Thursday, August 21, 2008

In which I start talking about touchy topics

One of the more interesting (I say this with a touch of sarcasm) about being noticeably pregnant, are the questions that I get asked. One of the more intimate, I feel, is the question of 'Are you planning on breastfeeding'? I know that it's become more mainstream over the years, but I have to admit that being asked about it by a male work colleague the other day weirded me out a bit.

But what is more interesting, is that people oftentimes balk at my answer - which is: "I plan to try". I understand the importance of breast feeding. I certainly have read up on it, and really don't need lectures - but if I've learned anything in going through IF, it's that sometimes, you can want something to work SO badly... but no amount of wishing and hoping can make it work. Thankfully, in my case, IVF did work. And I'm happily pregnant with my already much loved and wanted baby. And by all indications, I should be able to breastfeed (nothing is 'inverted' and I'm already producing colostrum).

But will I be CRUSHED if I can't?

I have to say no.

I wasn't breast fed. I've watched different friends either breastfed with ease, give up trying in the first few days, or suffer through bleeding nips and pain - and all have ended up with healthy, wonderful children. And none regret their decisions! The ones who ended up formula feeding AND the ones that had weeks of frustration - they all are happy with the route they took.

So yeah. I want to try to breast feed. And maybe I can do it for a week, or a month, or a year! Who knows. I will certainly give it a shot, and hope for the best.

32 comments:

Brandy said...

That's almost exactly how I answered with my son. When people asked I would say "yes, hopefully I'm able to". Some people questioned that a little but others seemed to be very understanding of the fact that sometimes breastfeeding doesn't work out for all women. This time around people ask and I just say yes since I was lucky enough to successfully nurse Aiden for almost a year. Good luck!

Fertilized said...

I will never understand why talking about breasts when you become pregnant or with a newborn becomes a fair topic for mere strangers to want to discuss.

amysue said...

Em was great. She loved her formula icebox cold which made feedings so easy. I'd make up a few bottles and keep 'em in the fridge. Noah was almost weaned when we adopted him so his bottle was mostly milk and mostly for comfort and by the following summer he used a sippy cup.

Breast feeding is awesome for those who can and want to but it's not magic and folks who choose not to aren't evil.

amysue said...

Oh and male co workers asking about what you plan to be doing with your breasts is a little creepy.

Cece said...

Even MORE creepy? In our NYC office - there are breatfeeding 'rooms' - with pumps that people share. I'm sure they have the hospital ones... that are meant for sharing... but I have this visual of sitting in a room with another peer, pumping away and talking about work - and it GROSSES ME OUT.

Zephra said...

You sound like me...and I am very smart ;) There is too much pressure from what I like to call boob nazi's. There was so much pressure on me to breast feed that I was devastated when I could not. I felt like a failure. When I got pregnant with #2 I decided I would try but if I could not, that was okay. Baby #1 was a bottle fed baby and he was fine.

Try but do what is right for you and your baby in the end. I hope I don't get flamed for the boob nazi comment.

Jen said...

I think that is a very healthy attitude about breast feeding. This whole topic would be a lot less controversial if people would just realize that what worked well for them is not what will work well for everybody. We're all different for goodness sake.

I have to laugh about your image of the breastfeeding room. We do have these in my workplace, however it is a private room (a one person at a time sort of thing where you reserve time on a calendar). There is a pump in the room, but you have to supply your own attachments so its not quite so gross. Too funny though.

My name is Andy. said...

That's a much better (ie more polite!) answer then I would give people!

You do what is best for you, and everyone else be damned!

Jen said...

I think I am glad I don't work in an office and have to deal with those types of questions. I think that is a very personal question to ask someone!

Beautiful Mess said...

*new reader* I agree with all the other ladies, that is a personal question. But of course that doesn't stop anyone from asking. I tried with my first and failed miserably, but she was and still is a healthy child. My son, I was able to nurse him for almost a year. It wasn't as easy for me and it was for some, but I just did what I felt was right and all went well. Ya never know....

La La said...

I feel pretty much exactly the same way. I am planning on breastfeeding - if they are preemies I am at least going to pump for the first few months...other than that...I am also stocking up on formula! lol ::fingers crossed:: Gl!

Tina said...

What Zephra said. I wasn't able to with DS and put myself through entirely too much emotional stress over it. I ended up with bleeding nipples... just before the kidney infection set in. I quit just in time for that and the meds it took to clear it up.

In the end, DS is healthier than I am given the number of colds I've had vs. him.

Grr... the boob nazis really irk me though. I'm expecting #2 and am awaiting the questioning.

tobacco brunette said...

Eeew...a BOY sked you about breastfeeding (I'm so mature)? That's weird.

Today, during a cleaning, my dental hygienist stopped in the middle of her work to ask me the same thing. I was surprised, but I answered because I'm always worried about being polite. My response is the same as yours. I really don't want to do it, but I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.

In Due Time said...

Coming over from ICLW...

Um, if a male coworker asked me that, I would DEFINANTLY be wierded out!

I hope I can breastfeed, but I do not know that I can. I had open heart surgery as a child, they cut through my left breast and half didn't grow properly. However, I actually would be very sad if I cant. Only because it's like can't my body do ANYTHING right? lol

You're almost to 100 days! Congrats!

Cassandra said...

I wonder why your coworker would have asked you that question. Making small talk? Because it's a contentious issue in his house and he'd like more ammunition to settle the debate? Just nosy?

Thanks for your ICLW comment.

sarah said...

I know how you feel in terms of hedging your bets, I always say I'm going to try natural childbirth and breastfeeding,and people always tell me if you just try, you won't be dedicated enough to do it. However, I was damn dedicated to getting pregnant without any intervention, and we all know how that turned out!

Kim said...

My mom always said happy baby and happy mommy are what is important, not what any book or friend or doctor tells you. Each baby and each mommy are unique so you have to find what works for you! And that will be the right answer for everything!

Samantha said...

I think the breast-feeding bit falls into the part about how being pregnant makes you into a lightning rod for unwanted assvice.

I think you should just say to your male colleague, "Did you breast feed your baby?" See how he responds to that!

nh said...

Sounds like you've thought about it a lot and come up with a good solution. I know people who haven't been able to no matter how much they wanted to, and of course they just got stressed!
Good luck!

ICLW)

sukeyknits said...

"So yeah. I want to try to breast feed. And maybe I can do it for a week, or a month, or a year!" Or three! I grew up with a friend whose little brother was breastfed when he was really big. We're talking walking, talking, running, eating adult food. I think it was the baby of the family syndrome that the mother suffered from. So it could go the completely opposite way. Breastfeeding a bit too much. I'm surprised now, looking back, that hte mom kept lactating for so long.

K @ ourboxofrain said...

The whole male colleague part would probably have weirded me out more than a bit.

I'm with sarah -- I feel the same way about breastfeeding as I do about natural childbirth. I plan to endeavor to do both, but am open to the possibility that one or both may not happen, and I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

Oh, and we also have a pumping room at work. I'm not sure what goes on in there. I'll probably just pump in my office -- no interior windows, and I'm on the 43rd floor, so someone would have to have binoculars to see in from outside (or I could close the blinds, I suppose).

Raggedy Ann said...

Very wise! I was dead set on breastfeeding when I had my son and things didn't work out the way I had planned. Surprise! So I was crushed when I was told that I had to give my him a formula suplement after nursing. And it wasn't the end of the world. To be honest, things worked even better because daddy took part in the whole process as well. After breastfeeding I would hand him over to daddy for the dessert bottle.

Good luck!

RA (ICLW)

Lucia said...

I can't imagine any topic that's less anyone else's business. I bf both kids full-time until they went to day care (12 weeks for Taz and 9 for Miss B) and after that they got one or two formula bottles a day. But whatever works for you.

Kymberli said...

Pregnant women become public domain and the privacy boundaries seem to be stretched WAY out. *sigh*

And I never get the nursing vs. formula feeding thing. Sure, nursing is great if you can do it, but the bottom line is that the baby gets fed, right? So why some people look down when others make the choice to formula feed is beyond me.

ICLW

Jenn said...

I felt the same way until I had my twins, then I was hell bent on breastfeeding no matter what. I wonder WHY people feel the need to ask about it?
(ICLW)

Jaymee said...

I am not even giving birht to my child and have gotten this question. I know that I can, but it really freaks me out and I do not feel bad about it for a moment.
Enjoy every moment of your pregnancy.

(ILCW)

Geohde said...

This twitch I have in my eyelid?

It's what happens now when people start getting all curious about my breastfeeding status.

Don't ask what happens when they offer assvice as well.....

J

Bec said...

I think that is the perfect response to be honest. You can go into something with the best of intentions but if it's not going to work, it's not going to work.

And the whole male colleague thing would weird me out too.

~ICLW~

seriously? said...

Here from ICLW. I am dreading all the questions and advice that will come when I am showing. It is bad enough already with the few people that do know I am pregnant.

I don't think I will answer those questions about breastfeeding because I am not even sure what I am going to do yet.

Best of Luck.

BB and MTB said...

I hate those questions, although I will admit that I have asked my close friends the same thing. Strangers... no way! Good luck!

(Visiting for ICLW)

Arpee said...

First of all, it's my first time on your blog, so CONGRATULATIONS for being one of those who are now in the process of getting out of the trenches!!!

Meanwhile, I like your response "I plan to try"...which is indeed I think the best answer because even if we really wanted to, there is a possibility that it cannot be done.

My sister is one of those who wanted to breastfeed but her babies were not successful in learning how to suck from her. So she ended up pumping and using the bottle, and then mixing the milk from the bottle and from her, too. So, I totally I know of this.

When I get to this point, I imagine I want to try too because of the convenience and frugality of it (no milk and bottles to buy, no bottles and nipples to wash, sterilize and prepare)..I guess that's not really true because sometimes you need to pump too.

Sugar and Ice said...

I had kind of the same attitude when I was pregnant with Lila. I wasn't breastfed either (well, my mom says she tried for a few days), so I decided I really wanted to, but if it didn't work out I'd be OK with that too. Then I started, and it was really hard, but it was almost like a game for me...I had to make it work. I had to win, lol. And I did, but it was a lot of work. Good luck with whatever decision you end up making ;).