How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Breastfeeding Debate Multiplication Chart

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Breastfeeding Debate Multiplication Table Chart
 

[ click the image to enlarge ]

Maybe the debate scores on this chart will help people to gauge how crazy the conversation at the group picnic is going to get when breastfeeding comes up. Maybe not. Maybe it’ll only be useful to news channels and magazine editors interested in maximizing the number of people who will boost visibility with the light of the torches they carry and the rattle of their pitchforks.

Whichever side of the many breastfeeding fences you’re on, we can all agree that there’s a lot of disagreement in the “discussion” out there. Provocative photos and headlines, cleverly timed right before the Mother holiday, can whip up a little bit of a civil war within the world of parenting. No duh. They were designed to.

It’s so easy to play on the strong opinions and feelings on the topic of breastfeeding and parenting styles. Multiply any of them together and the resulting fireworks display can leave green spots on your vision for weeks.

For a lot of parents, this can all start with the “to boob or not to boob” question and just get more complicated and passionate from there. But whether you didn’t or couldn’t, or you did so for a while or a much longer time, wherever you did it, however frequently, with or without a pump or bottles, or even upside-down, I say simply this to all moms by birthing, adoption, marriage, however…

You are mom enough.

Because there’s a little person in the world who calls you Mom.

–Andy

Insert insults and hate mail here.

Picture Time!
If these are not worth a thousand words, at least they’re good for a few laughs.

Instructional Diagrams
This Instructional Diagram got all “hard-hitting,” but the rest are all plushy dolls.
 

135 Comments

135 Responses to “Breastfeeding Debate Multiplication Chart”

  1. Someone says:

    Insults. Hate mail. There, inserted. That’s what she said!

    Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, love your website and this blog post. Keep it up.

  2. Stefan says:

    Luckily, my wife can (and will, if need be) breastfeed anywhere without starting any kind of discussion. Most bystanders or “viewers” react the same way.

    The women either look away in disgust (how CAN she draw blank in public?) or think to themselves “wow, I wish I was/will be that courageous when my child is hungry”.

    The men stare at free boob =)

    • Andy says:

      Too true. I’ve been startled by it myself, I must admit. Not in a negative way, but just a little internal “Whoa!” Less and less of course, but it’s ingrained in our culture. We’re trained to responses. But I’m such a supporter of breastfeeding and mommydom in general, and takeithtefuckeasiness. If someone stripped nude and breastfed four kids at once I’d be glad that I had witnessed something that would be a life memory. ;)

  3. Phil says:

    Some moms will pull out a bottle to feed their kids and get dirty looks. Some dads will be comforting a crying child and get evil stares. Some breastfeeeding moms sit somewhere off to the side with a blanket and STILL get dirty looks.

    Most situations like this involve two factors: parents who are trying their best and people who think that sending unapproval by making funny faces is a good idea. This is why no parent who is trying to raise their child civilly needs to even acknowledge the “offended” people. How hard is it to turn your head or walk away.

    My opinion on the Time cover remains the same: *yaaaaawn*

    • Andy says:

      Soooooooo agreed. Your point on “people who think that sending unapproval by making funny faces is a good idea” is very dear to me. Almost as dumb as it is ineffective, which is completely.

      • Jessica says:

        Having just flown three long-haul flight legs in less than a week with my EBF 10-month old, I am quite familiar with “people who thing that sending unapproval by making funny faces is a good idea.” I was most amazed by this one woman who was either curious or disgusted (I’ll just assume curious) by me nursing my child. She actually had to turn completely around in her seat (one row up from me and across the aisle – I was in the middle seat) to send her disapproval our way. I sure made it a point to give her a HUGE smile every time I could catch her gaze…

        • Andy says:

          I LOVE it! Those smiles are the best. You rock!

        • Phil says:

          Yes! Giving those people “the smile” is the best, because no matter who they are, they react the exact same way: by snapping their head in the other direction and pretending they didn’t see it. But it feels good because you just know they’re burning up on the inside.

    • felidstar says:

      Exactly! As often as we try to put out the flames with the reminder that everyone’s journeys are different, there is always someone there to fan them again about “betters” and “shoulds”. And often it’s not the people actually LIVING those lives, but those in the media or similar vocations. Great job on showing the over-reaction the media is capable of guys, and love how you included BF kids all the way through teens… although from some news articles lately, maybe you should have included spouses as well: http://www.lilsugar.com/Husband-Drinks-Wifes-Breastmilk-19191726

  4. Missy says:

    Thank you for this. As a mom who almost died in childbirth, I chose not to breast feed due to complications after the fact. Nearly 8 years later, I’m still being told I’m not mom enough because I didn’t breast feed him. He hasn’t been to the doctor with an illness since he was 2.

    More power to the moms who do it – it’s awesome and you’ll never get rude stares from me or the hubs. Just didn’t work out for us.

    • Andy says:

      Can I just say…

      GO, YOU!

      I said it. Now, you keep on going. You’re doing it right!

    • Christine says:

      Missy, I didn’t breastfeed my first born (she is now 21) and she has been strong and healthy her whole life. I nursed my second born (now 18) until over 6 months of age and he spent half his childhood on chemotherapy for leukemia, has allergies and asthma. I think the argument that breastfeeding leads to a healthier child is BS. Some kids just draw the short straw.

    • Stefan says:

      pff, not mom enough ^^ I myself wasn’t breastfed.. okay, wasn’t breastfed for LONG.. I believe it was about 2 to 3 weeks… but I don’t care.

      Personally, I think breastfeeding is the best (and cheapest) a child can have. But if a mother chooses NOT to breastfeed, then she normally has her reasons.

      And just because all these “I-am-a-better”-Moms and “I-don’t-have-kids-but-still-know-more-than-you-about-parenting”-people think they can utter their opinion doesn’t make it true.

      This is not a book by Aldous Huxley. 10000 repetitions do NOT make one truth. All you moms – and I mean ALL you moms – deserve better than rude stares and rude shit from idiots.

    • Jessica says:

      Missy,

      So sorry that ANYONE has the audacity to tell you that you’re not mom enough for not being able to breastfeed. (It sounds like you actually did NOT have a choice due to that little thing called your SURVIVAL!) NO ONE should have to endure that kind of blatant criticism. Ever. Not acceptable. The fact that you continue to face people like this in your life is a testament to the near-total lack of education our society suffers from regarding breastfeeding.

    • Mocca says:

      People are just never satisfied!! I’ve had the stares from both sides.. I’ve breastfed for a while and then had to go over to formula as for some reason I stopped producing milk.

      IF you bottle-feed, then you get crazy stares and are criticized for not being mom enough.

      IF you boob-feed, then you get crazy stares and are criticized for being weird about something that is natural!

      If you have a child, be it your own or adopted, and you are feeding and caring for that child then you are certainly more than mom enough!!

      People (and especially those without children of their own) should just shut up and walk on..

  5. Monica says:

    Andy – I love the message at the end.
    “You are mom enough.
    Because there’s a little person in the world who calls you Mom.”

    I wanted so badly to breast feed but it did not work out the way I wanted it to. My son had heart surgery the day after he was born (he is fine now) and because of that I didn’t get the chance to try with someone their to help me. I tried but he would not take it. I pumped for as long as I could and then switched him to formula. It was hard for me.

    Everyone has opinions on how to be a parent period. No one is exactly right but I take good care of my son and he is not lacking on anything. I love him and I am the best mom I can be and that is enough for me – I don’t care how many dirty looks I get b/c they don’t know me and what we went through when he was born. =)

    • Andy says:

      You are amazing. There are reasons that I won’t mention that make your story VERY personal to me, so I want you to know that you have my love and respect for going through what you went through, a love and respect that should mean more coming from someone who knows a bit of the hardship you endured.

      You are more than mom enough.

      • Monica says:

        Not everyone can understand unless they have been through something similar. I love that u guys can understand us and still bring a smile to all of us. Thank u guys for being man enough and dad enough to do what u do and still give respect to all of us. U and Charlie are a wonderful part of my day.

    • Leah says:

      Thankfully there weren’t complications with my little one’s health when she was born, but we struggled through the first few weeks with me desperately trying to get her to breastfeed and her absolutely refusing to. I too went through the pumping as long as possible and finally switching to formula. I cried for weeks over it. I still get teary over it 8 months later. I’m a supporter of breastfeeding as long as you can/want to, but the title on that article hurt me. I know someone isn’t a better mom than me just because their journey was different, but rational thought doesn’t always win out over emotional reactions.

  6. Once again you have managed to mix heart and humor with an outstanding visual.

  7. Craig says:

    When a baby is hungry…a baby is hungry! The best thing a mom can do is whip it out! Thank you moms!

    • Andy says:

      KaBOOM! Every single time I see it, I love it. I want to live in a world where breastfeeding is normal again when a woman chooses to do it.

      • Craig says:

        I find it funny that people are fine with movies with nudity but when it comes to a natural thing like a mother feeding her child…it’s repulsive…People need to come down from the sex train and realize that Breasts aren’t just for sex…This is coming from a guy…

        • Missy says:

          ^^^^^ Truth!!!

        • felidstar says:

          It’s also amazing how many dirty looks you’ll get in a restaurant or public place if you just let your hungry child scream :P Some people just aren’t happy no matter what you do! (I bottle-fed breastmilk in public when my baby was young because I over-produced and the kiddo had less reflux with a bottle than he did straight from the source. I got stares and a few comments about “well did you TRY breast-feeding? … to which I responded “Yes, that’s what I’m doing right now!” Some people just HAVE to judge…)

      • Jessica says:

        I want to live in that world too!

      • Mrscollins05 says:

        The way I see it, the POPE said there’s nothing wrong with it so everyone else should just calm down. And I’m not catholic but if the pope said it that’s good enough for me! Besides, especially if I’m at a restaurant and people wanna judge, dude, you’re eating your food, why can’t my baby eat hers?!

  8. LB says:

    To BooB or not to BooB, LOL! People can say whatever they want to. My baby comes first and I will whip out the boob any and everywhere if baby is hungry. It’s all about the BABIES!

  9. LOL – I love the banana for scale!

  10. An infographic that is actually an infographic!!! With solid, solid, bananas for reference! Bravo!

  11. kp says:

    I love that you guys are supportive of breastfeeding. You have lucky wives. I also love that the chick in your graphic has a boob out but no nipple. Tehehe.

    • Andy says:

      I CANNOT even imagine NOT being supportive. I’m being 100% cross-my-heart-hope-to-die honest here when I say this. I’m talking stick-a-needle-in-my-eye level. ARG!!! You get the idea.

      Yeah, I made a judgement call on the nipple. I figured no face, no nipple. ;)

  12. Stephanie K. says:

    Love this post! Thank you :-)

  13. Lost in this whole Time cover deal is that poor freakin kid.

    Having that wonderful image follow him around forever, say thanks mom!

    High school is going to be a bitch….

    • Andy says:

      SO TRUE!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! “What? WHAT!?! Do I have a sign taped to my back!?!” No, little buddy, you’ve got a magazine cover stuck to your life.

  14. Jennifer says:

    I just want to protest that the boob displayed in the infographic is way too high and perky to resemble real life breastfeeding boob.

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha! I actually edited the boobs a few times because I felt it important to try to be as iconic as possible with that part. That sounds bad. Not in some kind of perverted drawing boobies to get my jollies off kind of way.

      But it IS accurate. It’s being given a little lift by the BFing shirt. I studied my wife closely for two years as research. ;)

  15. JB says:

    I saw this lady breast feeding without a cover in a Restaraunt and at first glance I thought she was holding two bald babies. I figured that if I’m going to be eating in that place (and I don’t look as cute as a baby next to a boob) then why can’t the baby eat as well.

    • Andy says:

      LOL! Brilliant!

    • Jessica says:

      While on vacation abroad last week, I wondered if, due to the TIME cover, I was going to be under the microscope for breastfeeding my 10mo old, uncovered. The ONLY people who looked twice at me were the AMERICANs…go figure. I had this same philosophy about nursing in the restaurants. If everyone else can eat, why can’t baby? Hey, SHE CAN TOO! :-)

  16. Fleur says:

    really who cares whether you feed in public or not. My experience leads me to believe that the real issue is the lack of open and TRUTHFUL discussion about breast feeding. I think most women agree its the best source of food for an infant under six months but the debate is lost when we start talking about whether you do or not as if its a choice. For SO MANY women it’s not a choice … I desperately wanted to feed but got ill, so could only manage half / half feeding – which was only possible after unbelievable persistence on my part. I know about 20 women who also really wanted to feed an tried and tried but couldn’t. What was missing for all of us was some debate about the health issues around breastfeeding for the mother … I had no idea that it would be that hard or that I could even be in a situation where my milk wouldn’t come in. With the modern lifestyle, I think this issue will increase and we need non-emotive, factual discussion about it. Getting ANY sensible advice around formula feeding for a baby under 6 months was nearly impossible for me … my child would have died if we didn’t figure that out.

    • Andy says:

      Who cares? Too many people, that’s who. WAY too many people. It can get to lowering one’s opinion of the present condition and attitude of humanity, that’s how many people. You’ve got the right look on things and make great points. My wife almooooooost couldn’t and then was able to for two years. She is a great mom and would have been if she couldn’t.

      The difficulties you went through? Yeah, we need to change our cultural priorities. Fast.

      • Stefan says:

        As said before…

        most people who “care” about this are people who a) are old enough to never again have kids (so, technically not entitled to an opinion anymore)

        b) know-it-all-better-parents (and I know you know some of these personally…)

        c) people who do not have kids (see point a)

        In essence, ‘most everyone who gives a fuck (pardon my french) would do best to just use the opportunity to shut up. Their views and opinions are almost as worthless as my ramblings here =)

  17. Drew Fix says:

    This whole “debate” leaves the humanity of those wanting to debate this up for debate. Don’t we have more pressing issues to focus on? I guess no one will be happy until the ITiT or IFeed are invented.
    Still, I am really confused about who has issue with a mother giving her child free food in this global economy, publicly or privately.

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha! Brilliant!

    • Stefan says:

      heh… I think that’s just it.

      FREE food.

      Seeing as globally, things are getting heavily taxed that are relatively free (in one city in Germany was a debate to tax use of airspace for shops – luckily it got thrown off) so I guess by now the big shots think to themselves:

      “Dang, it can’t be goin on that muthers averywhair ah cheeting us out of ahr taxes fer formuler! Let’s make breastfeedin’ eeeeevil!”

      At least that what it looks like to me =)

      • felidstar says:

        That was the big incentive to us – saving money. Every other benefit is based on statistics and anecedotes… except for the whole breastfeeding + co-sleeping = more me sleeping… that took a while to figure out and has been a life-saver ever since :P

  18. Emily says:

    Funny post until the end. And then you almost made me cry with all the love packed in that little statement “You are mom enough…” Nice work.

  19. MotherDuck says:

    Love it! Screw the media for trying to make controversy on the subject. These are our decisions to make, not theirs even if it makes me uncomfortable to see and older child breastfeed.

    Curious, is an animated nipple not aloud on the internet? Maybe the banana could be used as one of those unnecessary censorship bars. ;)

  20. Thought for sure the link in “Insert insults and hate mail here,” was going to just lead to a photo of an ass.

    • Andy says:

      I really should have. Charlie and I were going to do a Complaint Box section on the website at one point. It was going to be a paper shredder positioned directly over the slot of complaints. ;)

  21. Terry says:

    My gf and I had our first baby 11 months ago. Because of the immense benefits she chose to breastfeed. At first she wouldnt breastfeed outside of the house (would pump and bring bottles). Then she would finally do it in bathroom stalls or in our car. Now she has gotten used to it and while she doesnt just whip it out right where she is, we never have to bring a bottle anymore. She will quietly go into someplace semi private and put a blanket over her. I personally think a blanket is a must (especially in a restaurant). It doesnt take up much space and gives others a bit of a respite from seeing your boob while eating. I would consider that more as a courtesy gesture, you know like opening a door for someone or letting someone cut in line at the grocery store who has 1 thing vs your million.

    I think the big issue is formula vs breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is always better and you should try to continue to do it for as long as possible. But sometimes it just doesnt happen for whatever reason. There is no problem there especially if you have tried or physically couldnt, but the real problem is when someone chooses to not breastfeed because they either cant be bothered to do so, or because its not easy for them. Raising a kid isnt supposed to be easy so if waking up in the middle of the night to pump your kid his food is too tough for you, then thats where the problem lies. Too many people take the easy way out and to do that at the expense of your kids health isnt right. Not to mention what that does for the cost of healthcare and government assistance. Formula was made for the people who couldnt breastfeed, not to give you the option to be lazy.

    • Terry says:

      My kid is very healthy and was never breastfed (our choice). You are just like every other douche who has called me lazy for choosing not to breastfeed my child (it takes 3 times as long to go to the kitchen make and warm the bottle up than to turn around and plop a boob in it’s mouth). Just last week I was asked if I was worried that my kid won’t be as healthy or as smart as breastfed kids (this was coming from a mom who had an obviously overweight and coughing baby on her lap) My baby is crawling, playing, can stack stuff and is probably smarter than most breastfed kids I’ve seen. When looking at my child the proof is in the pudding it doesn’t matter what you feed them or how you do it as long as they are happy and healthy. I AM NOT LAZY, I AM MORE THAN MOM ENOUGH!

      • Terry says:

        Why didnt you opt to breastfeed? I know its your choice, but why did you make that choice? If it has to do with anything other than you physically could not do it then you took the easy way out. Period. Breastfeeding is so much harder to do than formula feeding, but you wouldnt know, because you didnt do it (its not simply boob enters mouth, done). Ever tried pumping at work so that when you came home from work your child has something to eat? That can be a very difficult thing to do. When you venture out of the house and you go on a car trip, you have to plan with previously pumped milk in order to make that trip. You cant just have water and formula handy at all times. It takes dedication and the desire to give your child something that has been there from the start of humanity. Im sure you will tell us you read up on the benefits that breastmilk has vs formula (immunity boosters, bonding/emotional benefits, benefits of reduced cancer risk for the mom and helps to lose weight, just to name a few). Its good that your child is healthy and happy now. Im glad it worked out for you. It hasnt worked as well for some new mothers I know, who have had a ton of problems with everything from allergies to being constantly sick. Just because it happened to work out for you didnt mean it was the right decision.

        The kicker in your “argument” is that you say it doesnt matter what you feed your child as long as they are happy and healthy. That just goes to show you how out of touch you really are, especially if it comes to what youre feeding your child as he grows up. Your child will always be happy to have salts and sweets vs veggies and may look healthy now, but there is a reason the US has such an obesity problem, that mindset. Did you know that the US is the leader in formula fed babies? Arent we a world leader in obesity too? Hmmmm…. So tell me again why you opted to choose formula over breastfeeding?

        • Leah says:

          Wow, judgmental much?
          I wanted more than anything to breastfeed and my daughter just would not do it. I fought with her for weeks and was an emotional wreck over it, which was causing be to be unable to care for her properly in other ways. I made the agonizing decision to switch to formula. Thank you for telling me that what I am now feeding my child is as worthless as candy and chips. Obviously the argument is breastmilk vs. formula. She wasn’t saying that any old thing they stick in their mouths is fine. Good job twisting words to create conflict.
          Formula feeding is as simple as “just hav[ing] water and formula handy at all times” is it? Do you have any idea how obnoxious it is to have to worry if I’ve brought enough for a trip out, or taking the time to mix up the bottle when my baby is screaming at me because she sees it and can’t have it yet? I would give anything to just be able to stick her at the boob and be done with it. I would never have to wonder “did I bring enough to make this one last stop before we go home?” Breastfeeding may be harder to get started (and I’m living testament to that) but once you’ve got it going it is absolutely easier. If you chose to go out without a single ounce of pumped/expressed milk, you would still be able to feed your child. If I leave the house without my giant bag with bottles of water and containers of powder.. I had better hope I’m not gone long enough that she gets hungry.

          I would definitely advocate breastfeeding to people who choose not to simply because they don’t want to (for whatever reason that may be) rather than can’t, but if they still make that choice it is not for you or me to say that it was wrong, or call them lazy. In doing so you are exactly as bad as the people who make women feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding their children in the first place.

        • Terry says:

          I opted to not breastfeed my child due to the multiple allergies and asthma that was passed onto me because if breastmilk. Don’t kid yourself this decision was well discussed with my pediatrician and all the pros and cons were discussed in our meetings. If there was the slight chance that my child would have to endure the hell I’ve been going through the last 30 years I would gladly do it again. As for obesity rates in the US (which I am not from) I can bet that 3/4 of those children were breastfed. It has all to do with promoting a
          healthy lifestyle and teaching your kids what to eat. I can ensure you that my 10 month old hasn’t had a sweet or even a salty meal in her life. She loves fruits and veggies and eats everything I give her (which is nutritious). You may be right in thinking that your way was the right way but you have no right on telling me how my child is going to end up (I can easily make the assumption that your child will become a crack addict because you weren’t married before having your child…I don’t believe this of course, it is just an example of your ignorance)

        • Andy says:

          Terry #2, your comment is just pure irony to me, that you posted it on this thread. I respect your opinions and even share some of them. But your tone and approach disappoints. But thank you for helping to illustrate my point.

          • Terry says:

            How is this any ruder for myself or all the other moms who chose not to breastfeed to be called lazy and that our kids will be fat and dumb?? Sure the crack addict may have been a going a little far but I couldn’t use the Fat and dumb example…that was already used on the non-breastfed kids. I am just standing up for a families choice in what they do with their children, at the end of the day if they are happy and healthy and not starving and cold it is nobody’s business. It disappoints me to think that to you think that Terry #1 may have been right all along…*sad*

          • Terry says:

            Too many Terrys. I guess my point was misunderstood. If you cant breastfeed because of physical reasons (not wanting to possibly pass down any kind of genetic ailment is a good physical reason). Apparently that point was missed in my post although clearly stated. I was merely trying to point out the people who have no good reason to not breastfeed other than it is too much of a hassle or they think its gross our they are too lazy. If you thought I was talking to you then I apologize but re reading my first post I can’t see how you would take it that way. And since I assumed that you were the type of people I was talking about I wanted to heart the reason you weren’t breastfeeding since I couldn’t understand any reason was going to be said other than “its easier to…”

          • Terry says:

            Look it shouldn’t matter if someone wants to or not breastfeed, in my eyes if their child is healthy and happy the moms are definitely not lazy since taking care of a child isn’t something one would take lightly. At the end of the day I wouldn’t go up to a mom who is breastfeeding her child and ask her if she is afraid of passing anything to them through their milk (it is not my place). I guess I have been asked one too many times why… you just struck a nerve (I’m still pissed but will let it go)

  22. Alexis says:

    When I saw Time (yes am a subscriber) I thought, “now THERE’S a picture designed to spur controversy and get the blogsphere marketing for Time!” It just seemed SOOO obviously manipulative I was bummed to see how many people jumped all over it. I wanted to blog about it just so I could say, “Don’t take the bait people! This is how traditional media gets their crap to go viral – they manipulate YOU!”

    Although the SNL bit on it was pretty solid:http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/weekend-update-really-time-magazine-cover/1401429

  23. kate says:

    This is so well written! Luckily, we’ve been able to nurse for seven months and counting! Thanks for supporting the “baby mommas” of the world:-)

    BTW, thank you for the banana! Without it, I would have had no idea what I was looking at here!

  24. tommy riles says:

    does this come in pie chart form as well?

  25. Christina says:

    Love this post =) 4.5 months into round 2 and suddenly, my baby is more interested in having a conversation with me than eating…lol.

    Makes feeding in public a little awkward (I’m a modest BF-er), but its still easier than bringing frozen milk that I may or may not use into public. Besides, how would I warm it up? This is just easier.

    So what’s this Time magazine article?

    • Andy says:

      Rad! You’re mom enough for sure. Don’t worry about a dumb little article, that article is NOT mom enough. It’s just a cheap shot and rocking the boat and creating waves within the parenting community. ;)

  26. JeninCanada says:

    *blub* Seriously, this made me cry. Thank you. I am mom enough.

  27. maya says:

    Wow is breastfeeding more of an issue in America than I’m aware of? Here (Australia) I’ve breastfed both my kids in public etc and never had a comment.
    I say if u can breastfeed and enjoy it – do, if u can’t or don’t enjoy it, don’t. There are far bugger things to worry about with our kids.

    Anyway what i actually wanted to share was my embarrassing breastfeeding problem… my let down is fairly full on and my daughter is at the ‘eat a bit, look around, eat some more ‘stage…. so any people too close get sprayed with milk…. maybe that’s why people never comment… they can’t get close enough lol.

  28. Julia says:

    I always stare at this argument with eyes that can say that formula isn’t evil and boobs are great too.

    I neither formula fed nor breastfed either of my kids.

    I wanted badly to breastfeed- but my first son had an issue with his airway and needed surgery at 4 months and had a feeding tube until he was 8 months old.

    Then my second child (the one we dubbed as the ‘easy’ one before he was born)- was born with a complex heart defect.

    He just had his second heart surgery (he is 8 months old now) and has eaten literally nothing by mouth since he was born.

    Sometimes I just say “There are bigger fish to fry, my friends.” And the arguments seem so… silly, now.

    • Stefan says:

      Good Lord…

      I wonder how you have the strength to deal with that and still be able to think about such nonsense as the “breastfeeding-debate”.

      You, Madam, have my deepest respect and I will think of you more often, in hope that your children will grow up to live good lives.

    • Andy says:

      You’re a rockstar. Wow.

  29. E.B. Cummings says:

    After four kids, the ONLY thing I know for sure is that no matter WHAT choice you make, there’s ALWAYS going to be someone out there who is going to bitch about it. I actually got more shit for not breast feeding than I did when I WAS breast feeding. But be it breast vs bottle, working vs staying home, tv or no tv, everything you do is going to be considered awful by at least one nosy asshat out there who can’t keep their mouth shut. All you can do is make the choices that are best for you and your family, (As a whole-I can’t stress this enough- If mom is psychotic from lack of sleep and suicidal over the pain of breast feeding-continuing is NOT best for her or the baby. Sane happy moms are more important than breast milks benefits,IMO.)
    Incidentally the kids of mine that were breastfed the longest have the WORST health issues. The one who never even got a drop of colustrum? Hasn’t been sick ever.( yet)

  30. HaZe says:

    Where I’m from, public uncovered breastfeeding is still a big no-no. Heck, there was once a case of a lady who tried to breastfeed publicly (with a blanket/nursing cover for modesty) in a little corner of a very posh and international mall in the city and was shooed away by the mall security. Total BS if u ask me. PDAs between underaged kids, nobody says a word, and a mom trying to feed her child (covered!), she gets shooed off. Ppl need to get their head straight.

    • Andy says:

      That’s revolting to me that someone would do that. Thanks for writing in though. Truly amazes me what people get up to when they decide to be dumb. There are some real pros out there at it.

  31. Zoe says:

    I understand the need for the Mom on the cover of Time wanting to express (no pun intended) her view on “Attachment Parenting” but I do not understand why it was necessary to be so provocative and “in your face” (again, not an intentional pun). My kids were not breastfed that long and they are happy, independent, extremely attached (especially when I am on the phone or in the bathroom) little people. Heck, the only one still hanging off my boob is my husband, and I can assure you that he is the least detached of my family members :-D

    • Christina says:

      “My kids were not breastfed that long and they are happy, independent, extremely attached (especially when I am on the phone or in the bathroom) little people.”

      /giggle. YES.

    • Andy says:

      The article did what was intended. It was the journalistic equivalent of kicking a bee hive. And it worked. The number of articles that have been written about that article is phenomenal.

  32. Christina says:

    Though I doubt I’d ever breastfeed this long, caring for a child being raised vegetarian and being required to drink Soy Milk and having some immune deficiencies, I’ve begun to SERIOUSLY question our social acceptance of 18 months and older being too old to BF. There are parents who strongly (and arguably, rightly) believe cow’s milk shouldn’t be given to their kids, but kids need ANIMAL milk for FAR LONGER than 18 months – 3 years. It provides more than nutrients, but immuno building blocks. So if someone doesn’t want to give their child Cow’s milk, then I’m kinda coming to the realization that breastfeeding til your child is 5 should be more acceptable than it is =/

    • Ralok says:

      So the children grow up viewing women as a vessel for food and not as human beings?

      Dont let the propaganda get into your head friend, the ummuno building blocks thing is just a fancy way of saying “milk has higher than average nutrients that the body uses to create the immune systems”

      Milk is not NECESSARY, it just provides nutrients the body can use. But the providing excess nutrients doesn’t guarantee the body will use them or even be able to use them.

      You cant feed someone an “all calcium” diet because their legs are broken, the body is going to jettison some of that calcium.

      There is no reason to breast feed a child until it he/she is five, it will damage the childs perception of women (and especially the mother)

      and the mother, if she is doing this just because it feels good for her . . . no . . .

      • Christina says:

        “There is no reason to breast feed a child until it he/she is five, it will damage the childs perception of women (and especially the mother)”

        Really? Why so defensive when I was simply making an observation? Surely no mother would breastfeed til the child were 5 unless she wanted to. And if she did, perhaps we should be more accepting of it.

        As it is, a large portion of breastfeeding moms already have an unhealthy view of themselves, believing breasts are solely for feeding their children (and not sex objects), when really they are both. And we already say no to breastfeeding way earlier than any other culture out there.

        As to immuno-building, plants and animals both provide nutrients, but only animals provide anti-bodies to various illnesses. Hence why animal milk helps build the immune system.

        Again, really the only people who would actually care about this are parents who want to raise vegetarian or vegan children…and are probably already more likely to accept the idea of prolonged breastfeeding.

        • Ralok says:

          That is the problem “unless she wanted too” why is what she wants a factor here? it is about what the child needs, not what the mother wants!

          if that makes any sense?!?!?!

          I get the uncomfortable feeling many women breastfeed for so long, because it feels good for them! That is the reason they get so defensive and rude with people who object

      • Christina says:

        I’d also like to add that I really don’t know when a child doesn’t need the benefits of animal milk any longer. I just know a 1 year old shouldn’t be given soy milk just because mom doesn’t breastfeed and doesn’t believe in consuming animal products.

        It could be much earlier than 5. Heck, it could be the age of 2 when the immuno benefits of animal milk are negligible. It was just caring for that child made me consider breastfeeding for longer than a year if I wanted to avoid cow’s milk (which considering I’m neither vegetarian or vegan, I don’t see why I would). But even breastfeeding to 2 can cause a heavy debate.

  33. Kippie says:

    The banana for scale made me giggle. :)

  34. Ralok says:

    I dont know, it seems that once the child can eat solid food without assistance the benefits of breastfeeding and need are null.

    If a woman insists on doing it after this point, it seems to me like there is something wrong especially if she gets angry when people are uncomfortable about it.

    I mean, breasts are an erogenous zone in many women . . . there is an evolutionary purpose for it as well . . . to encourage the action by making it pleasurable.

    But the thing is, if a woman is letting this happen solely because it feels good for her . . . that is taking advantage of the child . . . that is sexual abuse like it or not . . .

    I am not saying that women shouldn’t breast feed, and when my wife and I have children I hope she breast feeds . . . but there are lines here that shouldnt be crossed

    Of course this was probably prompted by the time magazine cover, but I have one thought to say too that . . .

    ot breast feeding doesnt make anyone less of a mother, and implying otherwise . . . no . . . debate all you want about all the other crap

    but that . . . I know people from all sides of the breast feeding issue . . . but none of them can approve of that . . .

    dear god that was . . .

    My mother didnt breast feed, she had breast reduction surgery and it messed her up and things didnt quite work.

    it doesnt make her any less of my mother though

    • Andy says:

      Holy crap. There are plenty of blogs out there that would be better places for accusations of breastfeeding as child sexual abuse. Go find one please. I’ll help get you started.

      • Ralok says:

        WOAH WOAH, I dont want things to get uncivil here Andy, I am not a barbarian!

        But someone does need to present the counter-argument, and the facts!

        That is the major issue with the debate, how can we tell with any certainty that what is occurring is genuine breastfeeding or sexual abuse!

        How can you tell? I sure as heck cant tell!

        I am saying there needs to be lines drawn, so we can ensure that no child is ever harmed!

        I just feel research needs to be done here so we know where to draw the lines!

        That is the problem that is causing this whole debate, someone drew the line in the wrong place a while back and now everyone is just terribly confused about the subject.

        • Andy says:

          I’m afraid that you have failed to understand the entire point of this post. There are plenty of other websites out there where you can raise your questions and give your opinions. That’s all I’m saying. I think you’re on the wrong bus, man.

          • Ralok says:

            I dont think so, because I understand and appreciate the intelligent points brought up here.

            I dont think anyone is wrong here honestly, I just think that ignorance from all sides of the debate is what is causing the issue!

            That is all I am trying to say

            But getting mad at other peoples opinions, and ignoring convenient facts is not the way to prove you are right.

          • Ralok says:

            thing is . . . at no point did I claim that “all breast feeding is sexual abuse” like you seem to think I did.

            my point was that sexual abuse can occur, and a woman can hide it by saying “I was just breast feeding”

            That is the issue people have with breast feeding, from an outside perspective there is no way to tell if what is being observed is sexual abuse or simple loving parentage.

            It is why the debate gets more and more heated as the person being fed gets older, and the women breastfeeding get angrier over the issue.

            You think I am ignorant or rude? I am not even expressing my own opinion here! I am making known the opinions of others!

            And yes, ignorance is at the heart of this issue, we cannot read other peoples minds . . . we are always going to be ignorant of another persons intentions.

    • Christina says:

      Though I can KINDA see where you are coming from, as I do agree breasts serve a dual purpose for feeding and sex, the idea of breastfeeding as sexual abuse has absolutely no founding in science whatsoever.

      And though I realize science can be somewhat biased in what they choose to research, I don’t see this changing with all the research in the world.

      Your points had me googling, though – I will say that. And some of the stuff I found (on both sides) rather infuriated me. Like a pro-bf page claiming that breastfeeding keeps a child away from the father, decreasing the chances for the father to abuse the child. I’d like to point out that the majority of men who abuse children are abusing their SO’s children from another relationship.

      Research DOES suggest, though, that breastfeeding mothers are incredibly less likely to abuse their children.

      I can somewhat agree that any parent doing something that isn’t in the best interest of their child (like forcing them to breastfeed past the time they want to stop) is questionable parenting, I’m not convinced it would be child abuse.

  35. Lacey says:

    ATM I’m breastfeeding my 9 month old son and plan to for at least a year. It was most convenient for me money wise and I love the bonding.I’m pro-breastfeeding, but how you choose to feed your baby is your choice. As long as the baby’s getting fed then it’s alright with me!

  36. Drew Fix says:

    This just in! Time magazine to run an article on the “POOPING in public” debate!!! Diapers outlawed! Toddlers must use restrooms upon standing!

  37. Drika says:

    I don’t know why all these problems about breastfeeding. I am a first time mom and I breastfeeded my baby daughter until her 8 months, and when we were on the mall, there was nurseries with great chairs for doping that, and when I was at the restaurant, I avent to the toilets that had great chairs, thinking in the women that were breastfeeding. But if i were in a public place withou these convenient places, I always had with me a blanket for that, and I always were very respected. I just stopped becouse I had to get back to my practice, and she never had any desease, different of theory cousins that have more weight then her. But it’s very unfair to tell what the best way to gees your baby, racha mom/couple knows what’s the best for the family. But I often see, at least in my country, that many women give up too easy, with one and a half month, becouse they don’t know the correct way to breastfeed or becouse they don’t want to. For me, that was a great time, and if I had another baby, I will breastfeed again.
    Great article and blog boys

  38. Ashley says:

    Wow, these comments made a turn in a direction I wasn’t expecting :)

    Off to being mom enough to love the shiznit out of my kid!

    • Andy says:

      I wish I could say I didn’t expect it, but I can certainly say I was a little disappointed. The post was about taking it easy and not getting caught up in the debate, soooooo… yeah.

      Thanks for bringing the thread back on track!

  39. Dawn G says:

    I just have to say how happy I am to see a guy publicly showing his unending appreciation for not only the act of nursing, but motherhood in general. All too often I see so many men act like we don’t have any harder of a job than the next person, and that is so untrue. We work just as hard if not harder, and it really gives me the warm-fuzzies to see a dude step up and give us moms props for just simply doing what we do no matter how we do it.

    So very simply…just…THANK YOU.

    • Andy says:

      We both are a little overwhelmed by the thanks we receive for this from time to time. I’m honestly surprised that our views and approach towards motherhood are at all noteworthy. So, thank you for thanking us. (Initiating warm and fuzzies mode)

  40. Paddydaddy5 says:

    Yes!!! Love you forever!

  41. Jill says:

    Ew, I can’t believe you are discussing something as disgusting as breastfeeding in a public forum. It’s so gross. Now excuse me while I go drink a glass of pasturized, homogenized cow milk.
    After all, everyone knows boobs are only for making your clothes look good, and Victoria’s Secret and sex and stuff. Why don’t you put your blog in a bathroom, the only place breastfeeding can be discussed discretely?

  42. Romy says:

    I am a new mum of a 4 months old baby girl. We live in Argentina, and here breastfeeding is the most normal thing on earth. First comes picking your nose waiting for a green light, second flashing your boob out whenever/anywhere, NO ONE will stare in disgust. If someone looks at you it will be a sweet smile. We are so proud of beastfeeding that we flash our milky boobs as much as we can! We even have billboards on the highway, http://www.clarin.com/espectaculos/personajes/Nati-Oreiro-amamanta-Merlin-campana_0_950305234.html this is a celebrity here and the ad says: Giving your tit, is giving the best of you.

  43. tinu56 says:

    I just wanted to say how much I loved this post. It seems that in our culture today, someone WILL judge you, no master what you do. So we all need to decide what’s best for ourselves and tell everyone else to mind their own business.
    Per my doctor’s approval, I took cough medicine a week before my oldest child was born. It almost completely dried up my milk supply. I felt so much pressure to breastfeed my child from many well meaning friends and family members. So I took supplements to increase my supply, I rented high end pumps, my husband and I even moved in with my parents for a week so my mom could take care of baby while I pumped practically night and day to get my supply up. I ended up so stressed out that my doctor recommended that I take anti anxiety medication so that I could unclench my jaw and maybe get some sleep. After an agonizing month, my supply was barely sufficient to meet my child’s needs.
    Then, after all that effort, I got nasty stares and whispers for my efforts. I rarely BF my child in public, and even when I did I’d cover up. One time, my sister and I were BF our children when a woman walked by, glaring at us. My sister piped up, “Oh, I’m so sorry for covering up! Did you want to watch us breastfeed?”, as she whipped the cover off, exposing her child’s head, and little else. The woman muttered under her breath about how “disgusting” we were “exhibiting” ourselves in public. As she marched away, my sister and I just laughed. When did BF become an exhibition?
    If you choose not to BF, I respect your choice. I wish I’d had your courage to do what was best for me. If you choose to BF, that’s wonderful. You go right ahead and do that, and I’ll go about my own business.

  44. Liz says:

    I loved this article. Thank you so much for writing it. I wasn’t able to breastfeed my son because he was born with a cleft lip and palate, I also didn’t develop milk because I had retained placenta that wasn’t discovered until 6 weeks postpartum. I feel guilt that I wasn’t able to breastfeed him and have gotten comments that I didn’t try hard enough at pumping. :/ When I had my daughter, the nurse tried to help me but she was very rough with my daughter and called her “stubborn like a red headed step child.” :( I asked her to leave. I tried to breastfeed on my own with her but it hurt and I didn’t have any support and I had no idea what I was doing! I am pregnant again and due in August, I am excited that I am delivering at a breastfeeding friendly hospital that is #1 in the area! I pray that I’m able to breastfeed this time.

  45. Tommy says:

    One of the problems with breast feeding is that breasts are not pets. They are wild animals. When they are fed by people, they lose their natural fear of people. Then they are around all the time and people get scared of them, and are sometimes injured.They wonder around playgrounds and schools and can scare people badly.While breasts can be very cute and even seem friendly, you should never leave food for them, they need to hunt their own prey to stay healthy.

    I’m not a scientist, but I’ve had lots of ideas.

  46. Dawn says:

    I nursed my son in the front row of church the day he was baptized. I got a double-take from the priest. I couldn’t tell if he was shocked and appalled, or surprised and excited.

  47. Pam says:

    I bottle fed with my daughter who is 15 now, I breast fed my son for a little over 2 years. Both experiences were positive. I never felt judged for either. I tried to be respectful based on the crowd I was around for nursing. I nursed everywhere though, even at church during service.

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