Melissa Lynn Block

Melissa Lynn Block
Location
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Birthday
January 14
Bio
I am a writer, reader, mother, yoga teacher, and dancer/choreographer. I am not in any way related to the NPR commentator who shares my name. I am a study in opposites and paradoxes, just like you. The photo that appears here was taken by Kathee Miller. And that is all.

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Salon.com
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 15, 2010 4:21PM

Confessions of a (Former) Boob Nazi

Rate: 35 Flag

I weaned my second child about four years ago. He’s nearly seven now. My daughter nursed for two and a half years.

 I gave birth at home and both my babies were lifted onto my belly just after birth. Both latched on right away and sucked like champs. From the start, my milk was abundant. Neither child ever really knew what to do with a bottle or a pacifier. As soon as they showed any sign of hunger, they got the boob for as long as they pleased. Didn’t matter where I was or what I was doing. If the baby wanted “boobie” (my son’s designation), the baby got it, right then and there. Dirty looks were met with indifference. A few times, children passed by and saw me sitting there with a child tucked under my shirt and asked me what I was doing. I got to be the first to explain to them what breasts are actually for.

 In those days, I was a total boob Nazi. The very sight of infant formula being mixed made me apoplectic. I harshly judged mothers who didn’t breastfeed for the recommended six months to one year. How selfish! Don’t they know how much healthier their children would be if they had…I’d think. Proper bonding while bottle-feeding? Impossible! Child who gets sick all the time? Must not have gotten enough of this holy lactational liquid! As some poor mom desperately tried to get her formula situation figured out while her baby turned purple with unmet need, I would fantasize about snatching the infant and putting it to my own bountiful bosom. I even wrote a book with pediatrician and functional medicine physician Robert Rountree about the ideal diet for breastfeeding mothers—one that would help to make Mom’s milk as nutritious and toxin-free as possible (http://www.amazon.com/New-Breastfeeding-Diet-Plan-Breakthrough/dp/0071461604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271362545&sr=8-1). 

 (When I call myself a boob Nazi, I separate myself from the hard-working women who devote time, love and energy to helping women to breastfeed...lactation consultants, la Leche League volunteers, educators. I was just opinionated and judgmental. I wasn't doing a damn thing to help anyone. To all those others who did and continue to: Thank. You. So. Much.)

 Last week, a new study was published in the medical journal Pediatrics about the financial cost of insufficient breastfeeding in the U.S. The authors found that if new mothers would breastfeed for the first six months of their babies’ lives, 911 lives and $13 billion would be saved each year. One could almost hear the cheer rising from the broad fellowship of boob Nazis. When I didn’t feel like cheering, I realized that I was no longer among their ranks.

 Here’s why.

 According to the CDC, in 2009, only 74 percent of mothers in the US even started breastfeeding their newborns, and only 33 percent were still exclusively nursing (with no supplemental formula) at three months. At six months, only 14 percent were feeding their babies breast milk exclusively. This, despite the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to give infants only breastmilk until they are six months old.

 Okay. So, obviously, something’s amiss. What could it be? Having learned a bit about human lactation, I know that some mothers just can’t do it. Their breasts don’t work properly. Their babies can’t latch on properly. They have to take medications that would harm the baby if the baby nurses. But this isn’t the case with most mothers. My old boob Nazi self would assume that the cause for the rest must be laziness. Sloth. Selfishness. Vanity. A squeamishness borne of a ridiculous assumption that boobs are sex toys for men, and that therefore, letting a baby suck on them would be weirdly incestuous. That sort of thing.

 Now, imagine for a moment that you’re not a hoity-toity white-collar intellectual middle-class college graduate hanging out and reading OS for the immeasurable enrichment you know is to be gained here. Imagine that you make $12,000 a year working in a factory or at a fast-food restaurant, and that you only have a high school education or less. Imagine that every adult in your family has to work many hours each day at low-wage jobs just to pay the bills. Now, imagine that you’ve just taken two weeks off to squeeze out your latest bundle of joy. Everyone’s telling you that you’re supposed to nurse this new babe for at least a few months. These are the same people who’ve been hollering at you that you can’t keep feeding yourself or your older children fast food and processed food, despite the fact that you have no time to cook and that vegetables cost way more than fast food per calorie.

 So…what do you do? Do you stay home with this new baby so that you can nurse him the way the WHO and your doctor tell you you should—and lose the income that may mean the difference between staying in your home or being evicted because you can’t pay the rent? Nursing on demand means spending all day and all night with your child, and some of us just cannot do this. As a freelance writer, I was able to stay home with the kids and nurse them whenever they liked. Some moms don’t have to work at all. But most do. Some of them go through the ordeal of pumping and sending bottles to the day care center. Having pumped a few times myself, I can say with confidence that this is far from optimal. There’s a great article about by Jill Lepore of The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/01/19/090119fa_fact_lepore.

Besides: a breast pump costs hundreds of dollars. Is it any wonder that so many women choose formula? Does anyone have the right to judge them for doing so?

And this isn't just about women who are poor. There are plenty of professional women who work away from home and have to pump in bathroom stalls, trying to think of their babies without crying so they can get the milk to come faster. 

I do know many women who make it work - who pump for months or years while holding down an outside-the-home job. Amazing. I couldn't have done it.

 The authors of the Pediatrics study say that doctors need to better educate women about the whys and hows of breastfeeding. But is it any wonder that doctors resist pressuring their patients on this front? They know that for many women, the ideal is just impossible. They know the same when they counsel families about how best to feed their older children and themselves. They can recommend healthier foods and exercise, but they know that when people are in situations where they can’t afford enough healthy food to feed everyone in the household, it’s just plain unfair to keep pushing this point.

 More breastfeeding and the concomitant health savings won’t come from pressuring or guilt-tripping mothers or doctors. It will come through a leveling of the ever-widening gap of socioeconomic inequality that makes things so hard for so many and so, so, so great for a few. It will come when the US catches up with more progressive nations who make it possible for mothers to avoid the choice between breastfeeding and work.

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Welcome to the level playing field. I was a Childbirth Educator until after I had my kids. Reality is like an ice cold bucket of water to the face. Welcome to OS!
It's pretty common for the "professionals" to have no idea how the actual working lives of their own staff look like, much less those who just have minimum wage jobs. It's a shame breastfeeding and healthy food is considered a lifestyle and a luxury, but that is what our society has created.
Yet another stellar example of those who don't have to, dictating to those who have to. Those who live by theory and those who live in reality. I wish all those big shots in the corner offices would climb down from their perches just once, and mingle with those of us who actually do the work. Perspective is everything.
Working mothers desperately need all the breaks they can get.

You had the breadth of mind to learn that sitting in judgement on those who don't have the opportunity or ability doesn't help someone who's already in a desperate situation.

Yet it is sad that it's so hard for new mothers in low-income jobs to breast feed--they and their babies need the financial break the most. Your last line really speaks volumes. Things are WAAAY out of whack, here.
Interesting. I agree it's a womans choice and how do you breastfeed when you have to work full time? You don't.

I breastfed my son for 2 years but that's because I stayed home with him. If I had to work, he would have been on the bottle. As simple as that.
You are absolutely right. I wish the breastfeeding activists would devote more energy to social change and legislation that would make it more possible for poorer women to breastfeed their babies.

I do know a tremendous number of younger mothers who manage to work full-time and breastfeed their baby. Among the affluent, a breast pump is the essential baby shower gift.
Sometimes the Boob Nazis (the Leaky League, as I call them) miss the forest for the trees. I nursed baby #1 until 6 months. A month before having baby #2, I had a cancer scare. My doctors and I came up with a plan - I would nurse for 6 weeks, dry up for 6 weeks, and have all my tests then. The Boob Nazi next door was horrified - apparently, better to die a nursing mother than save my life and feed formula.
I was a La Leche League leader from 1975 to 1988. I never was a boob Nazi and either were the many co-leaders I met. I think that tends to be a unfair stereotype of women who devoted countless volunteer hours to helping other mothers. My nam and phone number were posted all over three towns, inviting new mothers to call me 24/7.
I couldn't breastfeed. They just wouldn't make the milk. I was a bit sad about it at first, but then, well, she's fine so there you are. And I often became quite angry when confronted by the boob Nazi in public, who would attempt to berate me for not breastfeeding. I'd hear "It's so rare" (as if I was lying) or "There are things you can do to get it started." I ended up answering, "Isn't that nice that your breasts worked so well for you? I'm glad you can empathize with my situation as well as the way you can identify with your own." This stopped them cold.

Working situations are a terribly unwell on many levels, not just at new mother/child ones, but in this way, the American working world is one of the worst.
Um...yes.

You've managed to capture perfectly the blinkered attitude that some people have towards breastfeeding.

I think we're all guilty of this kind of outlook and behavior about something at some time or another...I remember being horrified when a friend of mine took her husband's surname on marriage, as if it were some kind of betrayal of the Feminist Cause. This woman turned out to have one of the most egalitarian marriages (and family dynamics) I've seen. Years later, when I finally confessed my reaction, she said, "Feminism is about choice."

I'm Canadian, and so have no direct experience of the American mother. However, one of my friends, a middle-class professional working in healthcare, managed to breastfeed both her children while working, but had to move heaven and earth to do it. She also managed to take the three-month leave that I understand many middle-class women manage to cobble together by combining the six-week maternity leave they're entitled to with vacation and sick time. How difficult it would be for someone lower down the economic ladder, I can't imagine.

Among my friends, I have one mother who bottle fed her first because she suffered mastitis (a nasty nipple infection) but breastfed her second and third; another who formula fed "because I want to drink wine and eat chocolate after nine months of being pregnant"; and a number who breastfed for varying lengths of time. All are good mothers; all made an informed, conscious choice. All, with the exception of the friend I mentioned above, are Canadian mothers, and middle class, and as such had a great deal more choice than American women in the same economic stratum.

I am in no way a healthcare expert, but work as a medical writer on advertising for infant formula. From all the reading I did as part of that work, as of five years ago breastfeeding MAY provide advantages, but in an industrialized country formula seems to be a perfectly healthy way of feeding a baby.

What disturbs me in this whole debate isn't whether or not women should breastfeed. I think the answer is individual, much as is the decision to have children in the first place. I'm upset by the emotional nature of the discussion, how prescriptive and sometimes patronizing the attitudes directed at women can be, and the lack of choice so many women seem to have.
While I heartily agree that economic disparity can account for needless judgment against hard working moms, I don't see why there's no middle ground being presented here. I worked and nursed two children consecutively for a total of almost four years. The first pregnancy found me sequestered in hotel or other public bathrooms "surreptitiously" pumping into a ridiculous machine, cursing the stalls, which by design, never have electrical outlets. (At times I'd plug into a wall outlet near a sink, hold the pump apparatus with one hand and casually hold my cell phone in the other to use the time to make calls -- crazy!) The best gift a nursing mother can receive is a hand pump and a friend to instruct her how to use it. It's simple, painless, sanitary, quiet and small. Also, the reality is that if you combine nursing and bottle feeding you can continue to feel good about the benefits to your child and the caretakers who become welcome feeding surrogates.
Fine observations. It is not easy, no question. Consider self fortunate to have been a stay at home mom. Volunteered with Boob Nazi group, but they weren't nazis. Goal was to help every mom do what was best for her and her baby. She defined it. We helped.
R
Everyone's story is different. Mothers should not judge each other, we should lift each other up. Great post.
Yup. Every mother has her own reasons, her own story._r
If only our culture could devote more energy to finding ways to support families and mothers so that mothers are not rushing back to work 2, 4 or 6 weeks after birth (a major physical event for some) because they are worried about losing their job which really means worried about losing their home.

I've learned that what's best for babies is a healthy and confidant mother who can tend to both their needs, breast or bottle. Do I wish every single mother could have the incredible and wonderful experience I have had nursing my children? Absolutely and for many reasons, but I recognize I had many advantages others did not have. That's what needs to improve.
I nursed my first baby for a year. She was born unable to suck. Couldn't have worked a bottle if her life depended on it. But she could squeeze my breast with her gums and I could push on it with my fingers and together we'd get the milk out. On her first birthday, she demanded a cup and I gave it to her. She never to nurse again.

I nursed my 2nd baby for 8 months. She was a screamer who didn't sleep. Finally, I wanted more than 1 hour of sleep, so I tried her on a bottle. I got the first 3 hour sleep since her birth. I wish I'd tried a bottle earlier with her.

Every baby is different.
Fresh, original take on an important subject. Thanks for the perspective.

Great post.

Rated.
I hate how this argument is being pushed into an either/or and into a BIG DEAL. Most women I know breastfed for as long as they felt able to do so (if at all) and then moved onto a bottle with little or no problem or guilt about it. I was lucky in every respect and got to breastfeed until mine moved to a sippy cup. I went to LaLeche and worked as a peer counselor with young mothers through a local health department program, and I never really encountered militant milky moms or defensive bottle feeders. Everyone was just doing the best they could with what they had and that was that. Resonable women who understood that this was a temporary issue that didn't really merit any serious angst.

I do hope that women who choose to breasfeed get all the support they need, and that women who choose to bottle feed get all the support they need. Being a mom is hard enough.
This is very humane. I loved breastfeeding too, and pumped by hand at work for six months when I couldn't afford a breast pump with my first baby. Still, women need to stop picking on each other and start showing some compassion and empathy. Nice post.
I have enjoyed breastfeeding my kids. With my first, I breastfed her for 14 months but not exclusively. I pumped like crazy the first nine months of her life because I worked full time, then gradually scaled back the pumping in favor of formula. I weaned her when I got pregnant with my second and had complications.

With my second, he wasn't very into breastfeeding. I worked with him and only pumped enough for my person comfort getting thru the workday, gladly supplemented with formula from the get go. He self weaned at 10 months and I got pregnant about then. My third, I was laid off while pregnant. Still laid off. She nursed more or less exclusively for 4 months, refused the bottle.

We have introduced solids and she still likes to breastfeed. She refused the pacifier in favor of her fingers, but now that she plays, she likes to mouth and gum (not suck) the pacifier as if it were a cool toy.

Anyhow, I never liked the superior, milkier-than-thou, lactivista mindset. Lactivistas have hurt the feelings of my non breastfeeding friends. They didn't breastfeed for very good reasons-- insufficient production, heart medication, chemotherapy.

The lactivista types are black and white thinkers who fail to see the shades of grey, the nuances. They grossly overstate the immunity benefits, which are only present in the initial stages of feeding a newborn. They favor the idea of breastmilk over the purpose of breastmilk-- feeding an infant. They overstate the dangers of nipple confusion.

My first two children did not suffer from nipple confusion-- different children have different preferences. Supplementing made breastfeeding enjoyable rather than stressful as for me as a working mom.
Note I say enjoyable-- not mind-blowingly orgasmic. I have had mastitis at least five times in the last five years, I have gone through the week of toe-curling pain (as an infant learns to latch) three times in the last five years, I have completely misaligned my back and my left knee because all three of my children favored the left breast over the right (and my left breast is three times the size of my right so needless to say, I am not showing cleavage anymore). I was instructed, of course, in proper breastfeeding posture; however, my children have had other ideas about the postures that best suited their feeding needs.

If, as a society we want to encourage working moms to breastfeed, I would suggest that we abandon the all-or-nothing approach. Stop treating breastfeeding as a competition where the most exclusive approach wins.

As a practical matter, one's breasts adjust their supply to an infant's demand.

Some women absolutely CAN work a long shift, not pump, and do a bit of nursing at the bookends of that shift in order to provide a child with that particular combination of nutrients and affection that breastfeeding provides, for as long as they mutually enjoy doing so.
Back in the day when only poor women breastfed their children, my mother breastfed all six of us. My how thi gs have changed. Quite ironic that two of four of her daughters chose not to breastfeed. It's a little trying when your children come to you by adoption. There...another group of mothers to give flack to.
;)
Thanks for this. Watching my partner breastfeed out baby has really opened my eyes to just how demanding it is. Thought it's the most natural thing in the world, it's also extremely challenging much of the time. Our culture gives a lot of lip-service to "family values," but when it comes to having time to bond with them and feed them properly without becoming destitute, we are light-years behind most other countries.
Women need to do what is best for them and their babies, "best" is different for everyone.

Women need to support each other, not judge. :)

-R-
I had a flexible teaching schedule, so nursing was definitely possible....but my body had other ideas. Flat nippled. Not enough milk. A baby that didn't latch on. So, I brought in reinforcements and made big plans for Baby #2. I took lactation classes. I primed my nipples with special suction cup thingies for months leading up to the pregnancy. I hired a lactation consultant to come to my home once the baby had arrived. I brought in state of the art pumps. I took pills to stimulate milk production. I was determined as only a new mother can be who wants to give their child THE VERY BEST. But at the end of the day, I was still flat nippled. I still couldn't produce enough milk. And alas, Baby #2 likewise did not latch on--ever. It was my good friend, Jenny, who had nursed her baby an ENTIRE year who said, "Give up the guilt. Love and enjoy your baby. Period." My babies are now way past babyhood. They are healthy and happy. :-)
We need to support each other. Our employers need to support the support us. I too nursed but have not feeling against or towards those who choose not to, I feel as woman we need to be more encouraging to each other. Motherhood is hard enough.
You breastfeed because you have the economic means and intellect? Others don't breastfeed because they are poorer than you are (but you've learned they are not necessarily lazy and selfish)? You wish everyone's life could be as "so, so, so great" as yours?

Seriously, this is your epiphany? Hmmm. Welcome to OS and the race for American Dominance.
Rated for your compassion and sensitivity.
Inability to breastfeed isn't just about working situations (not to minimize their importance).

The whole hospital environment surrounding birth is a huge setup for breastfeeding problems. Melissa Bartick, one of the authors of the Pediatrics article referenced in the OP wrote an excellent, excellent piece on the Huffington Post about this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-bartick/ipeaceful-revolutioni-mot_b_536659.html
Really enjoyed reading your post. I saw it and came on a little wary...

I had twins and did not produce enough milk. I vividly remember sitting at the pump for over an hour and looking at my dismal little ounce and a half and just crying. I felt like an absolute failure and the women at La Leche were more than willing to concur and illustrate all the ways in which I failed.

Fortunately, I had the support of dear friends and a wonderful mother who made me understand that whether it was by nature or by choice, my children would be fine and that love, love is what it is all about.

This was my experience, and you pointed out the reality of so many other women. As so many others have already said, women need to support other women.

Great post, welcome to OS, and congratulations on EP! Looking forward to future posts.

Rated,
Stephanie
I never heard the term "boob nazi" before seeing this post, though I can see by a search that it's been around. Coming to the article I thought I was going to be reading something about, I don't know, the aesthetics of breast implants vs. natural breasts for the male connoisseur of female anatomy.

What a curious term! It's almost as though those opposed to breastfeeding had to coin a term that had nothing whatever to do with breastfeeding because of the disgust most of them feel about it. The term is deliberately sexualized.

If it were up to you only a small percentage of women would be encouraged to breastfeed: rich women who can afford to buy an electric breast pump but don't need it because they won't be working anyway. Doctors would discourage most women from even attempting. Hey, you've got to go back to work in 6 weeks and it will be impossible to breastfeed the baby (well I'm sure you won't be able even though I know nothing about your life except that you work). No point in even starting.

Gee, just like back in the old days when a woman had to make a special request to her doctor not to get a hormone shot to dry up her milk immediately after giving birth. Because of course, she wouldn't be breastfeeding. Way too hard for women to do. Unrealistic.

I breastfed my baby until she stopped on her own. I worked in a factory and had a little plastic breast pump back before women could buy electric ones. There's big money in convincing women that they have to shell out for a breast pump if they want to pump, yet another hurdle women who really want to breastfeed have to overcome.

I suppose I could have missed some, but I've never met a pro-breastfeeding person who was as judgmental as you describe yourself as having been. They want to help women who want to breastfeed, and with help, many more can. Sounds like transference to me. Or were you even ever that way?

How curious that you've gone from working to encourage women to breastfeed to wanting to discourage them. Life is hard. Raising kids is hard. But your characterization of the lives of the overwhelming majority of women as a worst case scenario only describes your own short-sightedness.

Why do you feel such a need to pass judgment on people? I think you should go back and work on your introspection some more.
"In those days, I was a total boob Nazi." I think you need to write the Great American Novel, and I think you need to start it with this sentence. :-D Great stuff!
You might find this encouraging then. Last week, Congress approved a set of wide-ranging public initiatives to prevent disease and encourage healthy behavior, including a provision that requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide time for new mothers to express, or pump, breast milk.
. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/health/policy/05health.html

This is significant because it acknowledges the health benefits and value of breast-feeding AND it focuses on keeping people healthy!
Btw, whatever one thinks of her (and I realise there are some people on OS who just get their backs up about her automatically--I am not one of them), Dr. Amy Tuteur has what I think is a really good article about that study--it sounded weird to me upon reading the leaders for it, and she takes it apart pretty efficiently, in my opinion.
Really fantastic post. Even as a doctor, working in an outpatient office where we certainly espouse the credo of "breast is best," I had many barriers to successfully continuing breastfeeding when I went back to work. You addressed many excellent points, the most important of which is not to judge those whose reasons for not doing as we do we may not be able to imagine.
Great article. I wish the author had zeroed in on one of the biggest obstacles to breastfeeding in this country: a lack of paid maternity leave, something women in every other industrialized country in the world enjoy. Paid leave would enable even lower income moms to spend much needed time at home with their newborns to bond and breastfeed, without worrying about paying their bills. This is the cause we should all embrace if we want to improve breastfeeding rates.
I am a junk food nazi. Sodas should be taxed extra. Parents should feed their children home-cooked meals at the family table. Fast-food choices are made out of habit. Families can, and many do, eat cheaper at home. It takes effort, but it is worth it.
Family-planning and birth control are choices that are ignored.
What a refreshing post. To see ourselves, our old judgments and stiff positions, our self-righteousness, is hard work.

(What self-righteousness do I STILL not see?)

Well-written, not overwrought, just funny enough, and packed with info. Well done.
I had a huge problem with breast feeding nazis and still do, even though my son is 7-years-old. My son was starving as an infant, and yet the La Leche "helpers" continually told me that under no circumstances was I to give him formula. A nurse at the hospital finally told me to stop trying to breastfeed for the health of my child.

I wasn't able to breast feed, but it's neither here nor there. It's a matter of respect. It is incredibly rude and disrespectful to tell another woman what to do with her body. Yes, there are benefits to breastfeeding a child, but nothing so insurmountable that necessitates the way some "lactation activists" treat women who can't or don't breast feed. My son is one of the healthiest kids in his class and we have an incredible bond. Suggesting that either of these things would be impossible if a mother doesn't breastfeed is preposterous and deliberately misinforms new mothers.
Before there was quality formula, there were wet nurses. Women have been legitimately unable to nurse since there were women and babies. My grandmother wet-nursed dozens of children when their mothers were sick or away or unable. She had 11 children of her own and was always in some state of readiness to nurse. Many children in my old home town can say as a friend of my mother's did that they were milk sisters/brothers with my mother.

I tried desperately while my son lost 2 lbs under pressure from lactation activists in my personal realm. I was prepared to go 2 years and resist family if necessary and had them prepared.

Breasts did not work. Period. No milk. he cried when I fed him because there was not food no matter how good the latch. He was doing my part and so was I, and no milk.

I kept him on liquid formula, the best quality I could find and buy for the two years, feeding him in small amounts and holding him for each and every feeding. No bottle babysitting. As close to the experience as it could be. And My husband got to feed him as well. Once we submerged the guilt (it never let up) and just fed the kid, everything went fine.

Being a boob nazi or a lactivist is just being a very irrational and specific kind of jerk.
I love that you used the term "boob nazi".
As a mother who nursed for four years straight, one baby into the next, I, too, am a huge advocate for the amazing benefits of breast milk which is designated by some nutritionists as a "superfood". The nutritional content of breast milk actually varies depending on the needs of the neonate. Yeah, that's right! Read that sentence again! No formula will ever do that nor pass on dozens of antibodies against infections and disease nor protect against/reduce the incidence of ear infections for the first two years of life, on and on.

I was so fortunate to have a mother with a Master's degree, earned in 1947, in nutrition and home economics. She could have worked as a nutritionist in a hospital, but preferred teaching. Anyway, because she understood the nutritional value of breast milk, my siblings and I were breast fed at a time when the media and advertisers portrayed breastfeeding as "old-fashioned"
and implied it was for poor people only. (A classic example of advertising and capitalistic greed creating and fabricating a "need" for formula purely for profit!)

Fortunately, my mother knew better and was strong enough to do what she knew was best. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, was an R.N. who bottle-fed her five children as per the status quo at that time.

But let me add, also, another reason why some women don't breast feed. Female breasts are viewed as sexual "apparatus" in American male-controlled society, and unfortunately, some women have learned to view their breasts as strictly for sexual activity and find breast feeding uncomfortable. Sad but true.
I personally experienced the biting words and stings from boob nazis. My sister had my niece 6 months before my son was born. My sister had the hardest time breastfeeding as my niece had problems latching. My niece lost too much weight so they told my sister that she had to supplement with formula. Finally she had to give up breastfeeding all together. She felt horrible. I felt bad for her too as I had plans to exclusively breastfeed my son. When my son was born he spent his first week of his life in the NICU. Because I had a c-section and they immediately rushed him to the NICU I didn't get to bond with him. I didn't see him till 12 hours after he was born. They fed him formula down in the NICU. To make a long story short despite trying my son would not latch. I tried pumping and got nothing but sore chapped nipples as nothing absolutely nothing would come out of my breasts. When I talked with the lactation consultant at the hospital the look on her face said it all. There was no way I would ever be able to breastfeed my son. At that point I was suffering from severe post partum depression over it. I realized that I had to give up for my mental health. It was healthier and safer for my son to continue with formula than for me to be a depressed mommy who felt like less of a woman because she couldn't breastfeed. I realized that I was losing valuable bonding time by not taking any enjoyment from bottle feeding. I heard from many a person that I gave up too quickly and that I should have gone on medication etc. I hate how so many people who attend certain breast feeding associations suddenly think they are experts. I had one woman actually tell me that she thought that women who breast feed are the same as a child abuser. So because I was unable to physically produce milk I'm suddenly a child abuser?
You can certainly continue to exclusively breastfeed while working full time, I did it for many many months. I returned to work after 11 weeks of FML and my daughter was exclusively breastfed until she was 21 months (the only reason I stopped was because I was pregnant and the doctor recommended I stop by 20 weeks). When I first started pumping at work, the pump I was using was rather slow, so I bought a new one, finally I broke down and bought an expensive one and oh what a difference that made! I started out pumping in the restroom but after a while I convinced my boss to allow me to use an office (for sanitary reasons and time reasons-I told her that the more comfortable I was, the faster the milk would come out). Toward the end of nursing her, the milk wasn't producing enough during my break at work so I would literally wake up and pump before leaving for work in the morning so I knew my daughter was drinking only breast milk. It was very important to me. I felt compelled to write this here because I read some posts that said if they were working, they certainly would have switched to bottle. I'm here to tell you that does not have to be the case.
The way nature intended was for children to drink their mother's milk. I also think it's much cheaper...I know how much formula costs and it's not cheap. Mother's milk is completely free and very convenient.
I was upset recently when my doctor told me to mix rice cereal and formula for my 4 month old...knowing that I am exclusively breastfeeding, it makes me want to ask him why he recommends formula! Hearing this suggestion from a pediatrician makes me question if the formula would have more nutrition than my breast milk...that is a fleeting thought however, but there none the less. To mothers that are breastfeeding and working, I give you all the credit int he world..you are doing a wonderful thing for your child

Consider also the bonding time that you get when you pick your child up from daycare and you feed them for that first half hour, it's a great way to say "reacquaint yourselves."

I read a book "Working Mother, Nursing Mother" that I got from LeLeChe League and it really helped me to know that my sacrifices were well worth it for my baby.

Good luck everyone and best wishes to your families!
You can certainly continue to exclusively breastfeed while working full time, I did it for many many months. I returned to work after 11 weeks of FML and my daughter was exclusively breastfed until she was 21 months (the only reason I stopped was because I was pregnant and the doctor recommended I stop by 20 weeks). When I first started pumping at work, the pump I was using was rather slow, so I bought a new one, finally I broke down and bought an expensive one and oh what a difference that made! I started out pumping in the restroom but after a while I convinced my boss to allow me to use an office (for sanitary reasons and time reasons-I told her that the more comfortable I was, the faster the milk would come out). Toward the end of nursing her, the milk wasn't producing enough during my break at work so I would literally wake up and pump before leaving for work in the morning so I knew my daughter was drinking only breast milk. It was very important to me. I felt compelled to write this here because I read some posts that said if they were working, they certainly would have switched to bottle. I'm here to tell you that does not have to be the case.
The way nature intended was for children to drink their mother's milk. I also think it's much cheaper...I know how much formula costs and it's not cheap. Mother's milk is completely free and very convenient.
I was upset recently when my doctor told me to mix rice cereal and formula for my 4 month old...knowing that I am exclusively breastfeeding, it makes me want to ask him why he recommends formula! Hearing this suggestion from a pediatrician makes me question if the formula would have more nutrition than my breast milk...that is a fleeting thought however, but there none the less. To mothers that are breastfeeding and working, I give you all the credit int he world..you are doing a wonderful thing for your child

Consider also the bonding time that you get when you pick your child up from daycare and you feed them for that first half hour, it's a great way to say "reacquaint yourselves."

I read a book "Working Mother, Nursing Mother" that I got from LeLeChe League and it really helped me to know that my sacrifices were well worth it for my baby.

Good luck everyone and best wishes to your families!