Monday, May 21, 2012

If you talk about it...

There seems to be this underlying idea that if you talk about breastfeeding in a good way than you are a "Nazi" of some sort. As far as I can tell, talking about breastfeeding does not make you a killer. How is spreading the information about breastfeeding, talking about your personal joy as a breastfeeder, make you a Nazi?
What if a breastfeeding mother called bottle feeding mothers "formula nazi" and wrote articles in papers and blog post about the nasty, evil bottle feeders who are just as bad as a bunch of killers? It would be a horrible thing. It is a horrible thing.
I feel bad every time i hear the term use. Am I one? Am I one because I talk about breastfeeding? Am I one because I promote breastfeeding? Am I one because I breastfeed a child(ren)? Am I not allowed to discuss my experience?
Sometimes I feel like because my person experiences were not that bad, that I have enjoyed breastfeeding and it has almost always been pretty free of struggle that I am not allowed to talk about it. It only counts if I had a really hard, hard time OR I was unable to actually breastfeed for one reason or another. I have felt this way about my births as well, no one wants to hear that you had a good birth. No one wants to hear that you successfully breastfeed your child.
Although I know that stories of struggle and over coming obstacles are good for people to hear, so that they know that they too might be able to do what feels impossible at that moment... what about those of us who it just worked for? I know that sounds weird, but I want to share my stories as well. Just because it all worked doesn't mean it isn't of value. Or maybe it isn't of value.
I remember right after Audrey was born and I went to a pool party with some classmates (I was in nursing school at the time), and everyone was telling their birth stories. I felt weird, mine was fine... in fact it was great. Everyone told horror stories, they were really scary, had I heard them while I was pregnant, I am not sure I would have felt as confidant going into that birth. And I felt like I couldn't share my story, there was alot of dissing of "natural childbirth". So I just stayed quiet. Which is a shame, I should have felt comfortable about sharing my story as well, even if mine was a happy story.
Just because someone didn't have struggles with breastfeeding doesn't mean they are an ass, and can't feel for those who had struggles. It also doesn't mean they shouldn't share their stories as well.
Maybe it is the internet that promotes the name calling and ugly talk, the idea that you can say whatever you want and hide behind the fact that you never have to see/meet these other people in real life. When people share their stories of being shamed by breastfeeding mothers, I wonder... who are these people? Who are these moms who talk nasty to other moms? Maybe the nasty talk is the moms who nasty talk on the internet. There are so many on either side of the issue. So many who say the ugliest things hide behind the anonymous comment.
What I would love to see is all stories being honored, honored without name calling, nasty jabs, and hurtful comments. That goes for the stories of struggle as well as the stories of success.
Heather Cushman-Dowdee did a great piece and comic on this as well.


  1. I understand you point. Some months ago I posted this: maybe you'd enjoy it, eh? We all need the positive stories... And again, I hear you. I have too, felt I should keep my mouth shut because I had a natural home birth that went pretty great - despite all the hard work my son and I did. :) hug

    1. that is an amazing story. :)

    2. thanks! and i'm glad we've found each other