opposite of the point she thinks she is making.

But you know, things like this just highlight to me yet again how abnormal my parenting journey has been. That is often a source of pride for me, but sometimes it just makes me wonder how people can take their fertility, their health, and their ability to bring a baby into the world for granted like that. If you have no trouble getting pregnant, have a healthy, full-term pregnancy, and then go on to nurse your baby for years with no major difficulties, good for you. But remember that some of us didn't get to do it that way, and be grateful.
November 12 is Prematurity Awareness Day!





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