Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When you get that notion, put your backfield in motion

Officially a Mom

Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Warning: Boob-related rant ahead

Three of my good friends just had babies and that means three things:

1. My ovaries are achin’ like crazy
2. I am constantly being regaled with stories of all night feedings, C-section staples and scars, and changes in color and amount of lochia … thus ending the aching in my ovaries.
3. I get to talk about BOOBIES!!!!!! Woot woot!

I think that given my profession, time spent hosting on Babycenter, time spent breastfeeding and pumping, and my willingness to discuss everything from plugged ducts to breast compressions anywhere and everywhere, I am considered somewhat of a “go to” gal when it comes to all things lactation. I have probably said “seedy, mustard-colored poop” and “breast” in the same sentence while touching my own breasts (because for some reason when talking about breastfeeding I get all “tune in Tokyo” with my self) than legally allowed in 47 states.

I’m in heaven.

The only downside to this poop-breast-touchingmyself cocktail party that I have going on is that I have to hear all the awful, awful advice my struggling friends have received from family, friends (friends of the non-booby loving variety), and DOCTORS!!!!!

Argh! Doctors who don’t know nothing about no boobies are the bane of my existence! I can almost forgive the “well-meaning” family members and friends; like all of us they were probably brought up in a formula/bottle feeding culture and they don’t know anything but doctors!?! Either admit that you don’t know anything about breastfeeding and send your patient on their merry way to a lactation consultant or take a class and buy a book! I am seriously wondering if there is a class intended only to teach OBGYNs and pediatricians how to perfect the art of saying “you need to supplement with one ounce of formula after each feeding” as the answer to any and every breastfeeding ailment.

Before people who don’t know me read this and think I’m all anti-medicine (hello, I work in the medical field) and anti-formula (hello, my son received gallons upon gallons of formula during the first 16 months of his life), let me just say that I am NOT anti-medicine and I am not anti-formula.

I am merely anti-ignorance and anti- the firm grip formula companies have on the medical field.

I am anti- doctors learning everything they think they need to know about breastfeeding from the back of an Enfamil can.

We live in a society where everything is “well, the doctor said…” and people don’t take active roles in their healthcare so every time a breastfeeding advocate without M.D. after their name speaks up against the old “give ‘em formula” line perfected in medical school with advice based upon current lactation science, advocates are made to look like crazy hippies running around with eight year olds hanging off their boobs screaming “don’t believe your doctor!!!!”

Honestly, I think if doctors would suck it up and just shut the hell up and admit they don’t know anything about breastfeeding and then pass the torch to those who do- no matter if they have MD after their name or not- then I think it would do wonders for breastfeeding rates in this country. It is so difficult to advocate breastfeeding when it goes against what "the doctor said".

Fortunately, my friend trusted my judgment and went to a lactation consultant and had everything I told her confirmed verbatim (even I don’t pretend to be a lactation consultant) and things are now going swimmingly. Well, as swimmingly as life with a newborn can go.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you are all for breastfeeding! I'm also really happy that I had the oppertunity to nurse my daughter and sometimes I miss it, because she's not my little baby anymore. Anyway, I don't know about the doctors around your area, because every doctor that I have talked to has always encouraged breastfeeding. So, lucky for us - not every doctor is ignorant. Thanks for your awesome blog - I check it almost everyday!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

Staples for a c-section? I did not think they did that anymore...I got them with Emma but with Davis they just stitched me up.

My ob was only okay about breastfeeding. My ped was good though. When we went in for Davis' two week check and he was still not up to his birth weight I freaked out. She said I could supplement if I wanted, if it made me feel better, but she thought he was just fine and it seemed we just needed some time to get into the nursing routine. I did supplement to calm myself. But she was pretty good about it all.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

The situation you describe sounds just like how things happen in my area.

I didn't get to nurse my son, because he was a preemie and I didn't know how to be assertive enough with getting help.

So when I had my daughter, it was very important to me to nurse. We had no latch problems, but when the searing pain every time we nursed didn't go away after a week, then two, then a month I got really discouraged. I went to my OB for help and she basically told me it was too late...I should have toughened up my nipples before having the baby. (Ugh, where was any advice during the many prenatal appts I had?). Our ped insisted that we supplement with formula for slight jaundice at her two week check up....and I cried through each nursing because of the pain.

Finally I loaded my month old baby in the car and drive two hours (each way) to the closest lactation consultant (well, that's not true. There's one in my town, but she only sees WIC recipients) for advice.

With her help I managed to nurse my daughter until she decided she was done (at just under a year).

Thanks for putting a pro-nursing voice out there and giving your friend great advice!

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

I tend to touch mine when talking about it as well, and I usually am not aware of it until it's too late :)

And speaking of advice from doctors - my supply has dropped here in the last couple of weeks (at around 14 weeks of nursing) and when asking my OB about it all she said was "pumping never worked for me, maybe it's time to suppliment." yeah, because that is totally going to help my supply.

Come to find out the HMO I belong to doesn't have an LC and the LLL only directed me to someone who charges over $200 per session. Nice.

Luckily Mama Em (whom I blog with) is my resident boobie expert and has been a huge help.

I'm still working on those supply issues (just barely pumping enough to last the next day) but am glad it's still working. It's just amazing the advice you get.

And I'm already getting the "oh, your STILL breastfeeding?" at just over 3 months. Yeah. STILL.

12:53 PM  
Blogger KULA said...

A lot of people in my family who have kids were encouraged to breasfeed by their doctors, so if I were you, I'd recommend to these friends finding other doctors. Actually, more doctors should tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of both sides, otherwise they're not doing their job and promoting their profession.

That being said, I don't have kids. But at some point I think I'd like to have a brat or two. I do have to say though that I have already made the executive decision that when I do, I won't breastfeed. That's just a personal decision, and had nothing to do with what anyone says. My point is, it is very important to do whatever makes you comfortable and not always listen to people and doctors. In this case, I think things work out well either way, and most of the decision should lie in the person doing it, after being well-informed about both choices, or how many ever there are, especially by professional in whom we sometimes maybe put too much faith.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Amy / Girl's Life said...

Amen, sista! Give it up for the boobies!!

2:12 PM  
Blogger Amanda. said...

Perhaps it is regional and I have no doubt there are plenty of doctors who are well-versed in helping their patients breastfeed (or help the mothers of their patients breastfeed) but I can't believe some of the stuff I have been hearing recently. Heck, I was even told to night wean Grace at 2 months. What the french toast is that???

Yes, staples for a c-section. Saw them with my own eyes.

Andy, have you checked out for tips to increase supply?

Kula, I don't think a doctor should discuss or push formula feeding with a mother who WANTS to and has the ABILITY to breastfeed.

Thanks all!

4:08 PM  
Blogger Aaryn said...

Hey Amanda. I'm a fan of your pics and just tagged you with a meme. Rules and format are posted on my blog. Can't wait to see what you come up with!!!

8:12 PM  
Blogger mamalife said...

Couldn't have written a better rant myself. You go girl! I left my peds office with the legacy as the nurse who was always sure to give the formula reps a hard time ;)

10:12 PM  
Blogger denise said...

I gave birth to both Terrors three months early and feared I wouldn't be able to breast feed (because that's what everyone told me). Thank goodness for the lactation consultant! She really helped with the whole process. You're right though, a lot of doctors I encountered were really against breast feeding in a way I just never understood.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Beebee Mod™ said...

I have successfully breatfed three babies now, one of which I continue to breastfeed...she is 13 months. It has not always been easy...two huge bouts with mastitis at month 3, but I have loved and continue to love it every moment. I wish people were more open and willing to give it a try. Doctors are so up and down so that all depends. I have found that other women have been the best source of information and encouragement. So it is so good of you that you are a source of that for your friends.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Yes, Kellymom is a great resource. I'm all geared up with my herbal suppliments and teas and trying my best.


11:20 AM  
Anonymous patricia said...

Amen! I sign under your rant. As someone who breastfed DD1 for 36 mo. and is still breastfeeding DD2 at age 17 mo, I had to deal with enough crap from peds. The absolute gem was that breastfeeding beyond 24 months would psychologically damage the child. Also got staples for my c-section. All the best, Amanda.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous radical mama said...

I'm going through this with two of my "new mom" friends. I feel so bad for them, they have no idea what to do or think half the time! I check in on them every week to see how things are going. One of them was ready to quit bfing at 2 weeks, because her milk took so long to come in. But she is sticking it out and things are going great now! I felt pretty lost and intimidated by doctors/family with my first baby too.

10:20 PM  
Blogger jenica said...

oh amen! i just wish that doctors would listen to their patients. today i was at the hospital with a mom waiting to be admitted as she's moaning, "i want to push." 5 minutes later they finally get her into the exam room to discover that YES she's completely dilated and is ready to push! baby came 3 contractions later.

silly doctors.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I agree with you 100%. I think people, generally, put too much blind faith in the "medical establishment" without question or even heeding common sense. But I suppose it is all about the power of the dollar. Doctors are like puppets for the big drug companies. They are motivated to push the drugs (or formulas) and really have no incentive to tell you that you can solve all your problems naturally. They are trained in the drugs and for the most part know very little of the natural alternative therapy/medicine/healing. Huge Teen Tits

11:48 PM  

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