The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Breastfeeding is for suckers

20 Comments

Yeah, so, I haven’t even given birth yet, but apparently I’m already a bad mom.

You see, I’m not going to breastfeed.

Dun, dun, DUN!

Yeah. I said it.

Apparently, not breastfeeding the spawn makes me the new Casey Anthony. Yes, by refusing to share my boob with the spawn, I’m basically chloroforming him and putting him a trunk so I can go out and party.

Usually, when people ask me about breastfeeding, I’m polite. But sometimes this happens:

Them: “Are you going to breastfeed?”
Me: “No.”
Them: “You’re not breastfeeding?! Why not?”
Me: “Because I hate my baby.”

I’m surprised that so many people have asked me about it. It’s a very personal question, isn’t it? When my sister was pregnant I didn’t ask her whether she was going to breastfeed, because I figured it’s not my business, and we’re gossipy sisters who talk about everything.

David reminded me that I write a really personal blog. I put it all out there for everyone. My life is an open book (blog), so I shouldn’t be surprised when people ask me personal questions. Valid point by the mighty, mighty good man. But still, that’s a super personal question, right? “Hey, are you planning to whip out your knocker to feed that thing you popped out of your vagina?”

I know that some people ask because they want to offer advice and they want to help. I totally get that. I have been asked this question by people who love me and they offer no judgment. And some people ask because they want to judge me. They are nosy as hell, and they can’t wait to judge me. They can’t wait to list off all the benefits and point out all the shit I’m doing wrong even though they don’t know anything about me. They don’t know the whole story. I call those people the Breastfeeding Nazis.

Well, go ahead and judge me, Breastfeeding Nazis. Bring it.

So, why am I not breastfeeding?

Three reasons:

1) That’s none of your business. How dare you!

2) Readers of The Sonia Show know that I’m a breast cancer survivor. I had a left breast mastectomy back in October 2009. In other words, I only have one real boob. And really, isn’t breastfeeding a lot of to ask of my one healthy boob? I’ve known moms that can barely manage to feed one baby with two healthy boobs.

3) My oncologist wants me back on my cancer-preventing drug, tamoxifen, after the spawn is born, which means no breastfeeding. I had an estrogen-positive cancer, and estrogen has been running wild through my body for nine months. It’s time to put it back in its place to prevent the breast cancer reoccurring.

Now, when I’ve shared reason No. 3 with well-meaning breastfeeding advocates they say something like, “Oh, well, I read that breastfeeding actually reduces the risk of breast cancer.”

Well, I would love to take the advice you read in People Magazine, but I’m going to stick with the advice from the guy who went to school for this sort of thing, the oncologist. Cancer is his thing. Cancer is his bag. He’s wicked smart about it. But yeah, People Magazine is smart, too.

People love to talk about the benefits of breastfeeding, and, of course, there are plenty. But formula feeding isn’t bad either. These hardcore Breastfeeding Nazis make is sound like if I don’t breastfeed then my kid will grow up to an idiot.

“Poor Spawn. He wasn’t breastfed. He never had a chance.”

You know, I wasn’t breastfed. My siblings weren’t either. In fact, a lot of people I know were not breastfed. We all seem fine to me. There’s not a Forrest Gump among us.

I understand the benefits of breastfeeding. But I think me being cancer free and alive for the spawn so I can raise him right with my husband and watch him grow up to be a good man outweigh those benefits. Or maybe I’m just a selfish bitch who doesn’t want to share her one healthy boob with her baby.

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Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/mocker/goober/mother in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, podcast, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

20 thoughts on “Breastfeeding is for suckers

  1. My friend had to stop taking her MS meds during pregnancy — which left her in a wheelchair for 10 months. She didn’t breastfeed because she wanted to be able to walk again. And some assholes still give her shit. (Because that’s what assholes do — they shit! HEY-O!)

    Nah, but formula’s coming a long way in the last few years. It’s not the carnation instant breakfast drink for babies it used to be back in the 50s. It has all the probiotics and balanced nutrition that breastmilk has. And even if it didn’t, it’s nobody’s goddamn business what you feed your baby. I was adopted and obviously not breastfed and I turned out just fine. Well, fine as it relates to this discussion. I do have other problems. =P

  2. Welcome to mamahood in the Bay Area my dear – you will get so much judgmental, unsolicited advice from total strangers that it will blow your mind. Breastfeeding’s not for everyone; most of our generation wasn’t breastfed and we are not serial killers. I wish people would put it in perspective a little.

  3. Breast feeding I’s over rated. I attempted to breast feed Matty, it was painful and I felt like a milk cow! I didn’t even attempt with Hunter… I felt the only real benefit was the price of formula (which I’s out of this world) both of my kids have been equally healthy!

  4. Good for you for standing up for yourself and your health, Sonia! Marie that story about your friend is CRAZY! Some people have no sense.

  5. I wasn’t breastfed (I’m a twin and my mom developed terrible mastitis and said it hurt so bad when she tried to breastfeed us that she didn’t care if we lived or died, ha!). Anyway, I think I turned out darn well. Rock on!

  6. Yeah, I was one of those many people who asked. 🙂 It IS a personal question, though it’s amazing how much your personal/private boundaries go out the window for a while when you have a kid, precisely because of how they’re delivered and how many of them eat. Everything’s kinda on display for a while. Some of that’s natural. Some of it’s because everyone’s in your face all the time, asking about the birth and your parenting choices, etc.

    I hope it’s okay to mention this, but you’d be a great candidate for donor milk. If this remotely interests you, check out the Bay Area Breast Milk Cooperative: http://bayareabreastmilk.com/.

  7. FYI, your labor and delivery nurses will be pushing breastfeeding. You may want to preempt them when you show up just to avoid the annoyance.

    Carnation Good Start us a wonderful formula. Not just because I work for the company that makes it……

  8. Your reasoning makes perfect sense. There are obviously many women who can’t or shouldn’t breast feed (eg HIV+ mothers).

    One additional piece of info to keep in mind is that there are some breast milk banks in case you want to let your baby have some breast milk to get some of the immune benefits.

    http://www.sanjosemilkbank.com/contact.htm

  9. None of my mom’s kids ( me and siblings ) were breastfed, and we’re okay. Mom said she didn’t have much milk coming out of her boobs, so either that, or we babies starved .

  10. Sonia, you have excellent reasons not to breastfeed, and anyone who doesn’t accept that can go to hell. And yeah, people in general are nosy, and I know I asked about it too, mainly because I figured if you were able to try it (I was wondering if the cancer drugs might be an issue) you would need some good resources, and the help that Kaiser provides alone is… eh, it’s ok, but it’s not necessarily enough. Or at least it wasn’t for me when I ran into trouble.

    Without going into a long argument here though– and this is aimed in part at other commenters here as much as directly at you– please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and condemn breastfeeding proponents or breastfeeding in general just because some individuals are rude or pushy, or because you feel defensive. There are very good reasons why breastfeeding needs to be promoted and supported– too many people fail at it because they don’t get the support, information or help they need to make it work. I consider it a social justice and public health issue, not a reason to condemn individual mothers, most of whom are doing the best they can based on the information, support and resources they have available.

    Ok, I’ll get off the soap box now– I know I’m committing the sin of being earnest in a forum aimed largely at humor.

    • I’m sorry, Sara. I didn’t mean to give the impression that I was condemning breastfeeding proponents or breastfeeding. Like I said above, there are tons of benefits to breastfeeding. I get it.

      I know plenty of women who breastfeed their babies, and I know plenty of women who tried to breastfeed their babies but couldn’t for various valid reasons.

      This post was inspired by a specific-type person: the judgy, preachy breastfeeding advocate. People who, if I talked to them a little bit longer, might have actually accused me of child abuse for not breastfeeding.

      I’m sure I will have an entire post about circumcision nazis in a few weeks. HA!

      • Ah- FUN topic. Careful, your blog will be overrun with comments. =)
        I just spent a few weeks reading up on the topic and reached the grand conclusion that– drum roll– you’re pretty much fine either way. But I know a lot of folks disagree with me pretty strongly on that one!

  11. Great blog ! Loved it ! Breastfeeding is just the «in thing» these days…i was never breastfead and im a healthy 33 years old.

  12. Great post! I intended to bf but never had near enough milk, plus both my girls were slightly premature (36 wks), the elder one hypoglycaemic, weak, bla, bla. I got SHOUTED AT in the hospital by a Leche League bitch that I had “ruined my daughter” (she was 2 days old!) despite the fact that the paediatrician had said my daugther would die without formula because I wasn’t producing any milk. Yes, you will get flack for your decision, but the reasons behind your decision are beyond valid and, most importantly, it’s YOUR DECISION. As long as your son is being fed in an appropriate and sufficient manner, nothing else matters.
    For info, neither of my girls (now aged 9.5 and 7) was bf for more than a month (and in that month, they really got very little actual breast milk). Both are very healthy (never miss school, rarely catch anything at all, not even colds), both are among the brightest students in their classes, both are good at a wide range of things, both are tall and slim and fun and beautiful… Oh, and I wasn’t bf at all either…

  13. Pingback: The Spawn eats better than we do | The Sonia Show

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