NOTE: This is a work-in-progress looooong post that I’m considering as a new first chapter for my book (www.workpumprepeat.com) . I’m posting it here in the spirit of crowd-sourcing. This topic is SO difficult to navigate, and there is no clear answer to what is “good” or “bad” messanging about breastfeeding, for women who are struggling with it. I would really love and appreciate feedback – including critical feedback – about whether this hits the mark, or is way off, or is somewhere in between. THANK YOU!!
You’ve noticed, haven’t you, how it seems like everyone has something to say about breastfeeding?
- You should do it, for a specific length of time (which varies depending on the particular bully), and you’re a narcissist and unfit mother if you don’t do it.
- Also, you definitely shouldn’t do it in public, or in a way that interferes with your job in the slightest, or in a manner that asks for any sacrifice, patience, or even just tolerance from any other person on the planet. Otherwise you’re trampy and entitled and a drain on society.
- You shouldn’t supplement breastmilk with anything, no matter how hellish your emotional or mental state is, or how demanding your job is. Definitely give only breastmilk until your kid is a year old.
- Once your kid turns one, you must stop breastfeeding immediately, so as not to be an incestuous weirdo. And if you breastfeed beyond when the kid can “ask for it,” you should do prison time.
- You shouldn’t drink alcohol or caffeine. Also you should only eat organic whole foods; otherwise you’re poisoning your baby.
- Oh, also: you have to really, really enjoy it, otherwise you’re a broken un-woman who is missing out on the greatest gift of her entire life.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how the hell to make milk while doing your job, we need to talk a bit about the people and messages you will encounter on this journey of trying to breastfeed and work.
Throughout this book, you will read stories about amazing people who make life easier, saner, less scary, and more welcoming for working women who are breastfeeding. And you’ll read about bullies and jerks in all shapes and stripes, who will try to shame, intimidate, intrude, pressure, and judge.
Continue reading The Minefield: Bullies, Best Friends, and Well-Intentioned Messengers