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3.04.2013
Thank you thank you thank you all for your comments on yesterdays post. Just confirms my belief that there are more good people than not so good, and most definitely more people who have a sense of humor! What it must be like to live every day with no sense of humor...

Today I said I would be discussing my second most controversial post that I have written, however, unlike I Dress For Men, this post was written for an entirely different reason. The post I'm referring is titled About That Time Magazine Cover. I really don't want this to turn into a breastfeeding versus bottle feeding debate, so before you make any conclusions, please read this post in its entirety. You may be surprised how it ends.

When the controversial Time Magazine cover came out of a mother breastfeeding her 3-year old, it elicited a lot of different reactions among women. Some were proud of the cover, saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with a mother breastfeeding her child anywhere, anytime. Others were a little more extreme, saying it was "gross," "offensive" and "porn-like."

 I was one of those extreme people. 

I cringe whenever I go back and read that post. It's probably the post I regret writing the most. What I had written, in part, makes me extremely embarrassed and I regret deeply parts of what I said. It would be much easier to just take the post down (eta: I did end up taking down the post, for personal and private reasons), new readers would be none the wiser that I ever wrote such a thing and all could be forgotten. But as I explained in yesterdays post, that's not how I wish to do things. And before we go on, I would like to publicly address what parts of that post I apologize for.

* I do not think the cover photo is porn. In any way, shape, or form. Real porn is disgusting and degrading to women (unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing, then by all means, have fun!) Believe it or not, but I have grown and learned a lot in the past year, and a woman feeding her child should never ever be associated with that word. I am ashamed I wrote that, and I sincerely apologize. 

* The things I wrote about children that are breastfed for an extended time. Saying they are "weird" and will most likely end up getting bullied. (I shudder as I type that, I mean, what was I thinking?!) The truth is, I have no idea how those children turn out. I would assume they turn out just like any other child, breastfed or not. I mean, it's breastfeeding for crying out loud, it's not like they are being raised by sociopaths. Again, I apologize.

* Last but definitely not least, I want to apologize for linking an article that talked about the child in question "acting up" during an interview his mother was giving, as if in some way, he was behaving that way because he was still being breastfed. I have two boys, five and almost three, and I can't count how many complete breakdowns I have almost had while at the grocery store, the restaurant, bank, doctors office, the zoo, my own home, basically anywhere! Little boys are crazy! Their interest span is smaller than a grain of sand! I live for the moments I get to myself, in peace and solitude, even if it's a gynecological appt., for at least I get some reprieve! So for me to even make fun of a little boy for doing what little boys do is reprehensible and of all people, I should know better. 

And to Jamie Lynne Grumet, the woman on the cover of that Time Magazine, I've read your blog, I know you have seen the post in question, and mother to mother, I sincerely apologize for any hurt it caused, I was judging harshly when I had no right to, and more so, I was speaking about a topic I was uneducated on. For what it's worth, I have since completely changed my now semi-educated mind on the subject and think that breastfeeding, no matter for how short or long, is nothing but a wonderful, loving thing. You and your family seem like amazing people.

*********************

Now I want to explain why I wrote that post, and don't mistake what I am about to say as "defending" the post, as everything I mentioned above I completely apologize for, and there is no excuse for. When it comes to breastfeeding, it has been a very sensitive topic for me early on, before I had kids. 

I was convinced, one hundred thousand percent convinced that breastfeeding was the only way to go. I researched and researched, and I talked to many pro-breastfeeders who in no uncertain terms made it clear that they believed without a doubt that breastfeeding was THE healthiest, THE wisest and THE best decision when it came to feeding a baby. But it's what they always said to me when I ever mentioned formula feeding that struck me the most. Almost all would check off a laundry list as to why formula was SO BAD. It was never that breastfeeding is a great decision if you choose to make it, it was always followed up by "facts" of how formula was terrible, synthetic, full of loads of chemicals and unnecessary things for a growing human to thrive. I had the mindset before ever giving birth that only "bad" mothers bottle feed, only lazy mothers who don't want to be "tied down" bottle feed and that it was my duty as a mother to breastfeed, period. 

I was very interested in breastfeeding, it was what I wanted to do, it was what I was determined to do, and that determination was made even stronger when others kept telling me it was the only way to go, it was by far, by far! the very best thing to do for my child. I was so brainwashed into thinking breastfeeding was the best and only way to go and that formula was poison. 

So imagine my surprise when I had my first baby, and I hated breastfeeding. With a passion. I left the hospital happy and ready to go, because for those first two days, baby breastfed great! Then I returned home, and found my supply to be very, very low. I kept going for a month, and there were many many times where baby was attached to my breast for hours. Waking every hour at night, never seeming satisfied. I tried everything...massage, restricting certain foods, eating certain foods, fenugreek pills, naturopathic pills, I tried every different position trying to make nursing more enjoyable. I dragged my beloved Medela double breast pump through the mud, sitting there far beyond the recommended time, only to walk away with two ounces, maybe, total. 

I was sad. I was disappointed. I was devastated. I remember exactly where I was when I decided I would no longer continue to breastfeed. I cried. I cried hard tears, silently telling my one month old baby how sorry I was for failing him. 

Failure. I felt like a failure. 

I mean, isn't that what I had been told? That giving your baby formula was a detriment? I know so many pro-breastfeeders out there who swear up and down that they do not put down mothers who choose to go the formula route. That they do not try and make someone "change their mind" when it comes to their decision to formula feed. I'm sorry, but in my experience, I have met far more women who do just that, than who don't. They will always say "no, that's not what we are doing at all! If you choose formula, and that works for you, great!" and in the same breath, they will say "BUT DID YOU KNOW" and then rattle off ten reasons why formula is, in fact, bad for your baby. Why can't they just end the conversation at "breastfeeding is wonderful, however, if it doesn't work out for you, well, bottle feeding is wonderful also."

Because you know what? Bottle feeding is wonderful also. Both my two boys were formula fed, and they are happy, healthy, thriving little boys. And I was so much happier bottle feeding them. I didn't dread feeding time anymore. I felt relaxed and content, and therefore was able to really bond with my babies. 

So when I saw the headline on that Time Magazine cover that read "Are You Mom Enough?" when it was clearly indicating being "mom enough" was not only breastfeeding, but breastfeeding for an extended period of time, it really pissed me off, and all those insecure feelings of failing as a mom came flooding back. Because yes I know that breastfeeding is very beneficial to your child in a number of ways, but so is formula feeding! And I get so upset when "breastfeeding nazis" try to make other mothers who formula feed feel less than. I know how I felt when I made the decision to stop breastfeeding, and how guilty and bad I felt, and I don't ever want any other mother to feel the way I did, hence why I wrote the post. 

I can look back now, and see clearly that I wrote that post in an overly emotional state. Of course it wasn't the woman on the cover saying to me that I personally sucked as a mom. That I wasn't as good as her because she was still breastfeeding her child at three years old and I had "given up" at one month. I'm sorry she got lumped in with that offensive headline, as I directed my anger and hurt in the wrong direction. Still, I was angry and hurt. And I wrote that post in the moment. Some parts, like I said earlier, I regret to my core. Other parts, like the part where I know my heart was coming from, I stand by. 

At the very end of this, I just hope that one day, we as mothers can just let it be. Just let it be.

Besides. 

You will never be able to tell in a room full of doctors which ones have been breastfed as babies.

And because every post deserves a good photo...


yuuuuuumm....I love my bottle!


79 comments:

  1. it is very big of you to apologize.. you didn't have to..but you did! kudos (actually vodkas) to you =]]]] love you raven

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  2. I really enjoy reading the last two posts on controversy. I'm so glad that you haven't removed the posts in question but are rather taking the time to respond and move on. love it. xoxo

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  3. Great post, Raven. You and I had a mini-discussion about BF on Twitter today. I can kind of understand what you went through when you didn't make enough to satisfy your son. My supply was low at first, very low. I battled it, made worse when I went back to work. I had to supplement with formula, and because I had built breastfeeding up so very much in my head and by listening to supporters, I felt like a failure. I cried, and made my husband give our son the first bottle of formula. I cried even more when he drank it and seemed to like it. Boohood when it was just too rough on his system, and clearly Mommy Milk agreed with him more.
    It's all in how you approach it, the atmosphere that has been created. BF is HARD WORK, it's a dedication for sure. Pierce was in the NICU and the nurses would always cheer you on when you brought in milk for them to feed your tiny, very sick baby. You remember these things once your baby finally comes home. You remember every supportive friend, every encouraging word you heard...you also remember every negative you heard and, if you're like me, you FIGHT to prove them WRONG. You fight to prove that you CAN and you WILL breastfeed.
    I really think we all, myself included, need to stop fighting against each other, just allow each other to parent the way we're going to and be done with it.
    I don't have to mix up formula, worry about its expiration date, how long it's been out since baby first drank from it, all of that...makes me rest easier. BUT, I've asked friends why they chose not to breastfeed. They saw it as "animal like". Ok...I can certainly see that.
    It's to each family their own choice. As long as baby is getting the nutrition they need, wonderful!

    Great post, way to (wo)man up and admit faults and apologize. So many people wouldn't. Love it. Love your blog. Love your attitude.

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  4. Love that you shared this. You rock my face off. XOXOXO

    Kristine from The Foley Fam {unedited} Blog

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  5. It takes a lot of courage to apologize! well done

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  6. And I don't think a 3 year old should still be BF,by any means it will make any difference, I loved that I got to Breastfeed both of my children, but after 8 months I doubt there is any difference right?

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    1. There are scientific studies that show there are measurable benefits even at 2 years of age.

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  7. I will agree that I do think it is incredibly weird for older children to be breastfed. If a child can stand, that child should not still be latching onto his mother's boob. My sister breastfed until she was three and I always thought it was strange and way too long, even when I was eleven.

    I had no problem with the magazine cover when it came out, other than thinking it was a bit odd to be proud of still breastfeeding at that age. So when I started reading this post, I was a bit shocked that you had said those things about breastfeeding even though you have two kids. But understanding your struggle with it and how emotional and hurt it made you feel, along with that extremely terrible and judgmental headline definitely makes sense why you said the things you did. It's definitely easy to lash out when you're hurt and angry about something, but good for you for owning up to it and apologizing. I'm really enjoying reading your blog.

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    1. There is scientific evidence that there are benefits to breastfeeding in children even as old as two.

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    2. The real question is: why do you think it's weird?

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  8. I have to say that I think it is very respectable of you to come back and admit the parts that you feel you were wrong. It takes a lot of strength for someone to do, especially on a public platform.
    I don't have any kids yet, but have read a lot from others about the pros and cons of breastfeeding, and honestly it seems like it has to be a personal choice from each individual's perspectives. For some moms it's great, for others, it's not. Just like everything else pertaining to life, 100% of the people cannot do the exact same thing.

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  9. These posts are why I respect you so much as a blogger and a person. I love when I go on your page, I know I am getting 100% real. It is rare these days.

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  10. I had the EXACT same experience as you! I felt horrible that I couldnt breastfeed. I try to tell my friends who are thinking of breastfeeding. "Do not be hard on yourself if it does not work!" We have enough worries as it is. Why make it harder on ourselves. Good old mothers guilt! Us women should support each other no matter what! Now mothers who smoke crack and are pregnant those mothers we can bash. But if we are bottle feeding or using disposable diapers WHO CARES!!!!

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  11. I went through a similar situation with my first daughter. At first my supply was crazy! I was able to pump after feedings and save a bunch of breastmilk. Then, it started diminishing rapidly. I went on natural supplements, I was on a prescription, I was pumping almost constantly and by 3 months, there was nothing left. During that time I was miserable and feeling just awful about myself. My daughter was miserable at not getting enough and having different things given all the time. I too felt like such a failure watching her take that first bottle. But then I realized, what's better, a miserable mommy and baby or a happy mommy and baby? She was formula fed from 3 months on. She's now 4 1/2 and thriving wonderfully. My second daughter my breastfed until she was 11 months (I don't know what was different the second time around, but the supply was better) and you'd never the difference between one being breastfed longer.

    There are just so many things that moms seem to judge each other on: breastfed/bottle fed, natural birth/birth with drugs, working moms/stay at home moms. How about looking at what makes us all the same... we're moms! No one else can fully understand what it's like to be a mom but us. We should really all support each other no matter the choices as long as we're doing the very best we can. We need each other!

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  12. Uh somuch nice dear., :)
    somuch inspiring and touchfull, I love that baby photo, Cuteeeee <3

    Xoxo,Ila

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  13. Again - another post so worthy of respect! I commend you for the apology.

    I have always thought that breastfeeding was wonderful, but hated when people romanticized it to the point that if you could not or chose not to breast feed there was something wrong with you & that there would be something wrong with your baby. I was only able to nurse 4 and 6 months respectively with my children & I was sad that I had to stop b/c I very much enjoyed it, but when the supply isn't there you have no choice but to turn to formula. And it was OKAY that I did that.

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  14. You rock Raven. I am still BF'ing my 8 month old but I don't make even 1/4 of what she needs during the day so I supplement with formula and you're right, there is judgement from other mothers! And the guilt I feel as a mom that can't provide her baby with solely breastmilk is there too. Being a mom is hard! (but also the best thing ever!)

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  15. You just proved with your honesty and authenticity why it's important not to judge words or emotions. Until someone explains why they wrote or said what they did, it's so very hard to understand what they are feeling. Your post here today is raw and real and I appreciate you once again leveling with your readers and sharing your heart.

    My heart broke for you when I read how hard you tried to breastfeed, and then turned around and felt like a mom failure anyway. You gave it your all, you tried and pushed through the discomfort and heartache, all in the name of doing what you felt was best for your baby! That's what I hope to change about new moms when I am working with them! :) Let it go Raven, love yourself for trying your best and then moving on to something that DID work for all of you!! You are a great and thoughtful mom :)

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  16. Love this post too. I love your blog and I don't always agree with everything you say (I mean, boring world stuff right?) but I love that you come back to things and explain, or apologize if you thought you didn't handle something right. It really is great stuff to read. Thanks again :)

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  17. I was formula fed and I'm doing just fine. And I'm cool with not having the mental picture of me on my Mom's teet as a 3 year old. So, all's well that end's well :)

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  18. I think you are great Raven. I appreciate that you can own your opinions while still being reasonable and able to look at both sides.

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  19. Thank you for addressing this - I am a relatively new reader and did not read the post in question, but thank you for opening up about your emotions regarding that cover, I too was pissed off - I too researched before my daughter was born and due to a breast reduction I had at 21 - and was TOLD I would be able to breastfeed (so angry, I would have never had it done), I had a low supply too - when you wrote about hours on the breast and pumping only 2 ounces, trust me Ive been there, and I was completely devastated - felt like I had failed as a mother too...but you know what - my daughter is amazingly healthy and I turned our bottle feeding sessions into our time just as if I was breastfeeding, it's all so personal - am I jealous that my sister's perfectly fake breasts produce more milk than she knows what to do with - yes - but do I judge her for breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, hell no - it's all a personal experience whether your body choosese it or you do. So thank you!

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  20. Nice post. I think a lot of what you wrote before in your 2 controversial posts stems from a moment of insecurity and don't take that the wrong way. We ALL feel insecure from time to time, myself included. Unfortunately, I think women tend to lash out at other women when feeling insecure or judged and I have been guilty of that as well. The funny thing is we hear it on both sides of the spectrum - "All stay at home moms are just lazy and don't want to hold down a real job" vs. "Working women are selfish pigs that want a kid but don't want to really parent so they take the easy way out and shuffle their kids off to daycare instead." Same coin, different sides. One of my resolutions this year is to try and be less judgmental, more self-reflective and more supportive of female friends. It's surprisingly hard sometimes!

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    1. Hear hear. Exactly what I wanted to say...

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  21. What an amazing post. I like how you own up to mistakes, but you are also honest about how you feel. Breastfeeding (and anything related to motherhood!) is hard. I struggled with not being able to nurse my daughter and literally fed her from a spoon because I didn't want to give her a bottle. I mean, why? I eventually pumped and supplemented and she is amazing happy and fine. Now, I'm not a fan of extended breastfeeding for myself, and don't necessarily want to see someone nurse a five year old in public, but to each their own, right?
    Great series this week, it really has me thinking and pondering about what you have written and how I've felt about each subject.

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  22. Thank you Raven for being honest and sharing this story with us. to be honest, when i read your post about breastfeeding some times ago, i cringed. i'm also raised to believe that breastfed is the only way to go, and so when you wrote it like that i thought it was harsh. but then now i know the reason behind it, i can understand why you wrote it that way. and i just wanna say that you didn't breastfeed your baby for that matter didn't mean you're not mom enough.

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  23. I think that the cover picture on Time Magazine should hold a lot of blame for the emotional reactions and critisim this topic receives. It was a bit over the top. She was a hot, young mom and the title was "Are You Mom Enough"...I highly doubt that was HER thinking, rather Time just wanted to sensationalize the topic. I dont' have children yet, and so I've obviously never BF before, but it sounds like it's different for everyone, and no one should feel like less of a mom because they couldn't or didn't BF their child for any certain amount of time (or at all). Being a mom today is unfairly competitive I think! XOXO

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  24. So what's the lesson to take away from these lasts two posts?
    Today's post title says it all. You have so much influence on your readers it's both inspiring and terrifying. You said some pretty harsh things in that post but today you acknowledged that and that's awesome. I think writing a post for the sake of controversy or page views or comments is dangerous. I'M NOT SAYING YOU DID/DO THAT. I'm just saying that readers don't always want to comment on how they disagree because they become a one-liner about being too sensitive. It's easier to quickly read the post, laugh at parts here and there and leave a comment because it's Raven's blog and she's a bad a** chick and this is what she writes. Take this comment how you like because of course this is just my opinion. I will still read your blog quietly, comment sporadically, and laugh hysterically.

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  25. Raven, I am a follower of your blog and your instagram account. While I love your honesty and your ability to acknowledge the need to sometimes scale back, I wanted to bring up something different but also controversial in my eyes.... Your pro-gun pictures on your instagram account. Let me preface this by saying that I make it a choice to follow both your blog and instagram account. I love both of them. I think you're honest, fresh, and disarming at times that I least expect it. In addition to those things I just really enjoy what you put out there. I wanted to tell you that I am from Connecticut. My family had dear family friends that lost their young baby. I wept with my state and the rest of the nation. In fact, I still mourn what happened. When I saw your two pro gun pictures and their captions I felt it a bit insensitive. I believe it is our American right to bear arms. That being said I do think we need to revise some of our guidelines, etc. I also acknowledge that this hot topic debate could go on forever. I just wanted to tell you that the pictures did hurt my heart.

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  26. Very well said!! I'm currently BF my 5 month old, and BF my two year old until he was 1. It's great, it's what I chose and for ME it's working out. I have had numerous friends that could not BF, not matter how hard they tried. Have I ever considered them less than me??? Never!! Those thoughts have not nice crossed my mind!! The only thing I do think of when it comes to formula feeding, is that I hope I don't have to do it because I'm too lazy to drag my butt downstairs in the middle of the night to make a bottle!! Lol!!

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  27. I think you are absolutely amazing. The end.

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  28. I don't always give my two cents, but I hope people don't just focus on the fact that you apologized. I hope they also read the second part where you are encouraging people/moms to not judge others/moms. ;)

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  29. I found all the bloggity blog blog backlash from the Times article much more offensive than the actual damn picture. Not just yours, but every mom and her kid were blogging about it (myself included). I think it's so ridiculous that the bottle vs breast thing is such a HUGE thing. Seriously, there a lot of other issues in our world that need to be addressed, where actual people are being killed, how about we talk about that instead of what your feeding your baby? And this is coming from one of the breast feeding mums. Am I glad I breast fed? Sure. But I had it real easy. My kid latched really well, I had an excess amount of milk that I was even able to donate to a local Sick Kids hospital for preemies and sick babies, and it never hurt to nurse. Would I have been sad if that wasn't the case? Sure. BUT it wouldn't have made any difference in how my child is doing today. I really, truly believe that.

    I will admit that your original post hurt my feelings though. I know you weren't writing it directly to me, you don't even know me, but I nursed my daughter until she was 19 months old. And it was her decision to stop, not mine. So I felt like a bit of a weirdo and judged that I was one of those freak mums whose kid was going to be bullied. I wanted to introduce you to my daughter, who on her first day of daycare punched a 4 year old in the face for taking her toy. She was 16 months old. I wanted you to see that not all kids who are nursed for a bit longer than "normal" were freaks.

    I just wanted to let you know that your apology in this post made me feel really good. Thank you. I always love your candor and no holds barred posts, and I don't want you to feel like you need to censor what you say. I respect you so much though, that you are able to look back at some harsh words, acknowledge that maybe it wasn't appropriate and then publicly apologize to your readers.

    ok, that's all. No more novel writing for me. I'll just get back to my own little blog.

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  30. Well said friend. As a soon first time mom-to-be all I hear is breastfeed breastfeed breastfeed! I'm not leaning one way or the other. I'm going to try breastfeeding and if it's not right for us then I will formula feed and BE OK WITH IT. The way I look at it is this, both ways you are giving your child something it NEEDS. FOOD!

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  31. Great post! I think breastfeeding is wonderful but as a kid who was pregnant at 18 I was beyond scared and intimidated to be breastfeeding my baby so i made the desicion to bottle feed. I have three kids now and all are beyond healthy, happy kids!

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  32. I can't relate to this post much, but I'm pretty sure I was breastfed and it seemed to work out okay for me.

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  33. When the magazine cover came out, I said and I'll say again, This is self-centeredness at its worst, sold as good parenting. It's all about her with no regard to her son. Nothing about this photo says nurture, bonding or affection. The mother is glaring at the camera and her son is practically posing. His being exploited, being used as a photo prop, told to stand on a stool and made to look as if he is breastfeeding. This is deeply disturbing and just down right wrong!!!!! As a mother who breastfeed, I am "MOM ENOUGH" to say, "PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS"!!!!!

    I would never judge any mother based on whether or not they breastfed. There is no right or wrong here. It's a choice and it's your choice.

    On a lighter note, thank you for being so real and honest. We've all said or done things that were emotional. My mom always tells me to stop thinking with my feelings and think with my head. It's sometimes hard for a woman to do.

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  34. I breastfed my youngest for four months (the longest of any of my kids) and the only thing I didn't hate about it was at night I could put her on the boob in bed with me and we could both go back to sleep. Other than that, I hated breast feeding. And the only thing I hate more is that as soon as you utter the word "breastfeed," people on both "sides" of the issue come out with guns blazing to tell you how right/ wrong you are. I just wish we lived in a world where people didn't try to make how we feed our kids any if their damn business.

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  35. I sure can relate to you...
    Breastfeeding as much as I wanted it just didn't work for me I took the pills, extra water etc, etc & I just never produce enough getting half of an ounce was a great ocomplishment but obviously not enough to feed a growing baby.
    We as moms do what works for us & what's better for our kids so I do find it offensive when I am attacked or compared to someone whom breastfeed.

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  36. I just want to say that the fact that you can go back and apologize for the post & to the women on the cover - shows how awesome you are! I'm not a Mom (yet) but the pressure to breastfeed over a bottle is very alive. I agree it's not 'bad' to bottle feed - but like you, many women aren't able to. The point is.. I think it's very honorable of you to go back and apologize and include your personal 'sting' to the post.
    Love the picture you added to your post - what a handsome happy baby!! <3, Amy

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  37. Very well said.

    I loved that picture on TIME magazine. The headline? Not so much. They were baiting mothers to take sides in an already drawn out "mommy war". Makes me sick.

    I chose to breastfeed and like you, heard all the amazing goodness that comes from boobie juice for our babies.

    It was tough. I eventually got the hang of it but at 10 months I started supplementing with formula and felt like a failure. CRAZY!! A failure because of how I fed my son???

    I'm definitely a "Breast is Best" kind of mama but know that it isn't always HOW your provide for your children but that you do your best to nourish and love them.

    http://islestyleliving.blogspot.com/p/breast-feeding-series.html

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    1. Yes! The TIME cover's caption was completely baiting people to take sides! Way to go, TIME. :( Just another way for women to tear each other down.

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  38. Great post. It speaks to grace and forgiveness and the fact that we are all growing every day and our opinions can change, too. Way to own it, Raven!

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  39. im not a mom but i think the idea of breastfeeding is terrifying.

    also, you rock!

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  40. A-fricken-men. I wish I could like, love, share this a million times over...because this is exactly...EXACTLY how I felt.
    My son is almost 5 months old (um, and actually has the same name as your littlest man!) and I was so determined on breast feeding. I was excited for it, I wanted to do the best for him. And I couldn't. My supply was low as well, he wasn't gaining weight..and ended up losing weight. I felt like a failure and cried on many occasions about it. I too tried everything - Oatmeal, Fenugreek, Brewers Yeast, Blessed Thistle, pumping, tube feeding...holy eff was it exhausting.
    Reading all the new Mom blogs didn't help either, they went on and on about breastfeeding and how easy it was. To put it simple - it made me feel like shit. I had to start giving him formula and now he's totally off the boob...and I'm finally ok with it.
    I'm so glad somebody finally posted about how it's OK to feed your child formula - it really is. I was a formula-fed baby and have never had any developmental, health, etc issues. GREAT post Raven!

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  41. I love how daring you can be sometimes!! i think breast feeding or not is totally a moms choice! but i think that if you still breast feeding your kid at three years old that is definitely not ok (unless your in some crazy third world country and its the means of survival)! I mean to each its own but im sure your child wont want to think about that when there 18!
    XO

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  42. I commend you for apologizing. I wasn't a reader of yours back then. I just recently started following you from the Tiffany giveaway.

    I am a breastfeeding mom and I understand why some women go to formula. We did supplement with that for a little while because the NICU nurses made me feel like I wasn't making enough milk for her. WHen I got home, I was pumping and feeding her bottles. I gave that up to exclusive breastfeed because WOW that was tiring!

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  43. The reason why i love your blog is because you say the exact opposite of what everyone else in bloggy land is saying however its probably something that most of us are thinking. I dont agree with you on everything but I do appreciate a different opinion..(by the way cardigans are my life!!!). Good for you for taking on controversal topics and good for you for apologizing even though you didnt have to.

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  44. I stop by once in a while, but rarely comment. I haven't gone back to read that initial post. I think you pretty much covered it here. I wasn't offended by the Time magazine article. I am a breastfeeding mom. Like you, I researched and discussed and just knew that's the way I was going to go. It was hard. So very, very hard. My first child and I did not develop a good breastfeeding relationship, and how I made it through those early months without throwing in the towel, I will never know. At five months, it was obvious that he wasn't getting everything he needed from me. I did all the supplements, I pumped more, I cried. And then, I gave him formula. He'd had some in his early days....he came home jaundiced and I cup fed him an ounce or two of formula after each 45 minute feeding session until it was gone. I lived in an absolute haze.

    My second child latched like a pro the first time around and my supply was MUCH better. I made it six months before I started supplementing with formula. It was my goal. Now, at ten months, he's MOSTLY formula fed with a few feedings in the evening and early morning hours from me. I don't feel bad about it. My dilemma is the inability to afford an organic choice.

    I have a close friend whose children are near the same age as mine. While she did breastfeed in the early, early months, she didn't hesitate to bring on the formula. Is breastmilk best? Of course it is. It's made by humans for humans. But I can also tell you that my little ones have been sick nearly as much as their breastfed counterparts. My oldest is wicked smart, but there are many formula-fed kids that are wicked smart, too. It's a personal choice. And it's one that has to work for the family. I hate that MOTHERS put other MOTHERS down for choosing formula. There are so many WORSE things a mother can do for a child. It's ridiculous how heated this debate can get. If it's causing so much stress to the mother that she's unable to bond, then what's the point of continuing that torture?

    I'm with you. When my sister gave up two weeks in, I told her, "Don't feel bad. You're doing the best you can. You love your daughter. You care for her. You meet her needs. It doesn't matter how you get there. All that matters is that you're doing it."

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  45. I had the same experience with Addie. I was gung freakin ho about breastfeeding and was severely depressed when Addie started losing weight because I didn't know she wasn't getting enough from me...I am nervous about this next baby because I do want to try again, but I know this time around that it doesn't mean the child is doomed to live a lesser and non-intelligent life...Addie is almost reading at 3 and I think that it's pretty safe to say the formula didn't stunt her intellectual growth.

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  46. Raven, I've been outta town and hadn't got to enjoy these two deep posts from you. And all I can say is wow....I remember both of those posts, when you wrote them, and while I may not agree with everything you say in both posts, I do remember, quite vividly, agreeing with a lot of your points and wishing I had your courage to be so brave and speak out! You are an amazing blogger, and I read it daily, not because of how much I agree with you (and 9 times outta 10 I do), but because you are so real! I admire what you've written in the past, and I admire the courage it took to write these last two posts as well. You are a class act...

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  47. 1) Awwwwww, you're growing up, boo!
    2) Don't lie, you know you don't go to the gyno
    3) The caption from that pic was said by G man this morning. LOL!

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  48. you're such a good writer, raven.

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  49. You're a brave woman and I enjoy the fact you have the ladyballs to bring it all to the table and you own it!
    Love!
    Have a great day!
    xoxo- Kaara

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  50. I love this! Sure breastfeeding is great, but not always the best choice. I'm not a mom and sure I want to breastfeed...if it works. I just don't think people have the right to pass judgement. You don't live in their shoes. It's not like you're putting Moutain Dew in their bottle and telling them to have at it. I like that you can admit where you're wrong, but still hold your own beliefs and stand by those! Great post!

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  51. I just effing love you! I don't have kids so obviously I am an expert [HA]. I seriously am always unextreme, like if you want to/can breastfeed, AWESOME! If you can't, AWESOME! I was formula fed and have no health probs, I know gazillions of others in the same boat! Formula is not the devil. Would I buy dollar store formula? Hells no. Would I feed my child quality formula? Absolutes. I have worked in the medical field for 7 years and am becoming a nurse and while that ALSO does not make me anything closer to an expert I can guarantee that what you said about not being able to tell bottle fed kids vs. breastfed babies is the ABSOLUTE truth. It makes me so sad that moms try to make other moms feel bad, everyone's experience is different! I am so glad you wrote this. I have a cousin who breastfed her kids til they were 3-ish and I won't lie it was WEIRD to see a kid who can speak in sentences walk up to their mom and latch onto the boob. But, to each their own!

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  52. I've never commented before but I just wanted to let you know that I pretty much could have written this post myself! I loathed breastfeeding but that's not exactly a good excuse. So I chalked it up to PPD, hormones, anything I could. But quite frankly, I just didn't like it. I didn't begin to actually LIKE my daughter until I quite at 2 months. And I don't plan on trying to breastfeed future children. My daughter is beautiful, healthy, and smart. Yay to all those who do breastfeed, but it sucks how even unknowingly, people make those who don't nurse feel bad. Anyway, thank you :)

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  53. I would encourage anyone who has judged Jamie Grumet to read her blog and this article about the shooting of the TIME cover http://www.iamnotthebabysitter.com/time-cover/ She is a mum just like you, who wanted to stand up for breastfeeding past infancy (totally healthy and normal thing in other cultures and in previous human history) She wasn't judging anyone, she was just standing up for something she believes in. I think its terrible that anyone would deliberately 'make' someone feel bad about not breastfeeding, but it seems like some people don't think we should talk about the benefits of breastfeeding, in case it makes anyone feel guilty, and that seems to be going to far in my opinion. My son almost never eats fruit and vegetables, but I don't think we should stop saying that eating fruit and vegetables is the best thing for children, in case it makes me feel guilty. (I know, I know, it's not the same) I do understand how hard it can be if you can't breastfeed your baby. I think the ideal message to get 'out there' is- 'Breastfeeding is best for babies in most cases, but if you can't do it, don't beat yourself up about it because there is a very good substitute available, and your baby will still thrive :)

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  54. I think it's great that you apologised. However after reading the comments from the previous article, it seems (intentionally or not) you started a group bullying session. It is so sad to bring a discusion about everyone trying to do what's best for our children down to this level- there were so many bullying comments towards a child and his mother. That is really very sad. You wonder why Jamie Grumet felt the need to stand up for this? Because of all of the ignorance and nastiness in the comments section :(

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  55. I don't like how you say, "You will never be able to tell in a room full of doctors which ones have been breastfed as babies."

    There is scientific evidence that there are still *observable, measurable* benefits of breastfeeding in children as old as two. I'm sure a room full of doctors would have a hard time picking out people who are in the fist stages of cancer. A roomful of doctors is cannot replace empirical evidence. This is poorly executed logic on your part.

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    1. It's not poorly executed logic. Again, here "you guys" are, trying to explain just why breastfeeding is soooo much better and superior with benefits this, benefits that, newflash EVERYONE KNOWS about the benefits. We all know!!! Some of us just choose to forgo breastfeeding and why can't that be celebrated as well? It's flat ridiculous.

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    2. Paula,

      I think that it is great that there is scientific evidence proving breast milk makes smart babies and is good for them - it better be sense it's coming from our bodies. But because I've seen you leave basically this same comment three times now - I'm going to chime in.. my oldest was on formula as a baby. He refused to latch on so I had no choice. He is very smart & I'm not saying this because I am his mother, I am saying this because people have told me over and over again how smart of a little boy he is and also an extremely healthy one, I can count on one hand how many times he has been seriously sick in his little life.

      Wanna know something?

      His daddy is ridiculously smart and healthy too.

      Genetics? I think so, because it sure as hell didn't come from breastfeeding.

      With that said, I have nothing against breastfeeding and I wanted to breastfeed my boys - they had other plans. Breastfeeding & bottle feeding both rock.

      Novel over.

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  56. My children were exclusively formula fed and there were ZERO observable measurable differences. Comments like that hurt the feelings of those unable to breast feed. Raven was one of the first bloggers I encounteted who wasn't hammering home constantly how breast is best. Sure it's best but does everything need to be so negative towards formula? No. My children were both 9 lbs at birth and still off the charts in development , height and weight. In fact, my formula fed son had not one cold or ear infection until after age 1. People seriously need to let breast vs bottle be a personal decision. As long as kids are healthy who really cares?

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    1. An anecdote does not equal statistical data.

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    2. *Anecdotal evidence does not equal statistical data.

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  57. As a scientist, it always peeves me when people are hurt by someone pointing out scientific facts. I'd rather live in a world where feelings get hurt over the truth than one where we kindly share falsehoods with each other.

    Kate, of course you saw "ZERO observable measurable differences." You had no control, no variables, no STUDY. But if your exclusively formula fed children where in a study and it was actually set up to observe measurable differences, there they would be.

    People care because when we know better we do better. I don't care specifically about the choices of the women who commented on this blog, but I do care about how our society evolves. And I'd like good science to be behind it.



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    1. ugh. You, miss scientist, are exactly why I wrote this follow up post. TELL ME WHAT DIFFERENCES THERE WOULD BE PLEASE, since you are a scientist and all.

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    2. And before I get torn apart. I'm not here defending breastfeeding. Just science.

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    3. Not trying to attack you, nor tear you apart, but if you are going to tell me scientific reasons why breastfeeding kids will measure differences, I would just like to know what they are specifically.

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    4. I guess I didn't get that up fast enough.

      I'm sure you and any of the moms who struggled so hard to breastfeed their babies are more than aware of what the science says, I'll leave that to the breastfeeding gurus (or whatever other word you'd like to tag on there).

      I honestly think your opinion is great and I think we need to work toward being a society that is accepting of varying parenting choices.

      Sincerely, my only issue is when someone points out a scientific fact and they get jumped on like they just said the most heinous thing ever. It's just a pet peeve of mine.

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    5. Christina I agree, I feel the same whenever I state political facts and other jump on me for it because they want to bury their head in the sand and continue to be ignorant.

      Ok I admit that comment was totally snarky and not directed towards you, I appreciate your non combative reply and to each their own ;)

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    6. Exactly! Political stats are the most dangerous. I find it a lot easier to deal with willfully ignorant people than those who feel personally attacked--I was sharing stats on voting demographics in our area recently and it devolved in the worst possible way.

      Agreed. Moms really do have to do what's best for them personally, happy mom and baby should be the only goal. We just have to make sure we don't let our encouragement and support stop us from putting science based info out there.

      I'm glad I came across your blog. I really enjoyed your post and when I get some free time I can't wait to read more.

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  58. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for standing up for those of us who chose a different way to feed our babies. Thank you for standing up for the mothers who tried and for whatever reason were unable to breast feed and feel like failures because of ignorant women who don't believe here are other choices that can be just as good. Thank you.

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    1. Jess you are so so welcome. I know how I felt and I never want anyone else to feel like a "failure" because they chose another option for feeding their child.

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  59. Hey Raven,

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am in the middle of a rural area in South Africa right now and the spotty internet is deciding to work, so I thought I'd take the few seconds I may have on the internet to thank you. (Hopefully it will send...I'll try to make this quick)

    Ugh, did I really say, "leave a nasty comment?" I completely get the emotional side of writing something you regret, and if I said that (I think I pulled off the entire post when it was linked because I realized it was wrong) I am so sorry.

    I agree, the judgement needs to stop on both sides. There is no superior style of parenting. I think education is key. Also understanding that parenting is evolving. someone may plan for a natural childbirth or breastfeeding and it may need to change as soon as issues arise. Embrace change and what is out of your control...We need less instruction, more information, and way more compassion from mothers. This is not a contest. It is about raising human beings and that is a hell of a job- and there are so many ways to do it well.

    Anyway, this is way too long. Just wanted to say thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much Jamie for your comment, it means a lot and I'm glad you accepted my apology. I meant everything I said and also meant when I said you seem like an amazing person as does your family.

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  60. I loved this post in its entirety, but I especially liked the photo caption, "yuuuuuumm....I love my bottle!". :)

    From one bottle-feeding mother to another....I appreciate the way you have stood up for "us". I was a young mother who had to go to work after 6 weeks and needed to be able to share feedings with the babysitter and the other parent. I personally felt like bottle feeding is what needed to be done in my case and I was constantly asked "are you sure?". UGH!

    My child has been in the 90th+ percentile since his very first bottle and is a VERY intelligent and healthy boy. As I'm sure many kids who were breastfed are as well...

    I appreciate your honesty more and more everyday!

    xo- Katie

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  61. Why did you take down the original post where you bullied the Times cover mom? You said you wouldn't.

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  62. Great post. Really I am surprised about this post.Thank You very much.sarasota plastic surgery.


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