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Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feed the children / Feed the models (or children of models)

Happy Friday!!!

Last night I finally watched the new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. There is nothing like the good clean family fun of the Duggar family to cap off my Thursday night. It is a far cry from Thursday nights at the bar during college...and hangovers the following morning!

This season there is a lot going on with the Duggars, including baby Josie being released from the hospital and being diagnosed as lactose intolerant (join the club Josie) and two of the older Duggar kids heading off for a mission trip in Southeast Asia. What caught my attention the most on these episodes was something that I have been writing about a lot lately -- and that everyone is probably sick of reading about -- breast milk! FYI - It's World Breastfeeding Week - so suck it.

While baby Josie was in the NICU (for many many months), Michelle Duggar was busy pumping over 500 gallons of milk and storing it in what I can only imagine to be a walk-in freezer. As a fellow pumper, I know the dedication it takes to keep that up -- you have to carry that damn pump everywhere and you learn to get creative -- i.e., how to pump in the car without truckers getting a birds eye view. Well, now that Josie is lactose intolerant she cannot use any of Michelle's frozen milk. I'm sure that Michelle was somewhat disappointed, but also relieved that Josie's issue was finally figured out and that she wasn't going to be connected to the milk machine anymore. (I should have sent her a link for the easy expressions hands-free adapter!)

Thankfully, it appears that Michelle is donating her vast stores of milk to either the hospital or a breast milk bank. That makes me happy because I know that it will go to good use for adopted children or children whose mothers cannot produce milk (or shouldn't, hello crackheads). For more information on human milk banks (I know, the name sounds creepy), go to: http://www.hmbana.org/

Another celebrity mom was also making headlines this week talking about breastfeeding -- Gisele Bundchen. In her interview for Harper's Bazaar UK, Gisele actually says that in her opinion there should be a "worldwide law" that mother's breastfeed their babies for six months. Ummm, I know that she is a model so I'm trying to cut her some slack, but I'm not sure that there is such thing as a worldwide law... That being said, her comment has proved to be pretty inflammatory. People were lighting up parenting websites and blogs commenting on Gisele's statement. Breastfeeding is supposed to be the healthiest option for your child (assuming you aren't smoking anything or drinking excessively and you eat healthy), but not everyone can do it and not everyone wants to for 6 months.

When I decided to breastfeed Cameron, I made a goal for myself to keep it up for 6 months. In my mind 6 months was ample time for him receive the health benefits from my milk and seemed like a reasonable time period considering I would be having to pump 2-3 times a day at work. That being said, I have my own office with a door and I work with all women who understand the concept. I think that if the situation was different -- such as not having an office, working with guys or having the type of job where taking breaks was not an option -- I would not have continued breastfeeding after maternity leave ended.

At this point in my breastfeeding journey I don't mind it -- I like spending quality time with Cam and I think it is kind of cool that my body can produce his food. I also like not buying formula, but am not convinced that breastfeeding is cheaper. After tallying up what I have spent on a pump / pump supplies, milk storage, breast pads and nursing bras, I think I may be breaking even with the cost of formula.

Even though I don't mind it, it doesn't mean that breastfeeding is for everyone. I was not breastfed and I'm sure most people would agree that I turned out perfect (ha!). Some of my friends couldn't breastfeed for various reasons - not enough milk production, other health problems, babies wouldn't cooperate or they simply didn't have the support to do so. Who am I to judge? In the days after giving birth, I was told that I may not be able to breastfeed due to the health complications I experienced. It was hard to hear that, but it would not have been the end of the world.

So, in the fashion of many other celebrities, Gisele had her "foot in the mouth" moment. Thoughts on Gisele's comment? Thoughts on the Duggars? Lactose intolerance?

1 comment:

  1. I thought the same thing about the Worldwide Law but whatever...she's a model!

    I think that Michelle Duggar might be the most dedicated "pumper mom" I have ever met and I am glad she is donating her milk.

    As for intolerances, I worked with an attorney and her baby was lactose intolerant as well as wheat and soy and all kinds of foods. The mother changed her diet to natural cereals and I can't remember if it was bananas or apples...so that she could continue to breastfeed. That is dedication. I don't think I'd be able to do that. I think that breastfeeding is the best thing for your child, if you can do it. Some mom's can't do it and I don't shun them for that. I think you are doing a great job and for as long as you can do it. Do It! I really tried on hard days to remember that breastfeeding is a wonderful bonding experience for you and your baby as well as what an amazing gift you are giving your baby!

    Good job Momm!