Rixa has a new post, *(please go read it first!)which brings into light a really messed up thing...very sneaky and insidious and I cant help but wonder what kind of fake public service this is supposed to perform or more upsettingly, how many mothers and their babies it will dupe and possibly end a beautiful and vital human relationship for...seems that Enfamil is providing a "breastfeeding support kit" which is cleverly designed to destroy your breastfeeding forays by, oh, about day 5. Maybe a teensy bit later. I know if I were alone and struggling with nursing a newborn, be it my first or my tenth baby, and this "helpful kit" were next to my bedside table, believe me, my chances of reaching for it would be exponentially higher than actually sending hubby out to the store to buy this crap. AND THEY KNOW IT.
Here is the deal. In reference to a mother and newborn who would like very much to breastfeed, here is the deal:
A newborn is born wanting to suckle. To hold this baby and keep him or her at your breast for most of the day and night, this is the intended set up. First the baby gets colostrum and this brings in the milk. It is alot, even after five babies, even after nursing non stop for 11 years, it is alot. Your nipples get sore. Your arms ache. Your body aches. The milk coming in aches. Your head aches. You ache for sleep. and all of this is without any complications. You really really want sleep. you have been through 9 months of pregnancy, climaxed it with a birth, and now BOOM time to...start a huge endeavor. The only thing keeping you from sleep is the boobs/baby situation. If you give a baby a rubber nipple and that formula just glugs down their throats and instantly fills their little bellies with no more suction that you need to do to a straw on a McDonalds' Coke, then this is what the newborn can learn. they can get lazy, they can try to nurse on you like that and then the colostrum doesnt come out and they cry and BAM you have an instant set up for the all too common as of the last 50 years "I just didnt have enough milk!" Mm-hmm. Like the Failure to Progress and all of that jazz, it is a very rare condition given proper circumstances, and there Is a great monetary profit in not only selling these mama-babies the latest in Savior-Kits a la cesareans and powdered milks, but in keeping them feeling GRATEFUL AND BROKEN. When women are kept feeling grateful and broken, the monetary profit potential is infinite.
In the absence of these insidious little kits, Mama aches and the baby works that little tongue and the Mama is exhausted but the baby is hungry and they stay up all day all night for many many days and many many nights and soon they get it and they doze in and out and the milk comes in and the nipples heal up and its Good good good. Hard and exhausting, but good. Like the pregnancy, like the labor, like it all, hard and exhausting, good good good. Worth It. Etc. Youll be soooooo glad later kind of a good.
like a nurse asking you hourly if you want a little something for the pain,
like an epidural on the nightstand at your homebirth,
or a make-it-stop-just-for-one-goddamned-night packet of formula at the foot of your bed,
The human temptation is too great. I think it is a sabotage and I will tell you why. NOT because I think one bottle of cow-powder will ruin anything. Not because I think it is poison or child abuse or bad or any of that doctrine/Mama bashing bullshit, no. Because the very nature of it, IT, just being given to you by the authorities, being called Breastfeeding Support, is just more confusion and marketing and of no help whatsoever.
Please leave Rixa some cool ideas and comments, she has proposed an alternative breastfeeding support basket/kit and she deserves the comments on this one, it is a wonderful idea. I did something like this for most of my friends who have had baby showers, including "fun" things like magazines and Red Bull or vitamin energy drinks and goodness yes the Lansinoh...
****One more time, this is NOT about me ripping on anyone for using formula. If you needed to. If you wanted to. Whatever. This is about setting women up in a sideways and very uncool way at an extremely vulnerable time and potentially ruining something for her and her baby and maybe even her future babies, in a disguise, under a ruse, through the backdoor, completely univited.****