Thursday, August 25, 2011

"But Doesn't Breastmilk Go Bad?"

Real life conversation in the break room at lunch.....

Frenemy Co-worker: "But doesn't breastmilk go bad after a while?"

Me: "Do you mean the stuff that I pump for her to have at daycare?  I could freeze that for a couple of months if I wanted to."

Frenemy Co-worker: "No.  I mean, like, she can't have the stuff in your boobs after, like, 6 months or so, right?"

Me:  No, that's still fresh....??????? 

There are only two people in my life whose negative comments have shaken me up.  The first "negative Nelly" is the aforementioned co-worker.  She doesn't have kids, but she does have lots of opinions about parenting.  To be fair to her, in the conversation I wrote above, I think she was actually trying to ask if I could start giving Evie other foods at 6 months.  She just asked in a really bizarre way.  She also showed that she doesn't feel that breastfeeding beyond 6 months is appropriate.  I tried to ignore that part.

Unfortunately, the other one of those people has been my own mother.  I think there are a lot of factors in her unenthusiastic view of breastfeeding.  When I was born almost 30 (yikes!) years ago, I don't think there was as much support from hospitals, and I think it was more difficult for a woman returning to work to keep up on pumping, etc.  I don't think my  mom knew that I would have as much support as I did from lactation consultants, our pediatrician, and friends who had also breastfed.  There isn't necessarily a specific comment that she has made, but her attitude has always been fairly pessimistic about my plan to breastfeed, and the length of time that I have chosen to breastfeed.  I wish that it could have been different.

I am very fortunate that 99% of the people in my life have been nothing but supportive about my choice to breastfeed.  My mother-in-law has even been one of my biggest advocates for breastfeeding as long and Evie and I are happy to do it.  I've managed to avoid being affected by many negative comments purely because I don't care what most other people think about the subject.  How you feed your baby is your choice.  I know that there are many women who try desperately to breastfeed, but are unable to do so for various reasons.  I have been lucky to have the choice and ability to breastfeed Evie for a year and beyond.


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Jen - LifeWithLevi said...

Wow. Just wow. Even after writing about breastfeeding for the past year on a regular basis, I'm still surprised at some of the stuff people come up with. I mean really - why would our bodies continue to make milk if it went bad?

I'm sorry that your mom wasn't very supportive. It's not an excuse, but I do think that women in the 70's and 80's were pushed so much towards formula as the new best thing that the art of breastfeeding got lost a little bit.

But I'm super happy to hear that your mother-in-law has been very supportive. If you ever need an extra cheerleader, I'm here!

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