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Moxie, I couldn't love this more.

In my circle, covering up is not even the issue; the pressure is not to let others know that you're nursing, even if you ARE covered(!!) So that's the fight I focus on: women should not have to leave the room to nurse if they don't want to, if other people are uncomfortable let THEM leave, etc.

The only thing I would differ with is I don't believe "the right to pump in the workplace" goes NEARLY far enough. Pumping is hard (and often unpleasant) work, and so much more challenging to the supply-demand system. It's just that much harder for the body to respond to a machine than to a baby.

I'm grateful there are pumps for the same reason I'm grateful there's formula - when breastfeeding isn't working right, a pump is a lifesaver! I know that firsthand; my breastfeeding relationship with my twins would not have existed without a pump.

But it seems obvious that breastfeeding was not designed to work via pumping on a regular basis. The law should give women maternal leave OR access to on-site daycare for the entire first year, IMO.


I think it will be a long time before the sting of being excluded from a mom's group because I couldn't breastfeed will fade. Or the feeling of shame and humiliation I felt whenever i mixed up a bottle and got the evil eye from other women. I would stand up for their right to breastfeed wherever and whenever - I wish they could have stood up for me...or at least not ostrascized me.

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I love the 'emotional bandwith' concept. It's true. I'm still nursing my 9 month old and thhe 'breastfeeding debate' is very raw and emotional for me at the moment. But I do like the thought of advocating later too. Great post.


As someone who had to abandon and grieve the breastfeeding relationship, this post was so comforting to read! Bottlefeeding feels so stigmatizing when it wasn't your first (or second, or third, ...) choice. Thank You, Moxie!


Amen, amen, amen! I am now bfing my 13-mo.-old, I'm glad when my older daughter's friends (preK) see me doing it at pickup time, in the park, at the pool. I want it to be a normal experience for people of all ages to see and understand. And I want a stronger sisterhood of moms, not just bfing ones or formula ones. Fabulous post!


Well said!

Fearless Formula Feeder

This. Is. Awesome.

I'm linking to it in a post. Hope that's okay. This is just too good not to share with my readers!

Snarky Mommy

Nursing my third (and final) baby these days. She's seven months and I BF the other two for a full year each, no formula at all. On one side, I have a MIL who is totally supportive and really proud of me and the BFinf. On the other, I have my mom and sister who have vocalized their "disgust" with public BF and don't understand why I BF at all. It's been interesting trying to educate them.

But as much of a BF advocate that I am, I also say all the time that I am thankful formula exists because if this was 100 years ago on the prairie, moms who couldn't BF would have babies who died. Thankfully, we have a choice and a substitute.


Thanks for this beautiful post -- finally one about the feeding debate that I completely relate to. I breastfed 3 children into their second year. It was the ONLY part of parenting that came naturally to me. After reading many, many heartbreaking stories, I now realize that I took the ease of breastfeeding for granted.

Even though my eldest is 17 and my youngest is 8, and the method I used to feed my babies seems like the LEAST important part of their upbringing, I can see that new moms need our support -- more than ever -- for their feeding choices. As new mothers we are at our most vulnerable. We're prone to depression, insecurity, and self-judgment. The people that lose out when moms are unsupported are their babies.


Link away, FFF.

Janet, thanks for the perspective. That's exactly what hit me. I have NO idea how the parents of my kids' friends fed them (except for the ones I met in new mom group). But our hurts over this are still a little sore, for all of us.

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Love this post soooo much! I breastfed my first for over two years, and had every intention of nursing my second just as long. It didn't work out. I am SO IRRITATED with so-called lactivists who think "it didn't work out" is code for "I didn't feel like it." In fact, "it didn't work out" is shorthand for "I don't feel like sharing my whole saga of domperidone and pumping until I bled and watching my baby develop failure to thrive" with every passing acquaintance who raised an eyebrow at seeing my baby drink from a bottle. I am incredibly grateful that there is a convenient, safe, nutritious food I was able to buy at my local store.


YES. Thank you so much for this - I'm currently breastfeeding my 22-month-old, and I really needed to read this.


HOw did I not know you were back to posting here? This is amazing, so, so good. I think I'm just posting a link to this next time someone says something about feeding babies that pisses me off. One of your greatest hits, Moxie.

Nurse M. All

I dunno, I don't think you can call formula feeding an equally valid choice when it is more than 50% sugar. No thanking God for formula please -- if I ever ended up, say, adoptive nursing and couldn't make a full supply (and didn't have friends willing to donate their milk), I'd definitely research making my own formula before I fed that crap you can get in the stores. I'd like to see formula feeding and its associated risks (and there are many) really discouraged. Support and help is out there, has been out there for decades if women will just seek it out.


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Iam very proud that you breastfed for both of my kids,I can say u r such a loveable mom to ur babies.. This is the best way to my baby a Healthy one..Keep up the excellent work..

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One of my best nursing mama moments was at a community festival...I had my 3 month old with me and had to find a place to nurse. So, there I was, behind a lunch stand when one of the lunch stand workers brought me a FREE bottle of water.

It was lovely--especially since I was feeling a bit self conscious!

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It's so nice to have you do all of the research for us. It makes our decision making so much easier!! Thanks.

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