In My Opinion
Government Has A Right Over Breasts...Unless They Are Chicken?
In the past week the conversation on Chic-fil-whatever has been getting more and more intense.
One group calls for boycotting of the various eatery’s locales in protest of the owner’s, Dan Cathy, personal and religious beliefs identified as the overall company’s stance.
The other group is calling fowl, stating that Cathy has the right to his opinions.
It has gotten political for sure, with Mayors from Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston calling for a ban on the chain’s presence in their city, while Mayor Bloomberg has criticized that move stating that “It’s just not government’s job, no matter how much you dislike somebody else’s views...”
And this is where I am confused. Because not long after that statement, the same Mayor took a stance and a very broad use of governmental power, to demand that hospitals lock up baby formulas to encourage breast feeding. Starting September 3, 2012, under the Under Latch on NYC program, formula will be treated with the same level of security and scrutiny as hospital medications.
This move will allow for the often over zealous lactation professionals found roaming the hospital rooms of new mothers to further push their agenda and practices on them.
Let it be known that I breastfed my babies. I loved breastfeeding my babies, and I found the experience to be a joy – when it finally happened - which was a good few weeks after my babies were born.
I was one of those mothers who did not lactate right away, and thanks to the insistent lactation nurses and their refusal to listen to my wants, I had to endure days of listening to my baby cry of hunger because they swore “it sometimes takes time”.
They would come into my room over and over again, telling me how to massage my breast, telling me how to correctly prop my baby and latch him on. Encouraging me, almost begging me, to not give up. They would get frustrated with me. Tell me I needed to try it this way, or that. I grew to hate the lactation nurses in my hospital. I hated the pressure they put on me to breastfeed. I hated how they robbed me of the peace and calm I long for when bonding with my baby. I hated that in their passionate commitment to educate women to breastfeed, they lost touch with the fact that I deserved the freedom to choose how to feed my boy.
It wasn’t until I was sent home, with a nice little formula packet and away from that stressful scene, that I was finally able to feed my baby, without pressure or judging eyes. He had a bottle, until my milk finally came and I was able to move to the breast.
So, though I am a fan of breastfeeding, I am not a fan of lactation bullies who judge and criticize women for how they choose to feed their babies.
And I am most certainly not a fan of a Mayor who, despite his stance on government and chicken sandwiches, doesn’t seem to feel that mothers deserve the same consideration and right to personal freedoms.
I agree that medical professionals should talk about the benefits of breastfeeding with their patients, and that education – should the mother choose it – should be provided. But as with my choice to eat homophobic chicken sandwiches or not, government has no place in how I choose to feed my baby.
I had no negative feelings at all towards breastfeeding and still don’t. I think that it is quite possibly the most beautiful experience I ever shared with my babies. But my reaction remains visceral when it comes to lactation nurses running rampant in newborn hospital rooms, and they and Mayor Bloomberg need to step off and let women decide.