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You Know What Happens When You Assume...

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

One of the lessons I learned with my first daughter is that no matter how pro-breastfeeding you are, you can NEVER make assumptions about a mom that you see pulling out a bottle for their kid in public. After all, I quickly became one of those moms. Nora nursed for three days...beyond that, she ALWAYS took a bottle.

However, that bottle ALWAYS had breastmilk in it. We never used any formula. To be honest with you, the little part of me that was mad about not being able to nurse was always kind of poised for a fight should someone ever comment to me about bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding. (Because you never know what's in that bottle...)

Now generally, I don't make judgement calls when I see people bottle feeding their babies. I may wonder if they choose to formula feed, if they didn't have support, if they had a medical condition, or what other things might have come into play, but I certainly don't think any less of them.

So this morning, I was sitting in the lobby at church in a comfy chair nursing Emmitt. Along came a dad with an adorable little 5 month old. He sat down in the chair across from me (never batted an eye about the nursing, good for him!) and started mixing up a bottle of formula for his little guy. My brain briefly went "hmm...wonder what the story is." As it turns out, it only took about five minutes for me to find out. :)

We got to talking and I asked how old his little boy was. "Let me think" he replied... "He's about 19 or 20 weeks old...I can't remember...we got him in June." The wording of that must have struck me as funny and he noticed a furrowed brow or something because he went on to explain that by "got him" he meant that he was their foster child and they got him the day after he was born. As it turns out, he and his wife had tried for 5 or 6 years to get pregnant but are infertile. They decided that they would go through the training to be a foster family and not long after, they got a call about this little boy.

As he put it, he got a call at work at 1:30 and they had the baby by 6pm that evening. That explained the bottle feeding. ;)

See...you just never know if that woman over there had a masectomy, if the baby is adopted, if she spent weeks in agony with cracked and bleeding nipples, or if she just never even thought about it to begin with. Promoting breastfeeding starts with approaching things positively, not negatively. That little boy went to them from a family that he didn't have a chance in...and they are giving him that chance.

Incidentally, it looks like they may end up being able to adopt him. He said they have their first hearing on Tuesday. Any Lactivist readers that are prayers might offer up a word of prayer for little Dominic at some point on Tuesday in the hopes that he may be able to stay with the parents that he's clearly come to love very much.


  1. Blogger K | 4:20 PM |  

    Great post. Even as a FF mom, I still found myself thinking exactly what you did every time I saw a mom FF in public -- did she try to BF? Did she have problems like me? Does she regret giving up like I did? Did she adopt?

    I'll keep Dominic in my prayers.

  2. Blogger tanya@motherwearblog | 1:13 PM |  

    Yup, you never know. In my area there are a lot of two mom families, and when I see mothers giving bottles I have to stop and remember that the mother could be the non-birth mother, not a formula feeding birth-mother. And, the bottle could always be filled with expressed milk from the birth mother. I just tied my tongue in knots writing that...

    Tanya (http://motherwear.typepad.com)

  3. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:48 PM |  

    It justs seems a little suspicious to me that your "PRO-BF" website has FORMULA ADS on it??? And here you are pulling our heartstrings to embrace formula? why not support milk donation, my heart goes out to Dominic as long as thats not just some story written by some formula marketing executive sponsoring this site!!!!

  4. Blogger Jennifer | 7:05 AM |  

    Oh good grief, have you ever even READ this blog? Seriously, EVER?

    I'll explain this one more time...

    I do NOT have control over the specific ads that show up on my site. Every now and then, a formula ad pops up...When I see them, I can go to Google and block that specific ad, but as soon as someone writes a new one, that one is going to show up as well. Unless I turn off Google's ads completely, there is NO WAY for me to guarentee that forumla ads never appears.

    Unless YOU would like to subsidize the cost of this blog, that's the risk I have to take.

    Re you "pitying poor Dominic"...seriously...grow up. Milk banking is an essential componant to children that have a MEDICAL NEED for breast milk. Why? Because it's so freaking expensive that you can only afford it if you are rich, or have insurance. (and insurance will only cover it if it's prescribed by a doctor.) At $4 an ounce, I've never met anyone that could afford to buy breast milk for their otherwise healthy child.

    While breastmilk is the BEST form of nutrition for any baby, formula is not going to kill them and it's far better than baby starving.

    Geeze, conspiracy theory much? I see that you are so confident of your opinion that you had to post it anonymously...apparently you don't want anyone to respond to a real person.

    (to note, my one month old was up 6 times last night to nurse and I'm running a fever of 102, so I have very little tolerance for people that want to come to this blog and rant away without having any idea of what I, and my blog, am about.)

  5. Anonymous Lisa- Fellow Lactivist! | 7:39 PM |  

    Many many years I used to be one of those awful breast-feeding Nazis.
    Some great advicefrom a LLL leader I admire was that she supports the moms who choose to breastfeed and channels her energy into them rather than getting angry or uspet at ones that choose to NOT breastfeed. This really rung true to me and opened my eyes.

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