Friday, May 30, 2014

Encouragement

The other day, someone I know on Facebook posted this:


Dear Facebook: TMI. I do not want to know how long you breastfed your kid 
and certainly not how dilated you are. Go enjoy your child, don't post that shit. Love, Everbody.


Not to sound a little defensive, but I am pretty sure this was directed towards someone like me since the day before I posted a link to THIS POST and announced that we had made it to our goal of breastfeeding for Henry's whole first year of life.  When I read her post and the very few that agreed with her after it, I was a little enraged.

Good thing I have my very own space on the internet to share my opinions.  And the beauty of this blog is that if you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read it.

I'll admit that before I had kids, I would have thought these things were kind of overshares too.  Seriously who needs to know about your dilation and boobs?  I also thought breastfeeding in public was disgusting.

And then I had a baby.

Although I will admit that I am a prude and prefer public breastfeeding be covered as much as possible (or should I say as much as the baby will allow), I think commanding women to nurse in the bathroom or their cars is disgusting.  We would never expect adults to eat in a public restroom, why should my baby?  When a mother is nursing her baby uncovered in public and I don't want to see it, I do something completely revolutionary and JUST DON'T LOOK.  It's crazy.

The truth is that having a baby is hard and terrifying.  It's not an overshare to talk about the birth process.  Birth is amazing.  The fact that the human body is capable of growing a person inside itself and then pushing a person out of itself and THEN feeding another person is MIRACULOUS.  Not gross.

And that feeding another person... that is hard work.  Because as a woman, you just gave up your body for 9 months and then went through the process of giving birth and now you have to learn how to feed this brand new person who also has to learn how to eat.  It's hard.  Not a little bit hard.  REALLY REALLY HARD.  Even once you get the process down, nursing continues to change as the baby changes.

When it's the middle of the night, or your milk supply is fluctuating, or you want a night out with the girls or a date with your husband but you have to pump, or your baby bites you over and over and over, one of the few things that can keep you nursing... encouragement.


{I think of this clip anytime I hear the word "encouragement"}


The benefits of breastfeeding are not a secret.  And we should be encouraging women to breastfeed for as long as they and their baby can.  I gave my baby the best chance at long-term health, healthy weight, good ears, protection from disease and sickness, good social skills, and better literacy by breastfeeding him for a year.  I gave up having more than one cup of coffee, more than half a glass of wine, an entire night's sleep, cold medication, and going more than a few hours without lifting my shirt up for an entire year.  I should have a damn parade thrown for me, not be verbally accosted by strangers on the internet.

How dare anyone do anything other than pat me on the back for voicing my excitement that I accomplished this big goal!  I guess it is just another example of how messed up our society is when it comes to birth and breastfeeding.

Ultimately, I feel sorry for people who agree with what that woman posted.  They haven't had the joy/anxiety/love that comes with having a baby.  They haven't realized what an amazing responsibility it is to bring another person into the world and then expect to keep them alive when they can't take care of themselves.

If you don't like what I have to say, don't read it.  Let's work on encouraging each other, instead of judging, shall we?

8 comments:

  1. While I agree with some of what you said I do think people have a tendency to over share on Facebook. I don't mind reading about peoples births or breastfeeding experiences on blogs, because those are things I CHOOSE to read, but scrolling through Facebook and seeing someone has updated how dilated they are while they are in L&D is, in my opinion, too much information. Posting a link doesn't mean someone has to click on it and read it, so if that persons status was directed at you then they need to relax a little bit, but statuses about things like that are off putting to me.

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  2. I think people do share too much on FB but I also think that people shouldn't be passive agressive and post stuff like that, when it's clear who it's directed at. While I don't share much on FB I don't mind when people do share too much and if they are sharing stuff I don't like I just scroll past and don't read or I hide them. Yes we should all be encouraging each other instead of judging each other, which I totally do sometimes...oops.

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  3. Anyone who can breastfeed for a year... I commend! I made it 2 months. Becoming a mom is the most challenging thing in the world!!! I also, had no idea until I made the journey myself.

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  4. Playing devils advocate here ... So you're saying that if those people don't agree, they should stop reading, but shouldn't that rule apply both ways?

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  5. Such an amazing feat to go a whole year! I made it 9 months with my second and had only made it a few months with my first and really missed the bond and special time I got with my first after it was gone. I commend you on sticking with it because it truly is one of the hardest things we as mother's can do. I really enjoy reading your blog even tho we haven't spoke in years it's great to be able to read and see what you have gone thru for the last few years. Don't let the negativity of others bring you down, it is miraculous as you were saying the amazing things you've done for your child. Keep up the good work!!

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  6. Such an amazing feat to go a whole year! I made it 9 months with my second and had only made it a few months with my first and really missed the bond and special time I got with my first after it was gone. I commend you on sticking with it because it truly is one of the hardest things we as mother's can do. I really enjoy reading your blog even tho we haven't spoke in years it's great to be able to read and see what you have gone thru for the last few years. Don't let the negativity of others bring you down, it is miraculous as you were saying the amazing things you've done for your child. Keep up the good work!!

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  7. Such a sensitive topic, as I'm sure everyone has their own opinions. Would have to agree with a few of the other comments don't mind reading such stuff when it comes to blogs but on facebook I would probably view it as over sharing. And there are plenty of women I know who are mothers, who don't agree with such things as breast feeding in public or talking in detail about it. But like I said it's one of those heated topics where there doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Honestly I think men and women both over share on facebook. But ultimately the beauty of life is our differences, the fact that others have different opinions is good and I don't think every one should have to agree with one another. Your opinion is yours but just because others disagree doesn't make them messed up or bad. Know what I mean?

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