31 March 2012

Boob Hell History Museum

A few artifacts for you to ponder. I took the first two outside so I wouldn't have to wipe down my counter for a decent photo backdrop.

One of my Fiestaware coffee cups, ergonomically designed for manual expression. Also my cat. His name is Phileas.

The man-funnel. It looks so natural reclining near the lilacs.

The qipao. I'm supposed to wear it in a couple of weeks. Haven't tried it on yet. Yerg.

25 March 2012

You babies think you're so smart

This article about lactation consultant Freda Rosenfeld is real ancient now, but I've always remembered it because of one sentence:

She has coached novices so anxious they tried to schedule a session before giving birth (“Just enjoy being pregnant,” she counseled) and Hasidic women suddenly unable to nurse baby No. 7, 8 or 9.

That last part. That's what I remembered.

Baby 4 was the first time nursing went for me like it was supposedly supposed to. It was lousy for a few weeks, but not horrendous. That was the only postpartum during which I did not have meltdown after meltdown. I thought, I've got it. I know how to nurse now. It doesn't have to be terrible again. And then Baby 5 was a total bust: scabs, meltdowns, months of painful nursing. Sometime during those rotten months I read that article and had my big epiphany. 

(Oh boy, here it comes.)

Mothers have to learn to nurse, yes, and some get it more easily than others. Same deal for babies. Some nurse well and some don't. It's not always the idiot mom's fault. Boob Hell may have been all my fault, but there's really no way to know. I honestly don't know if BH Baby had a bad latch. The lactation people I talked to said that must be why I had so much damage and pain, but no one who observed a feeding could ever say, "This is what you're doing wrong. This is how to fix it." Looking back, I think that the best nursey-baby in the world could not have kept me from getting mangled. I had a bad time getting broken in. I think some people just do. I will always resent the suggestion that nursing, if done right, absolutely won't cause pain or injury.

But even being "broken in" is no guarantee. Not a lot of people do personal primary research on this any more, but if I've learned anything from nursing 6 babies, it's that there isn't a magical experiential knowledge of nursing that solves every problem. Nursing can be stygian on a first baby or a fifth, and probably a tenth too. 

Help us, Freda. Or Orpheus, or somebody?

"Asymmetrical! It has to be asymmetrical!"

18 March 2012

Weirdest breastfeeding products ever

I have this brilliant insight about how breastfeeding has succeeded in propagating itself by getting capitalist, but I'll spare you the analysis for now and just provide some of the stranger examples.

The Baby Bond Nursing Sash.

This is supposed you let you see your whole baby while still covering you up. I cannot begin to imagine how such a thing could work. And is it just me, or is this lovely mother not really that covered up?

Milkies Milksaver.

The Milksaver collects milk from your spare while the other's working. I'm not saying this isn't a good idea, but it's still weird.


I actually own a pair of these. Unlike my messy, bulky, and expensive nursing pads, they have been in the back corner of my underwear drawer for 6+ years. Judging from the product reviews, though, that makes ME weird.

Does it have to be Butter? Does it have to be Boobies? This kind of thing is how I know I'm inorganic. One more from the Earth Mamas, if it's really a product:

Sure, breastfeeding judgers are jerks and very stupid. Kind of their problem, though.

Another one I have trouble imagining in action. I love breastfeeding diagrams, though. I'm also glad that now pillows have pillows.

Definitely not my style. But if I saw your baby wearing one, I would laugh my butt off and give you $5.

14 March 2012

How to change a nursing bra: a tutorial from Nicolas Cage

(You don't have to watch this whole thing--the instructions begin at 6:00 and run through 7:00. Sound is not required.)

1. Slow and careful
2. No matter what happens--slow and careful.
3. You can always try hiding.


The good news is that there probably won't be a crazy dude chasing you with a gun.

11 March 2012

Shut up and write, and then don't say anything stupid about it.

I hate it when writers write about writing. No one cares. Shut up and write.

But I just have to say this one thing now that I have become as qualified to do so as I ever will. I don't mean any hard feelings here to the many people who have drawn this comparison, but:

Writing a book is IN NO WAY like having a baby.

The process of writing is not like being pregnant. The act of publishing is not even remotely like giving birth. I'd explain, but do I really need to? Could I just mention some general concepts like vomit, 20-40 pounds, acne, incontinence, sutures, etc., and assume everyone is tracking?

The only thing bookgrowing and babygrowing have in common is that both take longer than it feels like they should, kind of like baseball games, college, making pastry, toilet training, grocery shopping, wrapping Christmas presents, digging up dahlia tubers, middle school band concerts, Finding Nemo, Lent, water boiling, adolescence, parades, driving to Fort Wayne, and travailing toward the end of this sentence.

It's a post! A miracle every time.

07 March 2012

Book fail

Nothing like seeing your hard work pay off. Dum dee dum dum dum.

So anyway, if you ordered from Amazon or Createspace and for some reason are not really excited about receiving this limited release collector's edition, please email bhbreastfeeding at gmail dot com for a replacement and full postage compensation.