I would really like to see the documentary Breastmilk vs reading an article about it, however I have not been able to see it yet. So far I have only really seen this article, "Eat It, Drink It, Pump It, Freak Out Over It".
Sounds like there are some extreme scenes, but it is media. Media is made to grab attention. Breastfeeding is not extreme, at least I do not see breastfeeding as extreme or work in extremes with my mothers.
The naked breasts in the documentary likely are not intended to grab attention but rather normalize breasts, in a non-sexual manner. The more we see them in a different manner the more comfortable we will be with them as non-sexual objects.
I am understanding that the film does not sensationalize breastfeeding. Thank you. You are not a super-star if you breastfeed. You are a woman with a child. It should be an ordinary experience. Again, it should be an ordinary experience. If you live in North America, it likely is not an ordinary experience.
In other parts of the world we have toddlers nursing at the playground, entire groups of them. In Canada we don't see that often at all because most of our toddlers didn’t get breastfed must past a few weeks. Toddlers are nursing in Canada, I reassure you of that, but how often does any see this? How often are these mothers comfortable to tell anyone this? And why is it that she is uncomfortable sharing this, when in reality it is recommended in Canada that we breastfeed our children until the age of two and beyond. Shouldn't she be proud she made it to the recommendation?
I am also understanding the film to avoid the formula vs breastmilk debate. Again, I say thank you. Not all of the discussions around breastfeeding need to have formula involved. They just do not. Most mother’s who have decided they would like to breastfeed, want to breastfeed. That doesn’t mean it is going to be easy, without struggle, doesn’t need support. That would be silly. It is an aspect of motherhood and motherhood is hard, there are struggles and we need support. We need this regardless of how our babies are fed. If a mother has chosen to breastfeed, it is not a debate. (If a mother makes an informed decision to choose formula, so be it. It is also not a debate.) If a mother choose to breastfeed, she should be encouraged to breastfeed that baby then, and given the supports to do so. Supporting breastfeeding is not to offer formula when it becomes hard. We are culture 3 generations into formula feeding as the ordinary experience, and in culture we look for sameness. This is not a mommy-war, this is how humans function. We look for sameness to find where we fit. Another example is if your mother formula fed you and your are struggling, she doesn't know how to help until she makes your experience more like her own, which is to suggest that you try a bottle. Could this looking for sameness for the reason that the mothers that do breastfeed toddlers are not sharing? In our culture sharing that information does not bring a lot of sameness amongst our community. In small pockets, yes, and those are safer places to share, but our overall culture is still not there.
New mothers should not be under pressure to breastfeed. It should be an ordinary experience, with the supports to do so. The weight of the world shall not be on the mother’s shoulders. In fact, I want those shoulders relaxed with arms gently crosses and a baby in those arms.
There is a gap in the current health care. You see big decisions about public policy are made at meetings with CEO’s and upper management sort people & doctors looking at research etc. They decide that they are going to have a position that breastfeeding should be recommended and all the reasons why and the hospital and public health offices need to encourage breastfeeding and be on board with the policies. Sounds great. Until you realize the people working directly with the new moms and babies have an even harder job than those making the decisions. They need to actually make it so that moms and babies can breastfeed and they simply do not have the skill set and time to do so. There lies the difference between the 95% that start and the 33% that might still be breastfeeding after several weeks. That weight again is not on the mother’s shoulders. That is society’s responsibilities. The front line workers and their employer's also don't seem to know what they don't know so they share misinformation. Mother’s take that misinformation as truth because these are the people who we trust to do right by us. Or they do not have the time needed for each dyad. Pumping and supplementing or formula supplementation is a faster means to get to the goal, which might be weight gain, mother's to be pain free, etc.
Mother's grieve the loss of what they expected. They expected breast-feeding to be easy. Maybe they are succeeding but it is still much harder than they expected. They might not have expected to make a formula choice (which they probably did not make but had to succumb to because the support needed was not there). And so they grieve a loss. We think mother’s feel that as guilt. It is not always guilt mothers feel, it is grief. And it is not always judgement other feel, it is sympathy. I sympathize with the majority of mothers, my clients or not, because it is hard, hard work. And mothers ask for help, identify needs, but those needs often go unmet. They go with mothering let down & disappointed. They feel they failed and are disappointed in themselves. The truth is, they are failed. Mothers do not fail at breastfeeding. They are failed to be able to succeed.