How do you feel about today's "social norms"?

Melissa - posted on 09/04/2010 ( 190 moms have responded )

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Am I the only one that is driven absolutely crazy by the distortion of child birth and infant care in America. I can't stand how it's perfectly normal now that less than have of women acutely feel their birth and you are a "crazy person" if you don't get the epidural, that babies are dried-weighed-measured-examend-stabbed with a needle and dowsed in ointment before the moms get to hold them for the FIRST time! That its ok and your not less of a mom if you CHOOSE to use formula because breastfeeding is to "Inconvenient" for you. That moms are encouraged to get their babies on a schedule and not feed on demand less they be minipulated. That hazardis pacifiers are shoved in babies mouths minutes after birth. That infants are left alone to cry unattended for hours in attempts to teach them the biliderent notion of "self-soothing"! And the list goes on...

I can't understand why such detrimental practices are so widely excepted in today's society. What are your thoughts?

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Sharon - posted on 09/05/2010

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I'd give this post more consideration if it made any damn sense.

What is a "biliderent notion"?

how is it "less than have"?

And seriously? Who the fuck cares anymore? I don't care if you had an epidural or an orgasm during birth, your own birth or the birth of your child.

I don't care if you booby feed or use a bottle. Who does care? In this day & age where nutjobs are suffocating their kids, putting them in cars and shoving them into lakes & rivers to die, straight up neglecting them, starving them to death, selling them into child slavery.... I don't give a shit.

Who are you to judge whether a pacifier is a good thing or a bad thing?

Who are you to judge whether a mom should breastfeed or bottle feed? Why the fuck do you care? Aren't you busy enough raising your own little carpet maggot? Now you've got to reach out to raise everyone elses?

And what the fuck? God forbid a newborn should be clean before being presented to the mother. Its not like they doused it with lysol first. Oh good lord lets not prevent blinding with an ointment. OH horrors.

This is so stupid.

Petra - posted on 09/07/2010

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I don't know if I have anything really constructive to add to this debate, but I think I can kind of see where the OP is coming from - mind you, her condescending, judgmental over-generalizations did little to help her get her point across. Doing things as naturally as possible is lovely, if you have the pain tolerance, patience, support system and the commitment to see it through. I think she is missing a key point though - as a few others on here have said, a lot of what she is slamming are things that have been introduced to make life, birthing and child rearing easier on parents. Its impossible for me to take a hard stance on any or all of these issues because different practices work for different people at different times. Sure, maybe too many mothers-to-be cruise into the hospital waving their epidural consent form (I was one of them) but again, if we don't have to experience the brutal agony of childbirth, why should we? No one would knock a terminal cancer patient being dosed simply in order to make them more comfortable, so why criticize a woman for making a similar choice? I didn't get to have my epidural, but if the anesthetist had been able to make it to my room, you bet your ass I would have taken it.

Most will agree that breast is best, but formula definitely does the trick if you (for whatever reason) choose the go that route. I have a toaster and I use it, even though I could totally go out into my back yard and light a fire and grill bread out there. I use my toaster because it is far more convenient, just like I let my son use a pacifier because it was a hell of a lot easier than acting as his human pacifier.

My problem with what she is saying is that she is taking this superior attitude when it comes to other mothers who do things differently and follow others' advice - why take the very stance you are arguing against? If everyone on here said, shit, you're right, I'm going to do things they way you do them, they'd be guilty of the exact same thing she is criticizing. I don't see any point in judging others for using practices that differ from my own. I've had three mothers tell me that I will resort to CIO and while I simply smile and say that its not for me, they laugh and say "oh you will, just wait." Its fine that they used CIO (and yes, they put their babies in separate rooms and plugged their ears or put on music and said it never lasts more than an hour or two), but my attitude towards my son's crying is very different and I hate the condescension and the assumption that they are right and poor little first-time mother me is so naive to think that I could possibly be right. No one is right and no one is wrong in these scenarios - we simply have a different approach to the same situation. We have an awful lot of options - those who choose to forgo them are no more wrong than those who choose to take advantage of them. We can even research them on the internet and make an informed choice inside of an hour, rather than have to rely on the multitude of advice and recommendations and judgment of others.

There are far greater things mothers do their children that warrant criticism than simply getting pain meds, using a soother, crying it out, formula feeding or even scheduled feeding. None of these mothers are abusing their children and if you have a mother who is rested and relaxed due to these practices, you have a mother who is less likely to hurt their child out of frustration or anger.

And no, these are not "social norms", they are practices. Social norms take place during social interaction, like being polite when someone harshly and ignorantly judges you, and you refrain from punching them in the face.

Johnny - posted on 09/06/2010

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"Women are in so much pain through labor becasue they are frightened, don't know their bodies very well, and have been told it will hurt that bad .... does hurt, don't get me wrong, but an educated women (educated about birth, her body, nature) has a better time .... a woman who controls her labor, listenes to what her baby/body needs and follows that path, is respected for her ideas .... has a better time"

I always find this hilarious, because it is always coming from women who were fortunate enough not to experience complications in labor. Now, I will only speak for myself (something too few others seem to do when discussing birthing issue) but I was very educated about birthing and labor. I had done a lot of reading on natural birth, I had a doula, a midwife, I'd done a 12 week birthing course and a Bradley method course. I was all set for a natural labor and had hoped to show up at the hospital shortly before the birth, preferably already well-dilated. I had hoped like heck to avoid pain meds and especially an epidural (mostly because I knew I did not want a catheter). I knew that things could possibly go differently, but I did everything I could possibly do to avoid a medicated birth. I walked, spent time in the tub, went through exercises with my doula, bounced on the birthing ball, got support from my husband. I was stuck at 4 cm for a long, long time. After 36 hours of labor my blood pressure sky-rocketed and I was admitted to hospital with labor-onset pre-eclampsia. I was put on a monitor, put in a bed, and eventually given an epidural and some other meds. I was disappointed, but only that I didn't get to experience that 'fuzzy-happy-birth-in-a-pool' that you see in all those lovely natural birthing videos. I was overly happy with my healthy strong baby and the fact that I had doctors present to attend to me as I hemorrhaged.

Generalizations about women and birth just serve to divide women into categories. The wholesome natural birther who is educated and knows her body vs. the medicated epidural birther who is ignorant and fearful. These stereotypes and ways of talking about birth just serve to make some people feel superior and others feel disappointed and sad. Not really too helpful.

If I am fortunate enough to conceive again, I hope to attempt a home birth if the pregnancy is on track and my health is good. I still believe that a natural, unmedicated birth is in my and my baby's best interests. But I also know that if it does not happen, it is not because I am some sort of fearful, uneducated woman who does not have control of her own birth.

Amie - posted on 09/05/2010

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The issues you've listed are not the problem in society today.

The problem is mother's not being accepting of other mother's. The majority of mother's carry out these "bad" techniques in the responsible way they should be. There is a minority who do not but then almost all zealots focus on the minority and paint every mother who even thinks of trying certain aspects with that same brush. It's sickening.

There are certain things I do not agree with. Like spanking, I will never and have never, spanked any of my 4 children. However, so long as the child is not being abused, it is not my business whether a mom chooses to spank or not. I can try to educate her on other techniques that work but I also have the sense to not do so in the manner of the OP. Judgmental, condescending, holier than thou attitudes rarely get a person anywhere, with anyone.

[deleted account]

I've had a think about this one and read the other posts. I think it's tempting to assume that something is a social norm if other people we know are doing it, but that isn't the reaity. As an example, a nursing mother might assume that everyone is weaning before her or a formula feeding mother might assume that people are judging, but it has to be put into perspective. Most people in society don't feel as passionately about raising our children as we do and they probably don't have a strong opinion on any of these issues. A good way to look at it is that not everyone has kids the same age as ours and some people don't have kids at all. The truth is that most people don't care what we do.

I develpoed a bit of a victim mentality when friends and family kept pushing the solids issue and I assumed that it was a social norm to start early. I've since learned that this isn't the case. We actually live in a day and age where there is more information out there so that people can feel more empowered to make choices for their children without having to worry so much about social norms. I care a lot less about social norms these days than I did when my son was a baby.

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[deleted account]

I don't really give a damn what the "norm" is, I'll do what I please....... I have my babies with NO pain medication & because I use midwives, I always get to hold my baby right away. I breast feed for as long as I can take it (about 9 months). Schedules don't usually happen for me until the baby is about 6 months old. I never leave an infant to "cry it out". Not until they are about 8 months old anyway, And I DO use pacifiers..

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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My daughter is pretty much like clockwork. She feeds every 3 hours within 10mins. Gets sleepy about an hour and a half after walking. Goes to sleep for the night around 7 or 730. Wakes up at around 7 or 730. She's textbook. I never influenced her routine, i kept track of it. Makes it easier to plan outings. When she's hitting a growth spurt I know it b/c she rarely veers off her routine.

[deleted account]

Kate, it was a combination of that and baby showing signs of hunger for me. I know what you mean!

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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I realized my numbers were wrong in my post about breastfeeding laws in certain states... i realize my numbers only add up to 51 :)

Kate CP - posted on 09/08/2010

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I went on my boobs' schedule. When my boobs felt hard I knew the baby would be hungry soon so I would feed her. Worked well for us, I think. :)

C. - posted on 09/08/2010

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Jennifer, I formula-fed exclusively from the time my son was 2 weeks old.. They ENCOURAGED on demand feeding, even with formula.

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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Yes for BF they recommend you feed on demand. Not sure about formula feeding. I still follow a "routine" however. But it's baby-led and not by the clock. If my daughter is hungry, or "i think" she's hungry i feed her. It's important to feed on demand when you BF because of growth spurts. FOD increases your milk supply for growth spurts.
blah... im sure we all know that though. :p

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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@Kate- I think it's horrible that there are still 6 states that don't protect a mother's right to feed her child in public. I was looking into it myself, Virgina has the least amount of laws protecting the right to BF. I believe it's only allowed on private property or some BS. In the other 5 the laws are worded in a way that restaurants and other business can ask the woman to leave under laws of tresspassing.

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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Yeah I was never encouraged by a doctor to use a feeding schedule either.

C. - posted on 09/08/2010

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First of all, Melissa, I don't know where in the US you are, but I have NEVER heard of a woman NOT being able to hold her baby before it had been washed..



Second, if a woman doesn't think they can handle the pain, then they can get an epidural. It's really none of your business (and for the record before you tell me I'm just mad that I couldn't do it- just foreseeing the worst- I went W/O an epidural and pushed out a 9lb 2oz baby).



Third, not all moms that choose formula make that decision lightly. Some moms CAN'T breastfeed, some don't make enough- so they supplement with formula, some are too busy trying to provide for their little one that they don't have enough time in the day to stop and pump every time they're engorged.. And yes, the few (compared to the rest) that just don't want 'sagging boobs' b/c they are too vain.. But still, that should not be of any concern to you.



I do agree about the schedule thing- kind of, but every doctor I had been to actually encouraged ODF (on demand feeding).



If a mom chooses to give her baby a pacifier, what's it to you? It's really not that hazardous.



Most of those who use CIO, generally have a 5-15 minute LIMIT (depending on age and severity as long as the baby does not show signs of distress) for their child to cry by themselves. The correct way to start CIO is to wait until they are older than 6 months old.



(**I actually had this written out since 1p my time, it is now 5p.. The power went out, so I couldn't post it- so I'm sorry if some of these things have already been addressed.**)

Jaime - posted on 09/08/2010

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I completely agree about changing a shitty diaper at the table being rude and disgusting among the various sanitary issues. I meant my story as an example of something that is HIGHLY inappropriate when it comes to the care of children in public, because I feel like BF'ing gets put in that category (when people insist that mothers leave or go to the washroom) and it should never be in that same category--EVER! And if a restaurant doesn't have proper hygiene amenities for changing diapers, then I would go out to the car before I would change my baby at the table...but I would never, ever excuse myself from a restaurant to breast feed and I will defend any BF'ing mother that is treated in such a poor, distasteful and discriminatory manner.

[deleted account]

If there's no place available to change my daughter, I'll change her in the car. A few times I've found a private bench and changed her in her stroller (the zoo, outside mall). That's not something total strangers should be subjected to.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2010

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oh i was agreeing with her in a roundabout way LOL i just added that it wasnt the same in case anyone was going to compare it , i guess i jumped the gun on that one .

[deleted account]

I don't think Jaime was comparing them, Loureen. But then again, I don't know for sure and I probably shouldn't speak for her so I'ma shut my mouth...lmao.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2010

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Changing a shitty nappy on a table where people eat is rude and disgusting and is in no WAY comparable to a mother breastfeeding .

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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I've been to a hell of of a lot of places with no mothers room. Subway for instance, and the CBD of Brisbane.

Jaime - posted on 09/08/2010

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Every restaurant that I've ever been in is equipped with the proper amenities for changing a baby. Changing a diaper at the dinner table in a restaurant is a health issue and if the health inspector had been in, we would have been cited for it. Health codes are strict in NA and our restaurant was visited a lot and very randomly by the health board.

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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What do you do if the place has no mother's room? My SIL is hilarious and changes my son anywhere and everywhere.

Jaime - posted on 09/08/2010

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I worked in a restaurant when I was pregnant with Gray and a woman was dining in with her family. She proceeded to change her infant's shitty diaper right at the table, amongst other eaters. NOT COOL. That is something I would consider inappropriate and had I been aware of her activities at the time (I was told after she left) I would have politely escorted her to the washrooms that were equipped with a change table and the proper hygiene amenities.

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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People are so immature about breastfeeding in public yet they will buy porno mags and talk about sex in public. When will they realise their hypocrisy.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2010

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Its illegal in Australia to refuse service for breastfeeding !

A lot of places are now putting large stickers on their cafe windows saying BF welcome here .

Tara - posted on 09/08/2010

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In Canada is it illegal to refuse service to someone because they are breastfeeding. It is illegal to ask someone to leave a store/restaurant etc. because you are breastfeeding.
It is also illegal to deny a nursing mother the right to carry her own container of water anywhere she chooses including place like the Air Canada Center where normally there are "NO" outside food or beverages allowed.
We can nurse pretty much wherever we choose here in Canada. I saw a woman on stand at a criminal trial nursing a 4 day old baby. Discreetly yes, but still doing it cause she needed to feed her child and knew that no one could stop her.

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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@Sara oops i misunderstood your post. You meant it's illegal to refuse a woman's rights to breastfeed in public. Sorry bout that! :)

Isobel - posted on 09/08/2010

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Go Canada is right...we also get a year off work with guaranteed job security :) (at 55% of our gross pay which is also often topped up by the company through a benefits package)

Jaime - posted on 09/08/2010

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If I saw someone tell a BF'ing mother to cover up, or go elsewhere, I'd first tear them a new asshole and then direct them to where they can go and give them a map to shove up their ass when they get there!

Johnny - posted on 09/08/2010

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I've nursed all over the place and where I live, I see moms nursing all over the place. There has been a couple of cases where people tried to send them elsewhere or kick them off a bus or something, but that is not allowed here. Like Jennifer just posted, the right to breastfeed anywhere at anytime is protected by law in Canada. Although it is also legal to go topless, I've never seen anyone do it aside from at the beach. But here in Vancouver, I see lots of women breastfeeding publicly.

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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Yup just looked it up the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects our right to breastfeed anywhere and anytime.
"You have rights as a nursing mother. For example, you have the right to breastfeed a child in a public area. No one should prevent you from nursing your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up”, disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet”."
Go Canada!

Michelle - posted on 09/08/2010

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I am not a BF advocate so I don't know the laws however most business still have the right to refuse service to anyone, which could be why many women are kicked out of business while BFing. If you are walking around walmart and someone complains about you BFing, management usually has the right to ask you to leave because someone complained. I don't agree with it, but I believe that is why some businesses kick women out for BFing. I could be wrong.

[deleted account]

No, I'm saying, it's illegal to kick someone out of Wal-Mart for nursing. The nursing itself is perfectly legal.

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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If that's the case and the only places in public we're allowed to nurse is parks, beaches and street benches... what's the point?

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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In commercial buildings? What about doctor's offices? See that's kind of my point. It shouldn't be illegal in ANY place.

[deleted account]

Oh things like that happen all the time. THAT is illegal. That's why nursing moms should know the law.

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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I had heard about someone being kicked out of walmart for BF. I wasn't sure if laws existed outside my country.

[deleted account]

Jennifer, the most public nursing I ever did of my twins was in the car... it was just easier on all of us.

I was nervous about feeding my son in public, but as a single mom of 3 who didn't pump at all... I didn't have a choice. I got over my nervousness really fast and in the 2 years I fed him in public... no one ever said a word about it... or if they did I never heard them. ;) I don't know of any place where it is illegal to feed in public, but then I am only slightly familiar w/ US laws..

[deleted account]

Where is it illegal to breastfeed in public? I'm curious, because from what I know it's legal everywhere.

Jenni - posted on 09/08/2010

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Speaking of BF how many of you leave in an area where you can't BF in public. Where i live going topless is legal. But i have only witness one woman BF in public at my OBGYNs. Before that i would never consider BF in public I always bring EBM. Seeing her BF made me feel a little more confident about public BF. I would if i had to do it in public but i still prepare for outings with EBM. I wish public BF was more acceptable than it is. It's funny but i bet if men were the ones who did the BF they would have no hang ups about whipping a breast out in public. There probably wouldn't be any laws against it either. It's so irritating that we live in a society where we are still so fearful of women's sexuality that we can't allow them to BF their babies anywhere they please.

LaCi - posted on 09/08/2010

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I'm not sure where you are, but I had a c-section and was still able to hold my child after he was extracted. No pacifier was ever shoved in his mouth. Breastfeeding was highly encouraged. Oh, and no one ever told me to get my son on a schedule. I fed him whenever he was hungry. So I don't think this thing you are speaking of is an "American" thing, as no one I've known has experienced any pressure of that nature.

[deleted account]

Haha, Emma I agree with you. I'm a cheapskate. But my husband is a nurse and insists on natural and healthy. I agree with that, but I admit my main reason for wanting to do it was the cost...free! I think I was so successful for a year because I had so much support with it. My husband backed me up anytime someone even thought the word "formula". My mom had breastfed (as most my my family did, a lot of husband's family did not) and she was a huge help to me during the entire process. So, women helping women and their partners supporting them. That's what needs to happen, with any decision that is made, formula/breast, natural/epi, etc.

Plus, I agree with Mary that going back to work so soon plays a huge factor in people not being able to BF. How much healthier would our society be if moms were given the option to stay home a year with job security?

Every mom I know, with the exception of 2, have wanted to breastfeed. But only about about half made it their breastfeeding goal (1 year, six months, or whatever it was).

Stifler's - posted on 09/08/2010

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I just wanted to breastfeed because it was free, and always the right temperature and you don't have to guess how much milk they want or waste any left over. Formula feeding really really sucks IMHO, I never wanted to do it, ever.

Petra - posted on 09/08/2010

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@ Katie - I know that CIO is technically not supposed to last for hours, but I have yet to meet (in person) a mom who uses the method that way. Nonetheless, having it shoved down my throat in the manner it has been has really bothered me... CIO used in the fashion you described is definitely more conservative than the unsolicited advice I've been given.

With respect to the breast feeding/sexualization of the breast issue: I fully intended to breast feed and just see how it went. Now, 9 months later, I am still bf'ing and intend to wean my little guy over the next two months before I go back to work. I have, however, asked my partner to lay off the boobs during sex because I have a hard time reconciling my boobs as fun and as nurturing milk-delivery devices. Once the little dude is off the milk, my boobs can just be fun again.

I think the major reason to bf - aside from the quick convenience, skin to skin contact & bonding aspect - is that your baby will ingest a lot of antibodies from your milk. They can mimic a lot of things with formula, but not this.

Mary - posted on 09/08/2010

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Fiona, I see the point you are trying to make. Yes, for a significant part of the 20th century, formula feeding was the "norm"...but it was because it really was believed to be nutritionally superior. Now, initially, it was only the upper classes that could afford to make that "choice"...but that is true of MANY things in life. As the belief that formula was 'better' became more entrenched, it also became more widely available to all classes.

Slowly that belief began to be questioned, and then eventually disproved. Unfortunately, this occurred in conjunction with another societal shift...women remaining in the work force after child birth. I think this, much more than any sexual hang-ups about breasts, has influenced women to give up on breastfeeding.

From what I see on a regular basis, the vast majority of woman really have every intention of breastfeeding with their firstborn. Most of them do while still in the hospital. And then they go home...and the reality of just how hard it can be in those first few weeks hits them. They are hormonal, and sleep deprived, and often feeling desperate. They begin to wonder just how worth it this is, considering that they will be returning to work in 6,8 or 12 weeks, and will most likely be switching to formula anyway.

Most of my friends, who are all college-educated professionals, did start out breastfeeding. None of them continued once they returned to work. Some tried pumping, but found it prohibitively hard, and gave up within a few weeks. Some just never even considered it. As someone who did pump from 14 weeks through 13 months, I have to say, it was, at times, damned hard and rather unpleasant...and I work with a group of woman who are very supportive of breastfeeding.

If your looking at this from the perspective of WHICH societal influences most impact breastfeeding negatively, I honestly believe that woman returning to work within 3 months of birth is a much bigger factor than the sexualization of the female breast.

Michelle - posted on 09/08/2010

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The social norm within my group of family and friends is to breast feed. My sister did, both cousins did, best friend did, ect.... I however have no desire to breastfeed. I didn't with my first, didn't even try and I have no intention on trying with my second. It is not about convenience as I am a SAHM. It doesn't appeal to me. And the idea that so many women out there feel like the OP regarding breastfeeding irriates me.

What difference does it make it I BF or not. As long as my child is fed, taken care of, and showered with love who really gives a rats ass.

Who really cares if I stick a pacifier in my daughters mouth as long as I play with her and love on her.

IF the worst thing I am doing to my child is formula feeding, sticking a pacifier in her mouth, or getting an epidural during labor, I should be GET KUDOS.... I am not beating her, starving her, forcing her into prostitution, doing drugs around her or while I am pregnant, tying her to a bed and forcing drugs down her throat, ect........

IF we want to talk about social norm.. I guess it safe to say that teen pregnancy and obesity are social norms too....

Stifler's - posted on 09/07/2010

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I planned to try breastfeeding for at least 12 weeks before I gave up if it wasn't working out. But I had so many lectures from people about how formula is just as good and very little encouragement to continue trying to breastfeed. It was pathetic. It's the norm in my peer group. Nobody I know that is my age except 2 people have breastfed longer than 6 weeks. A few people I know didn't even try to breastfeed at all and didn't want to.

[deleted account]

Fair point Sara.

So if breastfeeding rates are on the rise does that mean that formula feeding was once a social norm now becoming outdated (seeing as it has taken some pretty substantial health advocacy and education strategies to increase breastfeeding rates)? That as a social norm it has been around for a long time (especially as certain generations in certain cultures once viewed formula feeding as a class and status symbol -ie: formula was once seen as superior to breastmilk and if you were wealthy and educated enough you gave your child formula, only the poor breastfed.) and is only now being reinstated as an option for feeding your child, just one of many choices parents have rather than one tied to societal expectations.

Or that formula has always just been an option for feeding your child and the popularity of that choice has just swung during different times depending on the information available. Do societal influences play a part at all in the popularity of those choices even if they don't necessarily make it a "norm".

Or none of the above? I don't mean to turn this into a formula debate but I am so taken by the fact that so far this is the first time I have ever been able to actually DEBATE the topic without it turning defensive and personal. I know that feeding your child is such a personal and intimate part of parenting that many people place a high emotional stake in the topic, but it should be able to be debated in such a manner so long as everyone remains respectful.

[deleted account]

I don't see how the social norm is becoming formula when breastfeeding rates have actually been on the rise the past few decades.

[deleted account]

Sure, Jamie-Leigh maybe not social norms as such but I do see the increasing trend of women choosing formula for reasons such as I mentioned as possibly contributing to formula feeding becoming a social norm. I do think however that there has been an equivalent response by breastfeeding advocates that will probably serve to keep feeding choices just that, choices rather than social norms. Because I have seen how this issue quickly gets people on the defensive, I will state again that while I am pro-breastfeeding I am in no way anti-formula so I am not being negative about mothers who formula feed.

As for the 'getting turned on by breastfeeding', as others have explained it is natural and many mothers experience something similar. The same hormone responsible for milk ejection (the let-down reflex), oxytocin; is also produced by nipple stimulation and intimacy. This hormone is also responsible for causing uterine contractions (such as in labour, orgasm or post-partum), which is why nipple stimulation (as well as sex, although there are also other reasons for that) is often recommended to bring on labour and why breastfeeding aids in contracting the uterus back down after childbirth. The production of oxytocin (also colloquially called the 'love hormone') is also involved in intimacy and love making and is partially responsible for the loved-up glow of post-coital couples as well as new mothers.

I always found it amazing that my mind and body interpreted the coursing of a hormone in my system differently depending on the circumstance. When my nipples were stimulated by my baby breastfeeding it aroused a sense of absolute love, fierce devotion and nurturing; when my nipples were stimulated by my partner it aroused a sense of absolute love and sexual desire (or irritation depending on the situation). My brain was able to differentiate between these sensations and their causes and respond appropriately. No two women's minds work the same however, so it does not surprise me when other women respond differently.

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Yeah, I'd probably get creeped out if my baby turned me on when breastfeeding. That's not society's fault.

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