Can I Be a Bottle-Feeding Lactivist? Please?

I have no idea who to credit for this, which is sad, even though I tried to find you, Dear Artist! I had to post it, though, because it is too awesome to skip.

There was a comment on the blog, and there was a tweet. Both suggested that I find out more about Klonopin and breastfeeding. Immediately, I felt defensive. Why weren’t they trusting my doctor? Why did they think that I would just give up breastfeeding without a fight?

I don’t know these women, but I am guessing that they do not think ill of either myself or my doctor. They don’t know me. Or my doctor. I am guessing that they are trying to help me make the most educated decision I can make. On twitter, I could express that. Take a look at our conversation.


DoNotFaint Anne-Marie Lindsey: @HygeiaKate I’m sure you’re lovely. But it can feel like competency of my doctors and my level of education are being questioned, you know?

HygeiaKate Hygeia Kate: @DoNotFaint Unfortunately the level of education of most MDs in the US in regards to bfing and medications is next to zero.

Anne-Marie Lindsey: @HygeiaKate That’s so true. I travel two hours to see someone who is truly an expert.

Hygeia Kate: @DoNotFaint And I hear from SO many moms that their doctors tell them they have to stop bfing bc of totally benign medications.

Hygeia Kate: @DoNotFaint Given healthcare climate it’s understandable…never going to get malpractice suit by saying that no med is bfing compatible. :(

Anne-Marie Lindsey: @HygeiaKate So true. We have to ignore it and find dr. who knows better. I’ve gotten the smile and nod down already & I’m not even pregnant.

Anne-Marie Lindsey: @HygeiaKate … the LactMed link [providing very sciency information on Klonopin and breastfeeding] says pretty much what my dr said. Small # of examples + my dose = more danger than we want to risk.

Hygeia Kate: @DoNotFaint Well I wish you well with your MDs…sounds like you’re doing a great job surrounding yourself with knowledgeable ones. :) [hr]

See? A very helpful person! I’m really glad that I told her that I was afraid of assumptions about me being uninformed or choosing an uninformed doctor. Because there’s a group of women that I need to confess that I fear: lactivists. I didn’t misspell that. Lactation activists. I believe in everything they stand for. I believe that breastfeeding is awesome and to be encouraged and supported and laws should be passed to protect the right to do it in public. I am all about breastfeeding. I once shouted down a group of high school classmates who were offended when an audience member of the play we were in started breastfeeding during act two. I basically said they should improve their concentration because the only thing that actually happened was a slight distraction. You know what else is distracting when you’re acting on a stage? Someone leaving the auditorium. A crying baby. Offended? Absurd. I would shout and hold signs in support of better lactation education in US hospitals. I would occupy something. So why am I afraid? I don’t want to defend this “decision” over and over again, and I don’t want to be written off as a mis-informed, un-educated, well, BAD mother. But I have a feeling that this is not the first controversy I will encounter in the whole pregnancy/parenting project. So I’ll join in the conversation. And, as usual, I’ll avoid people who shout or refuse to listen or judge or hate. Because who likes that? Nobody!

But there’s one more reason I feel sad about not being able to breastfeed while taking the drug that has saved my life. I want to participate in the culture surrounding breastfeeding. I want to go to La Leche support groups. I want to talk about latching. Heck, I even want to talk about blocked ducts at this point. I want to connect with other new moms over something we share. I want to tweet HygeiaKate with questions. And I’m sad, because it looks like that’s not going to happen.

How sad am I? I’m really, really sad. I have been crying a lot. I share this, because my BFF, E, told me today that she had no idea, even after reading yesterday’s post, that this was so hard. Apparently, I seem like I have “it” together. How that happened is a total mystery to me, because it usually feels like chaos over here! So, for the record: the prospect of missing out on this experience makes me extremely sad. And a little angry.

I’m not depressed. I’m not even anxious. The baby is going to have two parents who could not possibly have more love to give. Nathan loves the idea of being included in the feeding right from the very first one and very logically pointed out that an exclusively breast-fed baby is not fed by Dad. Donor milk, milk sharing, formula and all of our options are healthy and will make sure Baby gets all the right nutrition. We will all bond. We will be the cutest family! But I wanted to breastfeed. And I don’t get to do it. I am disappointed, darn it!

Also, I hate washing dishes. And there will be lots of bottles to wash. Bother. You know what else is a bother? Toting around bottles and formula (or donor milk) and filtered water. Making a bottle in the middle of the night. Making a bottle for a screaming baby who does not want to wait another second. It’s all more bother than I wanted. [Yes, breastfeeding has a learning curve, but it comes with so much less equipment to carry/wash!] So much for that part of Avi’s awesome Lazy Parenting philosophy.

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