Tuesday, October 7, 2008
So today I got a text from my brother that went like this:
"So that you know, I WAS interested in a girl. Then she said that breastfeeding was gross. Thanks for turning that into a deal-breaker."
My buttons nearly burst.
I have long been a (very, very) vocal proponent of the only normal infant feeding. I sometimes resent the Breast is Best campaign, whether or not it is well-intentioned, because the subtext actually undermines breastfeeding; nobody will be (or hopefully expects to be) the "best" parent. Folks, especially folks grappling with a newborn, are probably more in survival mode than perfection-mode. If breastfeeding is "best", that must make formula-feeding normal. And, as we all know, that is plain nonsense.
The hospital environments in which many women give birth vary in their hospitality and facilitation of basic human needs: to give birth in a supportive, empowering environment, and to feed their newly emerged offspring. It's a damn shame. Lots of moms who think they "can't" breastfeed are simply ignorant victims of a very subtle system that, albeit unwittingly, jeopardizes the health and safety of moms and babies. Consider homebirth, is all I'm sayin'. I don't even know who I am preaching to. But if my twenty-three year old brother considers a non-lactivist ineligible for his affections, I can rest assured my preaching has not gone unheard so far. I guess I better keep it up, maybe for someone else's little brother's sake.