Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sh!t People Shout About Breastfeeding

After fielding several questions on tandem nursing and then being tagged in another tandem nursing status, I posted photos on the page to celebrate this method of breastfeeding. As the pictures spread out over Facebook, they attracted people who had never seen or heard of this method before. And, surprisingly, a lot of ignorance.

Where do people come up with these outlandish statements? How do they type them out without thinking about what they are saying?

1. "If the kid has teeth, he shouldn't be on a breast!" So what about newborns born with teeth? Yes, it happens. Besides which, many babies get teeth early, and lots. Is the weaning age now based on when the first tooth arrives? My kids had teeth by 2 months, 3 months and 5 months each. And then got two teeth every month or so after that. My 1 year old has 16 teeth. No milk for him? So much for calling them milk teeth.

2. "If the kid can ask for it, he's too old for it!" So what about babies who talk early? I mean REALLY early. Don't believe me? Go search youtube for all the home videos showing infants saying words, names, even asking questions at super young ages. Besides, which, many infants DO learn basic words or talk well before a year. My daughter began talking in 2 word sentences by 9 months. And what is meant by "asking" for milk? Doesn't every baby, even right after birth, ask for milk? Don't they cry, squirm, root and try to communicate quite clearly what they want?

That's not the real issue with this claim, though, is it? The real issue is that for some reason, we're expected to deprive our children right when they request it. Right when a child is asking for something, that's the time to take it away! BAD CHILD! No milk for you! I suppose that's what we do when our children ask for bedtime, potty and broccoli, too?

3. "Just pump and feed it to her in a cup!" Yes, let's completely abolish the excellent and efficient transfer system already in place and working thanks to evolution/design. I know! In addition to all the rest of what parents do, we should take a working breast and add more work to it! Besides which, this claim is insinuating that breastfeeding is purely functional and philosophically ascetic. That'd be like telling someone to only have sex when ovulating and the rest of the time, better use a sex toy instead of the real thing.

4. "How evil of you to force your toddler/child to breastfeed!" This one causes even more shock not because it attempts to deride the parents, but because it often comes from people claiming to be parents themselves. Surely anyone who has EVER parented, nay, even babysat a toddler understands that you can't take a toddler with a mouth full of sharp teeth and force that toddler onto a sensitive breast. You're kidding me. Women would rather sky dive into an empty pool.

5. "That's perverted!" Actually, what's perverted is that you think it's perverted. And by saying that you think it's perverted, you've alerted me to how perverted you are to even think about it in that way. Get it? Stop and think about it, you pervert.

6. "You're destroying them psychologically!" Well, since we've dealt with the funny claim of forcing children to breastfeed, this one gets harder to understand. A child and mama, mutually desiring to continue breastfeeding...that conjures up all kinds of images about psychological destruction? Why, yes, every time a child chooses to latch onto the breast and drink milk while cuddling with his mama, he is being destroyed! Meanwhile, let's not all get up in arms over the children being beaten, raped, starved, tied up in closets and killed. Theirs is a less horrifying plight.

7. "That's weird!" I could use this one to talk about how culture shapes our opinions or how we need to get out and explore. But, I'd rather just say: What rock did you climb out from again? The one where you point and stare, and say rude things to display your cultural ignorance publicly?

8. "You're going to hell." This one is perhaps the best of all, seeing as how the entire Bible appears to be one, big lactating obsession. Seriously, consider reading it some time if you don't believe me. God is compared to a breastfeeding woman and people who follow him will be comforted "as a mother comforts her child at her bosom." Even characters in the Bible are referenced as breastfeeding long beyond age 1. Also, re-read #7.

9. "I can't believe you'd keep doing THAT when we have substitutes. We're not in a third world country you know." (I'll ignore the elitism). Yeah, I've always wanted to stop something that is working and choose a random substitute instead. (Especially a substitute that costs money!) Instead of feeding my child milk from ME, I'll just pay money to feed him milk from another animal. The nonsense is mind boggling. Even if the nutrition were comparable, and it's absolutely not lol, this also ignores everything else about breastfeeding.

10. "Those dogs aren't 4 years old!" Dog years, human years, ever heard these terms before?

What common breastfeeding ignorance have you heard? Feel free to share what you've heard in the comments and try to keep your wits about you when dealing with this stuff!

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