My Boobs are None of your Business

Confession #1: I am not breastfeeding
Confession #2: I stopped when Archer was 6 weeks old.
Confession #3: I absolutely hated it.
Confession #4: I hate everyone who gives me shit about it...

Ah, yes. My new biggest pet peeve are people that lecture me on breast-feeding: like the lady in line at the grocery store, like the dude in the elevator and the dozens of others who think its okay to tell me how to raise my child and work my body. Even my pediatrician raises her eyebrows when I remind her that I feed Archer formula. I am not breast-feeding and although I am not denying that I didn't "try hard enough" I have no regrets so don't make me slap you. I think breastfeeding is wonderful and amazing and I really wish it worked out for me but it did not. Not in this life.

"Cute baby, are you breastfeeding?"
"No."
"Oh. I see. (eyebrows raise) Why not?"
"I don't think its any of your business, actually." (100 watt smile)

I had two breast reductions which is like having one but a lot worse. If any of you have had a breast reduction you will understand. I would even go as far as saying that childbirth was a breeze compared to the surgical procedure of removing ones nipples, removing several pounds of boob and sewing them back together haphazardly. And then having to go through it again three years later. (They grew back. I know, I am like a starfish.)

There are many excuses I would rather make then go into the truth because most people don't get the whole "removing big tits mentality." Men especially. Most dudes have this picture in their mind but in reality its more like this. I knew from the beginning that having a breast reduction would probably ruin my chance of having a happy breastfeeding experience, if one at all. At 18 years old I didn't care. I just wanted to buy my bras at normal stores like Victoria's Secret instead of getting grammy bras at outlet stores. I just wanted to wear a bathing suit without looking like a hooker, (or being called one.) I wanted to work out without the mandatory two sports bras for support. I digress...

Can you blame me for not wanting to go into this with strangers? I don't see why I should be asked to explain myself in the first place. Even if I had decided not to breastfeed for other reasons, they are PERSONAL reasons, as in... it's no one's business. Gosh! People can be so rude.

This has been the last straw. The next time some asshole asks me, (s)he's going to get a bottle of ENFAMIL in the face. Not kidding.

My son is healthy and that's alllll that matters.

GGC

22 comments:

Boriqua | 12:45 PM

I imagine these are the same people who would rub a pregnant woman's belly without first asking her if it would be okay. Those kind of people should be slapped as a reward for their rudeness. As long as Archer is healthy and happy, what does it matter if he's bottlefed?

Karin | 4:22 PM

You know I don't get why people thing it's any of their business how you feed your child. As long as the child doesn't look like they're malnourished whose business is it really? We tried to breastfeed. It didn't happen for various reasons (not for lack of trying though). The kid is healthy as she can be. People are just rude.

MetroDad | 5:35 PM

Hey, I wasn't breastfed a single drop of milk and I turned out just fine! (Of course, I hate my mother and I have some serious mental/physical problems but, alas, I digress.)

Just kidding, GGC. If people want to breastfeed their kids, good for them. How it's anyone's business but your own is beyond me. Next time someone asks? Tell them to fuck off.

the weirdgirl | 10:50 PM

You rock on, honey! There is NOTHING WRONG with not breastfeeding! It should be every mom's personal and private decision. I did it and I didn't do it, as in - I pumped for 3 1/2 months because he wouldn't take the nipple, I never produced more than 12 ounces in a day so he needed formula anyway, then I got food poisoning and dried up. Moo. I was actually happier giving it to him in a bottle; it was a lot easier and gave his dad some time feeding him too. We did plenty of cuddles and he is completely bonded to me (and was from early on) so I never worried about "not being connected" either.

So much of this flak comes from MYTH anyway! People associate all sorts of miracles with breast milk that are only speculation. I don't buy the whole raises IQs, prevents allergies, blah blah blah, because they don't know for sure it does any of that! Breastmilk is easier on digestion, prevents some colic and ear infections, and gives babies a boost of your antibodies. And it's not even 100% on those (except for the "perfect food" part).

This is just a sore spot for me because it goes along with a whole slew of other misinformation that gets perpetuated with pregnancy. For example, everyone will tell you you can't drink caffeine but do they actually KNOW the reason why? No. Everyone just keeps pushing certain ideas without REALLY being informed. (Hello? Go look up the damn studies.) AND, as you know, they're rude about it too! It pisses me off. Why do people think that because you spit something out of your vagina they suddenly have the right to butt in? Unless you're one on one with somebody special, I don't think an open vagina is traditionally considered an invitation for the general public.

OK, I'll stop ranting now.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:56 PM

Amen, sister. My Vagina is not open to the public anymore... (snap, snap, snap) Thanks for the back-up, my peeps.

Misfit Hausfrau | 3:41 AM

My blood pressure is rising just reading your post. I SO remember the judgemental comments and passive/aggressive remarks dropped in my general direction FROM STRANGERS who asked me about my first child's eating habits on my first visit to the mall with her. Sorry, I just feel a TEENSY uncomfortable saying, "Look, I wanted to, but I hemorraged after the birth and my milk never came in."

It's funny, I don't ever remember being asked when I had the second baby whether or not I breastfed. That answer would have been even better. "No, I tried it for 2 days and hated it."

Wendy | 6:00 AM

OK seriously, were you & I separated at birth? I had a b.r. at 19 and it was worse than giving birth to my 8lb child and it did ruin the bf experience for me but no, at 19 i didn't give a crap either - i just wanted to wear a bra that didn't contain three miles of fabric - rock on sistah!

stefanierj | 7:02 AM

Ahhh breastfeeding--yet another thing I was militantly going to do--until my milk dried up at 7 months and we had to switch to formula. My kid is 11 mos and almost 25lbs, so I really don't get any flak about it, but still---it was my lesson in "any position you take militantly now will promptly have the shit kicked out of it by having a child."

The best part was trying to get sympathy from my friend who's STILL BFing her 3 1/2 y.o....she smiled and said "Well, B's never even had a DROP of formula, so I can't help you there." Compare that to my other friend who said "well, you know, I had a great time BFing, but weaning was hell on both of us. Think about it this way: you're sparing him that trauma."

I guess another maxim would be "the challenges of motherhood will tell you who your REAL friends are."

marthachick | 4:04 PM

Gah! I understand too. I planned to breastfeed, too, but complications after my baby's birth led my husband, ob/gyn, sister and pediatrician to all say "duh, stop it already." And yet, somehow I still feel a weensie bit of guilt and therefore I don't need anybody else's crap about it -- I got my own internal crap, thanks so very much.

Good thing the kid's not screwed up about it, not at all. And besides (dirty little secret confession here): formula is way more convenient in many ways and her daddy gets to be so much more involved.

Tell those boob nazis they can suck it.

bitemycookie | 4:46 PM

thank you and thank you.

Larissa | 5:06 PM

Oh dear. I just went through an unpleasant round of nasty comments from the boob nazis on my website. (judgment post here) I so know what you mean. Sigh.

And while I *was* breastfeeding I liked it, but I did find it profoundly weird that having a baby suddenly made it normal for my 56-year-old male neighbor or some complete stranger at a campground to ask questions about my breasts. Ick.

MIM | 7:55 PM

Some of the SMARTEST people I know were fed formula -- including me! (Okay, don't get scared. I'm sure Archer is waaaay smarter than me.)

But seriously, Tod-lar was only breastfed for about 4 months. He hated it. And I still get shit from people.

Fuck 'em. That's what I say.

Datingmaster, Jerusalem | 1:47 AM

do waht you want honey
its your body
lol

Kristen | 9:56 AM

Shit you should move here. NO ONE breastfeeds in MS. And seriously, kickass post "MEMO" - linked from CHBM. Okay, I'm done stalking you for today. Laundry awaits...

Ginger | 3:26 PM

The cow's udders had me roooolllling.

I hear ya.

J's Mommy | 6:23 PM

you go girl, thanks for that!

Andie D. | 7:29 PM

You lasted SIX WEEKS? I say fucking success! Dude, I lasted four days. Barely.

And they grow back? Really? I am seriously considering reduction. With my luck, I'd starfish too. Mother father.

MommyWithAttitude | 9:54 PM

Yes, peeople are really something... I had the opposite problem as I nursed my kids for 21 MONTHS and really... to hear people tell it, I might as well have nursed them 21 YEARS. Seriously. People just can't mind their own damn business.

And oh god I have to double up on the work out bras too...

MarketingMama | 9:57 AM

I just discovered this blog today....I feel like you wrote this post about me as I just got off a treadmill and am currently wearing two sports bras. I breastfed for all of 24 hours and gave up because it took me, my mom, and my husband to lift my boob up to even start the process of feeding that baby. I was not having that! Seriously....people who give us shit about this stuff probably never had DDDDDDDDD's to try to stuff in a teeny tiny baby's mouth when you've had no sleep and your crotch hurts. ;-)

Anonymous | 8:38 AM

I agree with you! I was given shit in the hospital by a nosy lactation nurse about why I'm not breastfeeding! I finally had to break down and tell her I'm bipolar, HAVE to take meds or I will go nuts and murder boob Nazis like you!

Antonella | 6:02 AM

I hate that people think it's ok to comment on stuff that's none of their business! I actually have the opposite problem, people think I'm weird for breastfeeding! It's not like my baby is 5 years old, he's 4 months and people think I'm weird for doing it. How about everyone mind their own damn business???

Jane | 11:58 AM

Just found this...Were you able or did you try to BF with your other kids? I tried but the reduction I had also made it impossible...and the pressure from the damn lactation consultants calling once or twice a day to "check" if I was feeding my child was AWFUL. And the six weeks of hellish pumping was torture. Just wondering what other folk's experiences were with subsequent kids because we're thinking of having another and I would actually LOVE to breastfeed if possible.