Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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When Boobs Collide: The Breastfeeding and Post Pregnancy War. It’s crazy out here.

by Tarzan · 76 comments

boob wars

This will more than likely be my first and last rant on anything on this blog.  I just have a few things to get off my chest and I apologize ahead of time for pressing the pause button on our normally scheduled blog posts…

Even before I begin, I just want to say that I much prefer our blog to be a place of learning, fun, and Jane being real about the journey of pregnancy and parenthood.  I’ve always, always stayed away from negativity and subjects that seem to attract the “wild bunch” who seem to post comments on blogs to start fights, put people down, or just cause chaos.  We’ve got no time for that junk.  There are enough websites and forums that cater to that.

However, there has been a topic that I’ve wanted to bring to the surface for awhile now – and the two blog posts by Jane today really set a theory I’ve had for awhile in stone.

When HisBoysCanSwim was just a pregnancy blog, things were pretty much smooth sailing.  Sure, Jane or I would get the occasional commenter who’d disagree or be a little annoying, but they were VERY few and far between.  And during the months of December through the end of July, we only received one rude email from some crazy lady – and I don’t remember now what in the heck she was going nuts about but remember it was quite laughable really.  But all in all, blogging through pregnancy was a breeze and a lot of fun.

However, since having Monkey, all hell has broken loose.  Maybe it’s because we’re an anonymous blog and we’re free to totally speak our minds, not sugar coat anything, and not have to worry about what friends or family think, since they are unaware this blog.  Maybe we’re a little too out there for some people’s comfort.  Or maybe parenthood really makes worlds boobs collide.

Now the last thing in the world I want to do is start the whole breastfeeding debate here.  I’m a little upset that some small battles have begun on Jane’s previous blog posts, but oh well, I knew it was coming the moment we posted Jane would no longer be breastfeeding.  All Jane and I ask is that all of our friends, regular commenters, and supports, please don’t fuel the fire that the… well, not so friendly people are trying to start.

If you’re interested in yelling, screaming, going nuts, flaming people, and on and on, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of sites out there that are all for that in the world of breastfeeding.  This blog isn’t the place for it my grandmother used to tell me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  :)

But I do want to say that I’m SHOCKED by what Jane has read to me and shown me over the last few weeks.  I’m sorry for my language, but holy shit, some woman are really brutal out there and the things they are saying to these new moms are horrible.  It has really become the War of the Boobs out there – that’s for sure.  Talk about a lot of unneeded pressure for a new mom, you know?  Especially if she’s having a really hard time. Believe me, those woman are beating themselves up enough and don’t need someone to keep kicking them when they are already down.

I mean not that it matters, but Jane and I both are supporters of breastfeeding.  It’s really a great thing!  However, we also believe that woman have a choice, and whatever they choose to do and whenever they choose to do it is theirs (and their families) to make – whatever the reasons are.  So I support the opportunity to also make a choice – and not have people bash you for your decision.  God knows anyone deciding to or not to breastfeed – or whether or not to stop for any reason has had MANY sleepless nights and gallons of tears shed – no matter how hard it’s been.

Now Jane has to stop breastfeeding because of the medicine she’s taking. And the main reason for this post is the number of negative comments, emails, and some Twitter direct messages Jane showed me of people flaming her!  Are you #&%$ serious?

People telling her that she’s giving up too soon, that she’s using PPD as an excuse to stop breastfeeding, that she really doesn’t have PPD and that it’s normal for her to feel this way, that she should suck it up and keep breastfeeding Monkey because formula is pure poison, and yet another who claims to have no respect for any woman who chooses not or stops breastfeeding for any reason whatsoever.

Standing on the outside and watching the Boob War unfold right before my eyes is startling.  It’s scary actually.  New mom’s have enough pressure – and for people to come out of the woodwork and post negative comments, send rude emails, etc. to someone who is suffering from postpartum depression is idiotic.

When someone is already feeling horrible, like their whole world is crashing down on them, and they’ve reached the point where they do not want to look at, touch, or have anything to do with the baby is beyond the time you need to call a doctor.  And to bash someone who is admittedly going through the toughest time in her life emotionally and is truly, truly scared is completely soulless.  Especially when admitting something is very wrong is hard enough to do – and then making the decision to do something about it to be a better mom to her child.  But for some reason some people don’t see it that way.

Jane is a woman who has postpartum depression – and things got really serious over the last couple of days – which Jane has been fairly public about on her blog posts.  Sure there are some other factors going on and more pieces to it that Jane and I chose not to go into detail on this blog.  Who knows, maybe it would have made some people more understanding – but frankly, it doesn’t matter, and I actually doubt it.  And it goes without saying that the things she did admit to, the things she did write were really tough to admit, and I commend her for doing so – as many of you also have.

After Jane read me her blog post yesterday, the last few days made a lot of sense to me.  Her comments, her actions, and they way she had been acting was WAY off track the past few days.  Jane wasn’t her normal self and she had put on a front.  I asked her some questions and we discussed some things that made all flags go up and tell her, “call your doctor right now”.  Things were bad and we need not go into all the details here.

Postpartum depression is very, very serious and cannot go untreated.  I had a very close family member with a rare mental illness and lived most of my life dealing with many, many things that most people cannot even imagine.  If some of the people flaming Jane were to live in my shoes for just one hour of my life growing up, they’d be singing a different tune – having a deep understanding of depression, mental illness, and the effect it can have on someone and those around them.

So Jane’s doctor prescribes some meds and gives her info a good friend of hers who owns a practices and specializes in helping woman with postpartum depression if Jane feels she needs to talk to someone.  Perfect.  I 100% support that and know Jane will be doing a 180 in the next few days.

So why is Jane not breastfeeding?  Is she “giving up easily” or “taking the easy way out” as some have put it?

Well, everyone – including a HUGE warning that came with the medicine that says, “DO NOT BREASTFEED WHILE TAKING THIS MEDICATION”, Jane’s nurse, the pharmacist, what we’ve read online, and the paperwork with the medicine all said not to breastfeed.

Jane was crushed when she heard the news from the nurse, and tears streamed down her face.  Even though she did not like breastfeeding, she felt she had to keep going and was pushing to go six weeks and reevaluate how she felt about it – hoping she would feel better and continue.  I can tell you first-hand that if it wasn’t for postpartum depression kicking into a serious high-gear, Jane would have stuck to breastfeeding – NO MATTER WHAT.

YES, Jane did battle breastfeeding daily – and with every feeding.  Yes, it was hard on her.  Yes, it was not easy.  We talked about it EVERY single day, but she was committed to keep going, keep pushing, and evaluate everything again in six weeks.  I’m so freaking tired of people jumping the gun and making assumptions.  Makes me a little sick to my stomach to think that they are attacking other woman who may not be as strong as Jane and may take a lot of things that people say to them personal.  The fact is (which we have NOT disclosed on this blog ever) is that both Jane and I have lost people in our family very close to us to serious illnesses.  Jane and I knew breastfeeding was proven to help with all sorts of things – which was Jane’s driving force to keep going.

People just don’t know the whole story of why a woman decides not to or has to stop breastfeeding. I doubt most would go into the intimate details of why they chose not to or why they had to stop because frankly, it’s none of people’s business.  But people take it on themselves to chime in on their strong opinions – looking past the fact that there may be other things going on and their comments are only making things tougher on the person.  Frankly, it’s heartless and foolish to hurt someone who is already down.

Anyway, with all of that said, some woman still felt the need to kick someone while they were down and post negative comments, send negative emails, and post negative dm’s on Jane’s Twitter account.  That made me furious.  It’s uncalled for.  It’s low.  Hell, some admit to not even reading the full post or know what is going on entirely, they just saw that Jane stopped breastfeeding and proceed to send crazy emails.  Which frankly, some are extremely heartless and I delete them so Jane doesn’t have to deal with reading things that’ll hurt her, make her feel bad about herself, and so on.

I have no problem with people being totally pro breastfeeding – Jane and I are huge fans of it ourselves, but we’d never attack anyone who decided to stop or needs to for a medical reason.  I’ll never understand why people feel the need to attack others when they are down.  Maybe it makes them feel superior.  Maybe they feel like they are actually doing something good?  I don’t know, and frankly, I could care less on why they do it.  I care for the fact they they do do it – and used Jane as a target.

Are people really that crazy to tell others not to listen to their doctor and everyone else and breastfeed your baby while taking meds that say specifically not to?  I was floored by reading the posts and emails.  And then it hit me…

These woman are probably doing this to EACH AND EVERY SINGLE WOMAN they find or hear about who is stopping breastfeeding for whatever reason.  They all gang up and attack you it seems like – and God forbid you are going through postpartum depression, they could care less.  My heart goes out to the woman who are being flamed and attacked by these people.

This is the first time a few crazy woman have gone after Jane, but I’ve seen them first-hand on other sites that Jane has showed me in the past.  I thought they were bad, but what I’ve seen last night and today makes some look like heartless monsters thanks to their comments/emails/etc.

So all I’m saying here, is be warned… If you stop breastfeeding for ANY reason – even if your boobs run dry for some reason, and you make it public, get prepared to get some hate mail, idiotic messages, and shocking comments.  It doesn’t matter if you’re about to lose it, it doesn’t matter if you can only produce 1 ounce of breastmilk a day or less (very rare, but does happen), you’ll get slammed by people.  Sad.  Really sad.

Now believe me, I’m all for believing in something very strongly – so strong that you’re compelled to share your message with others.  Passion is a good thing.  However, a line needs to be drawn when your passion or belief in something is so strong that you’re hurting people trying to get your message across.  I’d say at that point you cross the line of being passionate about something to becoming obsessed, and you’ll do anything at a cost to get your message out there – including hurt people.

So again – let’s not debate the whole breastfeeding world.  I’ve come to realize there will always be several sides and that people have very strong beliefs.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am also fully aware that the “bashers” who go after woman who stop breastfeeding make up a very, very small percentage of pro breastfeeders.  So please don’t take me wrong here.  I’m fully aware that the wild bunch makes up a small group in an otherwise very, very supportive group of woman of which I have a LOT of respect for.

Let’s all agree that we all have our own thoughts and opinions.  And if we disagree, well, let’s agree that it’s OK to disagree.  If everyone saw eye-to-eye on everything this world would be a pretty boring place, you know?

So yes, Jane and I are aware there are some anti-depressants that say are safe to take while breastfeeding.  However, we discussed it and decided not to call the doctor and have her change the meds she put Jane on for several reasons – no need to go into any of those here.

Not this leads me into what I’m calling, The Post Pregnancy War”. Now please don’t take this the wrong way, but what in the hell is wrong with some people!?  Does having a kid automatically get you into this parenting membership club where you suddenly have the right to share your ways of parenting, and if anyone disagrees with you, you attack them, and give you the green light to be annoying?

If it does, someone please cancel our membership! We’re not going to change who we are just because we’re parents.  We’re not going to go crazy and share what we feel is the best way to raise a child, or tell other parents to do this or that because we believe it’s best.  Why on earth are there so many people who do?  It seems like nearly anything we do or say, someone finds something wrong with it or a reason not to do it.

We were ALL raised differently.  We live in a time unlike any other where there are more product options, more choices, more research, more access to information, more, more, more.  We’re advertised to over 1,000 times a day.  Everyone is doing all they can to grab our attention.  Combine all of this with the stressful world of parenthood and no wonder why some parents become so hooked on an idea and feel compelled to share their opinions – in a way that if no one agrees with them, they write people off.

We live in a world where social networking (Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, etc.) makes it easy to “get new friends” so we’re quick to dump people who don’t share our beliefs and ideas.  We’d rather surround ourselves with people who believe the same things we do, share the same parenting styles, and beliefs on how to raise a child than surround ourselves with a diverse group of people to expand your knowledge.  It’s a crazy world we live in these days… especially if you are a new parent and choose to be public on any aspect of your child and/or parenting style/choices.

Sure, Jane and I disagree with some things people say – or don’t agree on a certain style of parenting.  All parents do! However, we’ve never, nor will we ever flame people for being a parent and choosing to do or not do something.  We try to figure out why someone may do something differently and learn something from it instead of passing it off as garbage because it’s different than what we’ve learned or what we know.

We believe that everyone has their own methods and reasons why they do something – and that’s good!  We support people being different, trying new things, and doing what they feel is right and best for their child.  We just don’t support the whole ‘I’m going to flame you and delete you from my friend list because you use a damn bottle warmer!’ type of crowd.

Don’t put Monkey in a swing… Don’t do this, don’t do that, only buy this, don’t buy that, bwaaa bwaaa bwaaa.  Babble babble.  I’ll be honest, it was much easier blogging about pregnancy than it is about being a new parent! Although WE DON’T and NEVER will, we feel like we have to be careful what we say sometimes.  I hate that feeling.  Now we’ll never hold anything back here, but Jane and I have caught ourselves feeling the need to on a few occasions (although we didn’t).  It’s sometimes a battle to write something – knowing that you’re going to get flamed a little for it from some people, but that’s the road we’ve decided to travel on here.

As a brand new father, I am amazed at the world of parenthood – not in a good way.  It’s sad actually. When it comes to the music, books, toys, DVD’s, and thousands of other items, you’ll find parents who are so for an item or a product they’ll talk about it until they are blue in the face – and you’ll find parents who are the opposite – and bash something until you appear to be on the same wavelength as them.  Don’t people have something better to do???

So many people are influencing others that I can see how new parents can easily lose sense of self in the midst of the new-parent craziness.  With all of this babble and noise, I’m amazed any of us get anything done sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a Daddy, but everyday I’m growing to not like many of the things that it brings in from the outside world – and the people and comments that sometimes also go along with it.  Now I’m not just talking about blogging here.  I’m talking about everything…

Like how every time we see Jane’s Mom she tells us how she doesn’t understand why we can’t put a blanket in the crib on Monkey.  ”It’s to prevent SIDS and everyone has told us not to”, we’ve told her 1,000 times.  She comes back with, “well Jane I used a blanket on you to keep you warm and you’re still here!”  Word has spread that we don’t use a blanket and people think we’re crazy – because back in the day before Sleep Sacks you of course used a blanket.  No one knew any better.  But, they are stuck in their ways, which is fine, many people are.  Heck, I’m stuck in my ways on many things too.  I just choose to keep my mouth shut. :)

There are at least 272 examples that I can give there ranging from the use of rice cereal, powder on a babies butt, all the way to how a baby should sleep when it comes to things we do that seem crazy to others.  Parenting is the most opinionated-filled world that I’ve ever seen.

Seriously, what in the hell has happened to the parenting world?  Has is always been this crazy and this opinionated?  Has it always been filled with people lurking in dark corners ready to attack you if you do or say something that they personally don’t agree with or think is right?  If so, get me the hell out of here!  Time for Jane, Monkey, and I to move to the rainforest where I can swing from vines and be the real Tarzan to get away from all this craziness.  LOL

Seriously, it’s really crazy what’s going on out there when you take a step back or look at it from the outside.

I guess all you can do is stick to your guns, do what you believe in, and do what you think is right for you and your baby.

After all, isn’t that what being a parent is all about?

P.S… I just updated the page “Cost to have a baby without maternity insurance” with the final total.  EEKS.

You might also want to read:

  1. Breastfeeding Issues: Is it just me, or do other Moms feel this way, but just don’t tell anyone?
  2. Postpartum blues, help with breastfeeding, and ramblings from an overtired Daddy.
  3. Past memory of postpartum depression, breastfeeding Monkey, & my dog
  4. Breastfeeding: Let’s talk painful nipples, shall we?
  5. Follow-up to previous post about postpartum depression

Facebook comments:

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ella

I just want to shed a little light on why I think so many people are telling Jane about other options.

This line from your post…

“Jane was crushed when she heard the news from the nurse, and tears streamed down her face. ”

….makes it seem like Jane really wants to keep BFing, and is only stopping because she feels she doesn’t have a choice. However, from what I have inferred from your other posts, Jane actually feels good about stopping because she realizes it’s the best thing for her (and your and Monkey’s) emotional well-being.

So for all of you out there who keep telling Jane about other meds or options, please stop. I think they are happy (or at least at peace) with their decision, despite that unintentionally misleading sentence in the blog post.

Tarzan or Jane, please feel free to correct me if I’ve misinterpreted your feelings.

2 Megan

Hey Tarzan, I’m only a few months ahead of you guys, my LO is almost 4 months old and you hit the nail on the head on so many topics/thoughts/themes I’ve had running through my mind since my girl was born. I’ve become so insecure about parenting techniques, how/when to feed, how to teach your child to sleep, etc., that it really is a nightmare sometimes. I loved the line you wrote: “when your passion or belief in something is so strong that you’re hurting people trying to get your message across” because I feel as if that is all too easy to encounter in this new world called parenthood. We’re first time parents too and we’re learning a lot and what I have to remind myself that works for us may not work for others and vice versa in order to try to weed out all the trash. And to Jane, my reoccurring line from the first two weeks of trying to breastfeed was “nursing sucks!” (with a double meaning, of course), because it was oh-so-hard and exhausting. When I made the decision to just pump, a weight was lifted off my shoulders too, so I can totally relate to how you felt when you made your new feeding decision. It’s been really nice to read your all’s thoughts since having Monkey and it’s reminded me what the first blurry month was like and all the craziness and hormones and emotions were like. I want to say things will get better for you and I hope that they will! Please keep being honest, no one can flame you for speaking truth (in love)! ;)

3 April

Excuse my language but here’s a quote my dad always told me:

“Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.”

4 Tarzan

Thanks for all the comments everyone. Firs and foremost, I owe everyone a correction, rather minor tweak to my above post… (@Ella and others…)

When I mentioned the whole deal about people commenting about their thoughts/opinions about parenting/parenthood, those who commented that Jane and I often seek advice from people here and on Twitter – are 100% right! All the time actually! Especially throughout pregnancy… and I’m sure more to come. I should have clearly stated I was referring to people being negative, bashing you, and feeling the need to push you in one direction or another.

Sorry about the confusion there – we always welcome comments/feedback/etc. and people’s advice when people are positive about it – even if they/we disagree, that’s OK.

After all, we’re a blog – and going into this we of course knew that there would of course be comments on our posts. :) So yes, we do very often ask for advice and surely will continue to do so. It’s just the “bashers” and the unwelcomed and/or unasked for comments I’m referring to – online or off. Sorry for the confusion.

So yeah, we’re blogging about real life things and never expect to have everyone agree with our every move – that’s for sure. But when people go overboard can start attacking, that’s when I say those go into the unasked and unwelcomed category.

I’ll get to the rest of the comments soon… and will post a follow-up comment.

Thanks again guys. You rock.


5 Shanhutch1

Jane is VERY blessed to have you and your understanding! PPD is real and scary! Y’all are doing the right thing! Feel better soon, Jane!! You can contact me if ya need to talk!

6 Alohababy

my boobs, my baby, my business!!! cant belive you even have to defend yourselves. who do these people think they are, why is their opinion so important??!! GRRRRRRRRR…………….

7 sufficiency

i am also one of those left wondering when the decision was so abrupt, but now i see there were things you didn’t get into about the depressed feelings and the choice of medications that were important but not obvious to those reading, perhaps because they are too personal. ultimately we can never know all the reasons in someone’s heart why they choose to breastfeed or not, so i do not seek to judge, but i seek to inform and then support a mother and family in their informed choices.

i’ve talked to a number of women who weaned against their wishes because of incorrect or incomplete information about their medications from their doctors or pharmacists – as new parents i think it’s reasonable to assume you haven’t encountered the fact that not all doctors are up on the latest lactation and medication research, as we are in a culture that sees very little breastfeeding beyond the early weeks – so few doctors have any experience with supporting breastfeeding. the risks of the medication should also always be balanced against the risks of weaning, and again doctors may not have followed the most recent research on that because it’s a field that’s just starting to be explored and doctors receive so little education on it in school, if any! and even though you two are satisfied with your need to take this step, there are so many reading your blog, especially pregnant mamas who are learning from your experiences, who deserve to know that in some circumstances there are medication options compatible with breastfeeding, or there may at least be an option to wean slowly to ease the transition for mom and baby. sure, not every circumstance allows it, but i’d hate for mothers to come away thinking they either must wean if they need antidepressants, or conversely that they may not seek help through medication if they are in the throes of depression and want to breastfeed – the latter could be particularly dangerous!

i think the issues around the time of birth of a baby are so controversial because they are so hard to undo – you can’t go back and get a vaginal birth for your child if you had a c-section, you can’t uncircumcize… and while you can “unwean” and relactate, it’s a difficult path dependent heavily on luck, timing and pure determination, so a moment like then when a family is at the point of decision brings things to a head… and yet the parents living in the moment with a newborn are sleep-deprived, have just had their world up-ended, and can’t take weeks to read lots of research studies and deliberate cautiously and get second and third opinions so you have to go with your gut – and in our culture, again with so little support for breastfeeding (from birth to yes, three year olds ;) ) the reality very well may be that bottlefeeding is more sanity-saving. if you know you’re being true to yourself, then congratulations… if you have doubts, but need to move forward, that’s just being human. welcome to parenthood!

8 Whozat

Oops, I also want to add that most docs really don’t know alot about meds w/breastfeeding, and tend to “CYA” and tell moms to wean.

A great resource for info on risks of various meds is:
Medications & Mothers’ Milk by Thomas Hale

9 Whozat

First, I’m sorry I’m in a rush and don’t have time to read all the comments and previous posts, because perhaps this has been said but —

If Jane wants to stop breastfeeding, that’s her decision.

If she’s being told by her doctor that she must stop breastfeeding, although she doesn’t want to, she should consult another doctor.

There are PPD meds that are more compatible with breastfeeding, and stopping breastfeeding exacerbates PPD.

Not just for women who are sad / disappointed about being told they must stop, but it’s a chemical / hormonal / physical thing.

When the body suddenly is told that it no longer needs to make milk, the hormones go wacky, and the body, for lack of a better word, “mourns.”

So, again, I won’t criticize her choice, but if this isn’t really her choice, please know that she does HAVE a choice.

Here’s an article about PPD and breastfeeding, including info on meds:

Best of luck to you all!

10 Cassaundra

It is SO sad when people get confused about who to attack. Even as a very committed Lactivist, my personal feeling is that it is NEVER the Mother’s fault if breastfeeding doesn’t succeed. This mess that our society is in wasn’t created by Mothers, so it isn’t their responsibility to fix it. When formula companies spend billions of dollars and every sneaky tactic ever dreamed up to sabotage breastfeeding how can we ever blame a Mom? That is cruel and wrong. It’s like blaming the Jews for the Holocaust!

The only response to a Mom having trouble with breastfeeding should be: “Is there anything I can do to help?” or ” Here is some information that you might find helpful.” or ” Have you tried this yet?” and ALWAYS: “Don’t be hard on yourself. Breastfeeding works best when a Mom has a web of understanding support. In our society, the web is broken. You didn’t break it, but it’s not there for you when you need it” ALWAYS validate a Mom’s feelings!

If things were going the way they should be, a woman would be able to use a wetnurse or have a friend cross-nurse her child, in situations where it’s needed. If our world valued Moms then the frst six weeks would be a time when the Mom would be wrapped in a cocoon of love with every need fulfilled so that all she had to do was nurse her baby and rest. We don’t live in that world. I WANT that world. We need to BE the change we want to see so my rule is: Wrap a new Mom in a cocoon of love.

11 Laurie @

Hi Tarzan,

Unfortunately, you can’t return your membership card to the parenting club, and soon enough you won’t want to. While there are a handful of members who belong to the “breastfeeding police” (term taken from see link at end of post), there are so many parents who are incredibly helpful to others.

As a new mom myself, I consciously select friends and abandon others, based on their need to judge or criticize or complain. You’ll do the same with your friends and then soon enough you’ll have an awesome group of comrades who help you figure out the little things, like how to persuade you son to use a sippy cup. And you’ll be so happy that you’re a part of this really cool world of parents, all working hard at keeping their marriages and families strong.

Best wishes,
Here’s the link. Worthy read:

12 Angie

First let me say – thank you for this post. As a new mom, I feel like everything I do is judged by those that think they know better. My daughter is two and a half weeks old and although the breastfeeding is going well, I find it a struggle just as Jane did. I have not developed any signs of PPD (yet) so I am continuing to breastfeed and struggle with it several times a day. I hope those that bash and give their opinions in a negative manner will look at the situation for what it is – a personal decision in a person’s life. Everyone who breastfeeds has to stop sooner or later and those who choose to stop later have no basis to bash those who choose to stop earlier, for whatever reason. I have come from lurkerdom to offer my support for Jane, Tarzan and little Monkey.

13 TechyDad

I’ve got to join the chorus of folks cheering you on. Those breastfeeding nazis should shut their traps. First of all, trying to guilt/jeer/insult someone into continuing to breastfeed is a tactic bound to fail no matter what the mother’s reasons for not breastfeeding. When someone tries to put a ton of pressure on me to do something, it makes me want to do the opposite thing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who reacts like this. As my mother always said: You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

Secondly, while gentle advice and encouragement are fine, people have got to know when the decision has been made. Whether they agree with your decision or not, it was a decision for you and Jane to make, not anyone else. Even if I didn’t agree with your decision (I do agree with it), it wouldn’t be my place to start spouting off about my lack of agreement. All of us commenters are here to provide moral support and perhaps some advice from time to time (pre-decision, when asked for it), but that’s it. Once a decision is made, a commenter can either wish you the best or not comment at all. As my mother always said: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Finally, not every piece of advice is applicable to every baby (or Mommy or Daddy) in exactly the same way. Yes, breastfeeding is preferable, but there are perfectly good reasons why a woman wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. Jane’s health and happiness trumps her breastfeeding. It definitely wouldn’t be good for Monkey or Jane if Jane’s PPD went untreated.

We went against advice also. We were told “back to sleep” so many times when our first child was born that we were afraid to put him to sleep on his stomach. Yet, every night he refused to sleep on his back or sides. Finally, in a fit of exhaustion/desperation, we let him sleep on his stomach. He slept like… well, like a baby. ;-) I wouldn’t have wanted to hear from people screaming at us that we were awful, irresponsible parents for daring to place our baby on his tummy to sleep. We made an informed decision based on our assessment of the situation and we stuck by it. You’ve made a decision based on your (and your doctor’s) assessment of the situation and we’ll all stick by you.

14 Mindykoob

*Cheers and claps* Tarzan!! I am 35 weeks pregnant and am experiencing the same things with people who have had children. It seems everyone else knows best and frankly it’s very frustrating. I get very irritated, but have decided to just tell the people whom give me very unsolicited advice (though i do appreciate some of the advice i get…),”Thank you for sharing.” and that’s it. We all have to learn in our own way, and we ALL know that each child is different so therefore things work differently.
Thanks for having such a real blog! And thanks for calling out the morons who are, well, just morons!

15 Ella

Great post! You are doing what you know is best for your family, and your baby! I think you did the absolute right thing by stopping BFing and getting help. Monkey will do great on formula. You are great parents!

However, I would like to make one small point in reference to some things you said at the end of your blog post. You talked about how you don’t appreciate all the advice and opinions that people have about parenting. I have followed you for the last few months, and I read every one of your posts and tweets. And I’ve noticed that you frequently ask for advice or opinions on different things, the most recent case being when Jane (after deciding to stop BFing) asked what formula brands people recommended. So please don’t bash people for giving you their opinions or advice when YOU solicited it.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for having such an honest, open blog.

16 Kari

*applauding* Tell em Tarzan!! It’s no one’s business how you chose to feed your child. PPD is nothing to play around with. Formula can’t be all that bad, look how many babies are fed formula on a daily basis? Personally I didn’t breastfeed my boys. Then again, I only carried 2 in my body, the other was carried in my heart. I bonded so closely to my middle son (my non-bio child) that after my youngest was born, he couldn’t wait to help feed him. Take care of Jane, Monkey will be perfectly fine on formula. As long as he’s loved, & you use a doctor recommended formula, there won’t be a problem.

17 CC

You are a good one, Tarzan. This is yet another example of manning up!

Jane, don’t fret a bit about what some frenzied nutters might say on the interwebz or in real life or wherever people with sweeping statements choose to reside. You are taking care of your adorable monkey and your lovely self. If some people truly find themselves so deeply and emotionally impacted by the decisions of others that they need to respond with cruelty and malice, then they have far deeper issues than any of us sane people can begin to address. (This is in fact one of my greatest concerns about becoming a parents: I fundamentally find parents… annoying. Hah.)

In short: Don’t even think twice about anybody else other than your nice husband and great kid. So there!

18 Jessica

I feel like people who bash for quitting breastfeeding are kind of like the women who bash those who opt for the epidural. There is no reward for going without, kudos to those who do the whole thing but DO NOT judge me for not wanting to be in pain! I think you guys made the right choice. Luckily Tarzan you were there for Jane to help her realize she needed the help, I can only hope my fiance is that observant. I think we will talk about this soon actually, I am 35.5 weeks today! I want to breast feed but if for some reason I feel the way Jane did I feel that I will make the right decision and do what is best for me and my daughter. Spending time with your new baby should be enjoyable and if you are depressed and need medication that cannot/should not be taken while breastfeeding then the resolution seems obvious. Obviously research shows that breast milk is best but formula has been used over and over again and little Monkey will be fine. You will both be happier that you can enjoy feeding time together and I promise Monkey wont judge you ;)

Good Luck in the War. I’ll fight on your side *hugs*

19 Kristen

I do think that every woman deserves to make choices in her own life about her own body.

But when you bring another life into the picture, and decisions are being made to THAT person, and you choose to be completely public about those desicions, and you SOLICIT advise, you take what you get. Its like Hollywood stars complaining about all the attention they get from the paparazzi.

I don’t understand how you can’t comprehend that Jane’s decision to medicate/stop breastfeeding is so misunderstood. The simplest issue is that there are alternatives to the path she seeminlgly very abruptly took: namely choosing to take a drug that would prohibit breastfeeding. There are antianxiety/depression meds that CAN be taken while breastfeeding. There is talk therapy. There are natural herbs and vitamin therapy. And just time. Many of the things she blogged about as being indicators of PPD can also be very normal post partum feelings related to the huge changes that occur in life when a baby is born, sleeplessness, changes of routine, role changes. So when she went immediately to medication that was contraindicated for breastfeeding, I think many of her followers were really confused.

20 Lauren

I think you guys are awesome/ hilarious/ amazing parents/ totally in love/ …. and don’t let anyone tell you different. Do what feels right to you, and it will be right. Hang in there and soon things will balance back out and start feeling normal. You have a wonderful foundation of love and equitability and humor on which you can rely, and your family is only getting stronger.
Best to all of you, out in the jungle!


21 TheAngelForever

*sigh* It really is sad that the online drama means that you had to take time to write a post like this. So very sad indeed (probably why I rarely post about nursing). Let me simply say that you and Jane both know the people that have been here cheering both of you on since before Monkey was born. The two of you are grown ups and have seen that each child is different and you learn from trial and error with your own baby. I hope that you do not dwell too much on the negative that has been tossed your way and see the light at the end of the tunnel now that Jane is getting the assistance she needs. Hugs to all of you and with any luck you will be able to spend more time together watching Monkey grow and less worrying about Jane’s health.

22 Angel

I didn’t read your whole blog yet, but I wanted to say this: People should respect others’ choices. I chose to breastfeed for 18 months, and that is my choice. But, I got criticism from people who thought I was “gross” for breastfeeding for so long. I had my reasons, and they are very valid reasons.

I think this is true for Jane too. I advocate breastfeeding. BUT I DO NOT JUDGE if she chooses to formula feed. Women have tons of reasons not to breastfeed. I was told once that someone chose not to breastfeed because she didn’t want her boobs to sag. OK?? Well, who am I to judge? I actually sometimes wished that my daughter would have taken formula sometimes so I wouldn’t have to stress so much to pump at work. Luckily my work as a mother’s room so I could get privacy, but most places of business do not.

So I say this dear Jane and Tarzan (and baby Monkey), do what makes your lives the happiest. Kudos for doing it for as long as you have!! I will tell you this for certainty, I stressed about Breastfeeding sometimes, and I could tell this stress was being picked up by the baby. I was able to do some things for myself that worked toward resolving this. However, I don’t think this can be true for all women. You have to do what is best for the overall mental health of your family too. If you are so tired and so upset and so stressed about BFing, it will reflect in everything. And, in my humble opinion, if you are all happier by formula feeding, and Monkey is thriving, do it! Do what is best for your family. and delete or poo poo on any one else who judges you.

I am sending the biggest hugs your way at your decision. I am far behind on reading your blogs as my little toddler and work keep me busy, but I will catch up if I can and hopefully provide more encouragement your way.

23 Lindsay

Loved your post Tarzan! I’ve been having trouble with my neighbors constantly giving me unsolicited advice on everything from what I need to be doing to keep the weeds in my yard down to debating whether or not my puppy is overweight (he’s not, and that’s according to the vet). I complain about it to my mom, and she said “Oh, just wait until you have kids!” I’ve heard from friends and family that not only are people constantly giving advice, but as you said, some of them are really nasty about it! What a shame. Having a baby should be a wonderful, exciting time in your life, not a time to hide in the house, cut off from communications, because some people can’t accept that there is more than one “right” way to do something. As you’ve both said a number of times, you and Jane are Monkey’s parents, and in the end, weighing the answers you get from your doctors along with your own common sense, you’ll always decide what’s best for your family. I hope that I can be as strong and true to myself when I have my own kids. I’m glad you spoke up about something that’s so disturbing and I’ll definitely continuing reading!

24 Riley

I am so disappointed that people feel the need to judge your decisions. Breastfeeding is amazing, wonderful and HARD. I had a lot of difficulty breastfeeding and it was a constant struggle. After a few weeks, I decided to exclusively pump and feed. The extra step was exhausting. I did that for 13 weeks (my goal was to make it to 12) and switched to formula. My daughter just turned a year and is doing great. Taking care of a baby is hard work and you have to do whatever is best for baby AND Mom. I’m so sorry things have been difficult. No one took the easy way out. You do the best you can to care for you little one and formula provides nutrition too. I cannot stand people who inflict their opinions on others without knowing all the variables.

My sister shared your due date (she delivered a wonderful baby girl on 7/20) so I’ve enjoyed following your journey. Take care and enjoy that little one.

25 Avalea

“Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a Daddy, but everyday I’m growing to not like many of the things that it brings in from the outside world – and the people and comments that sometimes also go along with it. Now I’m not just talking about blogging here. I’m talking about everything…”

Oh Tarzan… you are a million and one % correct. Be it family and friends, blog comments or even your Pediatrician. Everyone has something to say, solicited or not. Just wait till an old hag in the grocery store spouts off something. Seriously! I had a lady grill me because she thought my child’s pants weren’t long enough for the weather. I had a creepy guy tell me in the cereal aisle to “just keep pushin ‘em out, lady”. He was pissed off because I have children close in age.

In real life, you have to shrug it off. Keep in the back of your mind that (most of the time) they are just trying to be helpful. I have perfected the fake smile and polite nod. If someone presses me, I let them know that this is the choice we made for our child, but I appreciate their input.

Now with the blog… and I tread lightly when I say this, but if you put it out there, you have to take what comes back at you. Of course you know that already. Unless you monitor your comments and delete the crap ones or close comments all together, that’s gonna be the only way to deter the people who don’t agree with you/gripe/complain/bitch/moan/wail/and on and on….

As a writer myself, you won’t stop the haters. It’s just part of the deal. Sure, you can address it (and you should on some subjects), but they will still post their garbage.

Lastly, you two know Monkey the best. I’ve said that before. He is YOUR child. You are responsible for him and will raise him according to what you and Jane have decided. Past that? It’s all gravy, my friend. :-)

26 Shannon

do not let anyone tell you how to feed your baby.. If you are feeind your baby good, nutritrious formula, and giving him all of your love, you are DOING IT RIGHT. Some women are not cut out for breastfeeding. I tried, with both kids. I did not last more than 3-4 weeks. It is HARD. Some women enjoy it- I knoew someone that did it THREE YEARS. I wanted my body BACK. And it was ok to want it back. Monkey is getting what he needs. And you may get more rest and feel so much better.
The breast feeding nazis can shove it. I am all for when a woman wants to do it, but I am so against judging someone for deciding not to.
You are OK. And Monkey will be OK. I remember the guilt of quitting, too. BUT you have to do what is good for you, too.
Now please women, motherhood is hard enough without all the judgements.
Get over it and let this woman find her way. Help, not hurt!

27 Angee

Unfortunately there will always be close-minded (I prefer the term small-minded) people in the world who will turn their nose up to any ideas or suggestions you might have for them. But when they see that someone disagrees with their opinion or has gone against what they think is the norm they are the first to attack. Teeth bared, claws out, and a fire in their eyes that could intimidate the strongest of people. It’s a funny thing, these people don’t understand that wisdom and maturity don’t come from being close-minded but rather from being open to everything and learning to your fullest ability. This means knowing all sides of an issue you find important before passing judgement.

I haven’t posted very often but I hope Jane knows that she has been a huge inspiration to me as I see so much of myself in her. The timid feelings about becoming a mother and what will happen when my child arrives. Surely she’s aware that there are more people out here to support her than she could ever imagine. With all the love and sincerity in my heart…


28 Erin

I will say this… after your first baby, you learn not to take these things so much to heart. I’m not saying you are or aren’t, or that you shouldn’t be upset over people flaming Jane for stopping BFing (I don’t blame you for being upset over it!), but I do remember getting more annoyed at the differences of opinions from people with my first son, whereas now with #2, I’ve learned to roll my eyes and go on. Just remember that what you are doing is best for you, Jane, and Monkey.
Also, with regard to people saying she was looking for the easy way out… give me a break. I know there are some women out there who do use excuses to quit breastfeeding, but generally, I think that happens within the first week. Why would she struggle on for 3.5 weeks, then look for an excuse to quit, especially after being so honest about trying to go for six weeks before re-evaluating. PPD is hard enough, without all of the stones being thrown. I wish that everyone would step back and realize that the important thing here is not breastfeeding, but Jane’s health and well-being.

29 April

Tarzan, your post was really long so forgive me for not reading it all but, you’re dam skippy! I’m a breastfeeding mom but I REFUSE to bash a woman that tried and found a better “place” for herself than attached at the breast to a baby for hours a day. Jane, and you, made the right choice.

Don’t even mention using a breastfeeding cover. Talk about starting a war!

((hugs to you guys))

30 Cortney @ evanhaslanded

HOORAY for you! Preach it Brother Tarzan!!

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