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Tuesday, March 04, 2008



The myth that I heard from soooo many older women was that I needed to "toughen up" my nipples prior to breastfeeding. Suggestions included rubbing a rough washcloth on them, tugging on them, and slamming them in a door (just kidding about the last one).


I hated how so many people (mostly salespeople, but not always) acted like I MUST have a pump at home when we left the hospital.

I mean...I was just plain unwilling. What if I produced no milk and spent all that money? And coming from the background that I did, what if MY BABY DIED and I had that pump?

It's plain stupidity to think you MUST have a pump. I mean, I bought a handheld one because sometimes I have someone else keeping him a couple hours if I have something going on...but honestly I rarely use it. And hello people, breast feeding sort of predates the invention of the pump!! :p


My last LLL meeting was bittersweet. But you know, when you're done, you're done. What can you do?

I'm trying to remember the myths -- it was a long time ago (seven years this spring!) that I weaned Noah and then I quit going to meetings I think that fall. Ummm, that breastfeeding on demand would spoil my baby. (That nursing for comfort was wrong.) That was something that seemed to come up a lot. Especially once he was a walking/talking toddler then preschooler.


Myths: true tongue ties will resolve themselves and they don't really hurt mothers and fixing them doesn't really improve latch anyway. Freaking whatever to that! Yay for the frenotomy!

Myths: Mothers planning on placing their babies shouldn't breastfeed.

Myths: Breastfed baby poop doesn't stink. (Dude. Whatever there.)

Myths: Breastfed babies never spit up. (Uh, dude, whatever again.)

Myths: Breastfed babies don't need burped. (Uh, that's why the above happens, yo!)

Truths: Breastfeeding can be relaxing.

Truths: Breastfeeding can be rewarding.

Truths: You DO have to TRUST your body when you're breastfeeding.

Truths: Having a physical person (as opposed to internet persons) present (be it an LC, LLL contact or just a mom/friend/sister/etc) as you figure out the ins and outs of bf-ing can make ALL the difference in the world. :)


I don't know if it's a myth or not, but I got really annoyed with the nurses in the hospital telling me that breastfeeding wouldn't hurt if I would just DO IT RIGHT. Fuckers. Are there really women whose nipples don't hurt, even for a short period of time, at first? I refuse to believe it!


Myth: breastfed babies never need supplements and/or solid food before age 1.

Myth 2: It's EBF and no bottles, or nothing. I actually did the EBF/no bottles thing (and am still nursing my nearly 3-year-old, if that tells you where I'm coming from), but I believe LLL does women a disservice by promoting a way of feeding that is very hard to achieve in our culture.

I think it is better to point out that early bottles *can* have unexpected effects, supplementing with formula *can* cause your supply to dwindle, etc. I've found that sometimes it's a matter of the wording. Saying these things WILL happen if you don't EBF is not accurate. In their zeal to educate women about practices that can derail breastfeeding, LLL leaders can sometimes inadvertently lead women to believe that BF is an all-or-nothing proposition and if they don't do it "right" they might as well not BF at all.

I think this is one of the reasons for the LLL hatred in some corners. Women who couldn't do 100% breastfeeding or who couldn't follow all the breastfeeding best practices feel like LLL's position is that any resulting problems are their own fault and wouldn't have happened if they did things the right way. And if they supplemented, gave bottles early etc. and *didn't* have any problems, they think it's all a crock.

IMO LLL needs to be sure while training new leaders that they learn to stick to the facts and the research and not go beyond what that says.


I totally agree, anon. One of the things I love about LLL is the focus on mother-to-mother support in a culture that's hostile to breastfeeding (and mothering in general).

One of the things I hate is that because of their unrealistic standards for leaders, they attract zealots and extremists who then make us all look bad.

I always made sure to emphasize (a la ask moxie) that no matter what pattern you fall into, you can always change it. mothering is fluid and mistakes can be fixed. and breastfeeding is a give and take between the baby's needs and the mother's needs, and nothing needs to be 100%.

sigh. i'm going to miss leading meetings :(


My mom used to think that if women breastfed their kids past a certain age (2 or 3, I think she said) they were doing it for themselves. She said it as if it was something sick the mom was doing. I think a lot of people think that about EBF.

I think my mom has since changed her mind after seeing me nurse my boy until 3 and still nursing the girl at 2. It's definitely NOT for my benefit. And it's not like you can MAKE a 3 year old nurse if they don't want to. :)


hey, can i just say, in the inflexibility department, that after experiencing more homophobia during my leadership application than i have ever experienced during my whole entire life, i continue to be contacted by other lesbian leader applicants who are also being confronted by the entrenched, institutional homophobia in lll.... i'm done, and with many fewer fond memories, i'm afraid.... at least jo is taking over for me, so i know i'm leaving my meeting in good hands. and hey, i'll try to make it to your april meeting -- that will be fun!



Sorry. Someone once told me that new leaders typically last 2 years. Congratulations on going on for so long. Me, my heart began to harden to the organization after no one told me I'd be "on the phones" a week after I left the hospital with kid#2.

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