Friday, January 05, 2007


Formula Feeding Feminist Activist

But who am I? I mean, my kid is currently spending her naptime awake in a dark room, alone, smacking the door repeatedly as if to say, "Let me out, woman!"

But I'm mainly prompted to start a FF campaign because googling "formula feeding is best" calls up myriad uneducated cat-calls about WIC mothers, not to mention MSW studies about black women on food stamps and their belief that formula is a ritzy, healthy, middle-class aspiration conveniently funded by the state. Not to mention the hissy fits about people believing that they are affording their children "on their own," meaning without state assistance. Except, you know, a capitalist and racist structure that got you your job in the first place and one that actually gives your family benefits. But sure, you've done it all on your own, sweetie.
So we create the obstacle, then we stigmatize it. I've known all this before. But maybe I'm just bothered by the lack of studies about why breatfeeding is "best" or the lack of the very definition of "best" amidst the stigma that FF'ers are "worse." That does psychologically affect parents whether or not they know it (I'm not saying it makes FF'ers "feel bad," I'm saying it structures their lives and situates them in the debate and in the grand scheme of US motherhood without their permission).

For the BF'ing googlers, "best" seems to include the 100 hits of women saying how "terrible" they felt as mothers and women for being unsuccessful breastfeeders and the admonitions that being good enough simply requires one's own fortitude -- the weak and the poor. They just don't care about their kids enough, I hear. They're "selfish." But of course, this woman had clearly never lived with a parent who was unhappy to be parenting. Cuz that's a loved feeling, but at least they got some boobie. Sheesh. A bottle, now that would have been the culprit in their future health and welfare problems.

Perhaps I'm most annoyed that the BF movement doesn't seem to have any brilliant spokespeople.

Should I stop this door banging?

I think you're going overboard. Like you're over compensating for something. Why? You'll have a baby in 48 hours, and within a week Mel's milk will be gone, and there will be no more debate. Calm down, take a deep breath, and go make yourself a bottle.
The thing i thought was "better" abourt formula was that you can regulate the calories, fat, vitamins, et al. that is going into your child at each feeding, rather than worry about how your own milk may not add up and sit there guessing how much your kid is actually getting down. Then you think about how much the kid is robbing from your own body and you are being sapped of everything you need to stay healthy and how you aren't happy because the life is being drained out a myriad of holes in your tits.

Did I mention I was pro-breastfeeding? Yeah, but I'm actually anti-going crazy worrying about feeding the kid. You will be fine, the baby will be fine, and you will get through it.

Did I mention that I am done having kids? Yeah, I know I would be exactly where you are right now but a lot worse if I had another.
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