Nipple Confusion: The Unpardonable Sin

Nipple Confusion: The Unpardonable Sin

There is one group of fundamentalists that has earned near universal disdain
from many a young mother and father.  These women, the lieutenants of
lactation, the nipple Nazis, the breastfeeding mongrels lurk waiting to prey on
innocent young mothers.  For them there is but one formula for sin, and
that is formula itself.  In their self-righteous crusade to maximize
mothers milk they do themselves a disservice by placing undue pressure on women
who cannot or because compelling circumstances choose not to breastfeed their
child.  With a bedside manner somewhat akin to Attila The Hun they leverage
the delicate emotional state of new mothers to accomplish their fiendish task.

A cursory amount of research will reveal that the nipple Nazis are on the right
track.  Breast milk does give an infant child helpful antibodies absent
from anything manufactured.  It is easier to digest than formula.  No
doubt it is the best a baby can get.  However what they neglect to mention
is that millions of children have been raised with formula with no sign of a
post-partum apocalypse.  In a world largely devoid of moral absolutes the
lieutenants of lactation seem like an aberration.  I’m confounded at our
society’s inconsistency in this arena.  For the first nine months of a
baby’s existence the mothers choice on specific issues is heralded as sacred
ground.  Post-pregnancy a woman’s circumstances and opinions are largely
irrelevant.  All convenience and sometimes logic must be sacrificed for
the highest virtue of mammarian bliss. 

My advice for all those taking a parental leave of their mind over this issue:
get educated.  It may be convenient to swim in the pools of ignorance that
collect in our social circles but they will leave you unsatisfied.  Consult
quality resources online and off as well as medical professionals.  Be
prepared for conflicting opinions.  Never blindly follow any
directions.  You, your baby and your situation are different.  Think
through your options and find the best course of action for your little
one.  Don’t be intimidated and don’t think you’ve tragically failed your
child if you can’t live up to the ideal situation.  Chances are your baby
will be just fine.

  1. #1 by Jadon on November 27, 2006 - 12:24 am

    And let’s not forget those who rail against…exposure while breastfeeding, vs. non-exposure.

  2. #2 by Krystal on November 27, 2006 - 1:21 am

    lol Jadon, you’re funny.

    I remember when I was in the hospital with Erika. The nurse was pressuring me a lot. She pressured me so much, that when I found I couldn’t produce enough milk with her, I felt like the worst mother in the world! When I had to finally put Erika on the bottle, I was in despair for over a month, wanting to cry every time I used the bottle on her cuz I couldn’t breastfeed. Man, those were hard times. Erika still turned out beautifully, even with formula. And I’m from a family where almost all the aunts breastfed all their kids. I swear the most milk production I’ve seen in a while. lol

  3. #3 by scotty on November 27, 2006 - 9:19 am

    I was allergic to milk as a baby and I’m still here 33 years later…I also like your point that all of a sudden the baby is more important than what the mother wants to choose 🙂

  4. #4 by Nin on November 27, 2006 - 10:53 am

    I COULD NOT agree with you more. It is absolutely awful how these “nipple nazis?” make us poor mothers feel. Here we are, going through our post-partum hormone rollercoaster, and possibly dealing with feelings of doubt on mothering, and here comes this enormous pointer finger and booming voice coming at us saying, Your soul is mine….. You will do as I say….

    I never breast fed with my daughter, so I had no idea what to expect this time. My nurse told me that I wouldn’t get engorged as long as I was breast feeding correctly. (what a crock!) Some women just get engorged and there’s nothing you can do about it, but already, they were telling me that the pain I was having was MY FAULT. My son wasn’t getting enough to eat, he wasn’t gaining weight, he was pooping, he was jaundice and the only way you get rid of that is through pooping. It was like, HELLO?? This whole breast thing is NOT WORKING! But they just kept at it, “yeah that pain will go away in a couple days”…..couple days later…..”yeah that pain will go away in another couple days”……..couple days later

    I started showing signs of mastitis, and they didn’t do anything, they didn’t even suggest that I go to the doctor, they just kept saying it was normal, and that I had to suck it up because I had to give my baby the breast.

    K yeah, I could go on and on and on, as I said, I COULD NOT agree with you more. I was so dissapointed to have had such a bad experience. And if there’s wasn’t all this pressure from society, I wouldn’t have walked away feeling like such a failure. At least I had another kid under my belt, so I had a foundation of confidence to fall back on, but I look at other moms who are clearly in robot mode, just following orders, and I feel so sorry for them, there is so much freedom when you parent on your own. Breast feeding is just one of the things they use to program us, but there’s the discpline versus “gentle teaching” debate, the home schooling versus public schooling, I swear, you can’t make any decision for your child without a whole group of people stepping in thinking they have a say.

    Yeah….so there’s my rant. lol

  5. #5 by nin on November 27, 2006 - 10:54 am

    I meant my son WASN’T pooping.

  6. #6 by Linea on November 27, 2006 - 10:45 pm

    What a new mom need is a good supportive coach, a shoulder to cry on, cold packs, hot packs, a cooperative child, a nice cushion, lots of patience, lots of patience, lanolin cream, a good breast pump and when all else fails a bottle.

    I am surprised that in hospitals there is so little good training in the art of breastfeeding – by non-nazis.

    Best of all – breastfeeding is free and the milk comes prewarmed in a pre-filled container – ouch, sometimes too filled.

  7. #7 by Sarah on December 1, 2006 - 8:51 am

    I’ve breastfed all my babies. except for Caleb (which is understandable why that didn’t work) I love everything breastfeeding stands for, I am PRO breast….


    Nin is so right, there are COUNTLESS stories of how these nurses make you feel in such a vulnerable time! To watch my sis go through the agony…

    When I had Caleb, they did the same to me. Being that he had CP, the nurses didn’t seem to think that mattered. They told me that if he was hungry enough, he’d eventually eat something….they never considered listening to my thoughts that his CP may be limiting his ability to eat. Being that i was 18 and newly wed, they KNEW ALL and I knew NOTHING. Needless to say, after a whole week of starving my son, no sleep and ready to kill myself, I put him on the bottle thinking I was a total failure. 3 months later, he was undergoing G-tube surgery so he could eat from a tube the rest of his life.

    A friend from our church has a horror story of how her son was admitted to hospital due to dehydration!!! He almost died.

    I hope we come to our senses soon. and even tho i am pro breast….FOR ME, i am pro baby more than pro breast.

    thanks for posting this.

  8. #8 by beck on December 3, 2006 - 4:21 pm

    Ahhhh Leighton… Why is it that you can put into words how I feel better than I ever could? Nipple Nazis… So true.

    Somehow, even after all of my research, when confronted with the Nipple Nazis I found myself dully nodding my head in agreement and then crying alone in a hospital room once they left me alone with my first child and my aching nips. What was I doing wrong? This wasn’t supposed to hurt! After all, the Nazi had told me that I shouldn’t have any pain if the baby was latched on properly. My job was to let my baby nurse for as long and as often as he wanted and somehow, a miracle would take place and I would be pain free and dancing down the halls.

    I wouldn’t let any of them into my hospital room or my house with my second baby… I just knew I would end up dully nodding in agreement while inside I was screaming… “Bull shit!”

    I said shit. I apologize.

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