Monday, October 22, 2012

The "F" Word

Dear Friends,

Once upon a time there lived a pregnant young professional princess who longed for the day she would become the fairest super mommy in all the land.  Part of being the fairest super mommy in all the land was breastfeeding your beautiful baby so that he or she would grow up to be a clever, healthy prince or princess.  To prepare, this princess took a breastfeeding class, talked to all of her fellow super mommy princess friends, and bought everything needed to breastfeed in a modern world: lanolin, pads (disposable and reusable), nursing tanks, Swedish Boob shirts for stealthy feeding in public, a Hooter Hider, and a $300 pump designed for super mommy's on the go.

This young professional princess did indeed have a beautiful baby boy who latched perfectly in the hospital.  "Hooray!" thought the mommy.  "Soon I will be the fairest super mommy of them all!"  Just to be extra safe, this mommy went to lactation classes once or twice a week at her hospital to weigh her beautiful boy and to learn and share breastfeeding tips.  At the first such meeting, the super mommy felt very smug.  Her tiny baby boy had gained weight and was doing well.  "Hooray!" thought the mommy.  "I am the fairest super mommy of them all!"

Then, the super mommy attended a lactation class the next week and discovered that her beautiful little prince had not gained even an ounce.  "How could this be?" thought the super mommy with only 10 weeks left of maternity leave.  "I've fed my baby every hour!  I've done everything right!  I've read all the breastfeeding blogs and books - whatever is the matter?"  Seeking help, the mommy asked the old lactation consultant for advice.  Rather than helping the old lactation consultant said to the room full of fellow mommies "What does everyone else here suggest?" The other mommies shouted: "Feed your baby more often!" "Pump!"  "Drink more water!"  "Eat more often!"

But the super mommy had been doing all those things.  She felt despair and through tears said "But I've done all that, and it was working before."  Further, had the super mommy wanted help from these lay mommies she had plenty of super mommy princess friends she could have asked.  She wanted help from the old witch, er "Lactation Consultant."

Finally, the old lactation consultant, careful not to use the "F" word ("formula") said, "Your baby is not getting enough to eat."  The super mommy, feeling very un-super, looked down at her crying baby boy and had a revelation.  She wasn't producing enough milk.  He wasn't colicky   He was starving.  Oh, but how could she have not known!  Tearful, she swept out of the room, designer baby bag in tow.  "I am the worst mother in all the land" she cried.  "I don't even have the power to feed my own baby and the poor thing is hungry!"

Luckily, some fellow mommy princesses were nearby and recognized the un-super mommy from prenatal yoga.  They came to her aid and showered her with help and understanding: "We have low production too!"  "We supplement!"  "Try Playtex Vent-Air bottles and Similac formula."  "He will still grow up to be a prince."

And so it was that the super mommy discovered that she had the power to feed her baby after all.  She went to CVS, purchased bottles and formula, fed her beautiful baby boy and a magical thing happened: he stopped crying.  Suddenly, he was full and happy and growing.  And super mommy was thrilled.

And that's how the young professional princess truly became a Super Mommy.

The End.

1 comment:

  1. I found that several (male + female) MDs and RNs were far more helpful, encouraging, empowering than witchy old (terrible, tone deaf, un-seeing, shame-wielding) lactation consultants. Simply by being practical, understanding, nonjudgmental, and not black-and-white one way or the other.

    I breastfed *and* supplemented with formula for both of my tall, strong, smart, big, healthy, fabulous babies.