Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

When the Internets are NOT Supportive

Posted: August 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Breastfeeding Blog Hop | 8 Comments »

This weeks Breastfeeding Blog Hop is focusing on the less than supportive words we endure while breastfeeding. Whether they be from someone who has never been there, someone who doesn’t know what our rights are as nursing mothers or even a well meaning albeit over zealous lactivist.

I’ve written about my issues with language surrounding breastfeeding support in the past and I think it needs to change. It is not all or nothing. When we set women up to fail, when we tell them that this is the golden ticket and then shame them when they go about their lives trying to reach this standard, well, there is a disconnect.

Back in January I was about at rock bottom. My sister was in the hospital. I had left my job on quite short notice following my sister’s hospitalization. I was struggling to feed Judah. My twins had just been diagnosed with autism. I needed breastfeeding to work, and it wasn’t working. One day while I was on Twitter there was a tweet about how breastfeeding isn’t a “choice”. The next tweet was something to the effect of “letting your supply dry up is a choice”.

As someone who struggles with low-supply that was like a slap in the face.

Breastfeeding is hard. You cannot force that on someone who is struggling and you cannot place blame on someone who is already throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the issue that she’s not doing enough. Every woman makes the choice. When to say when. When is it too much. At what point is it not worth the struggle. Everyone has their limit.

I eventually unfollowed that person on Twitter because every single time she tweeted about breastfeeding I would want to send my phone flying across the room. For a lactivist I found her mostly unhelpful and judgmental.

And I think that’s the key- if you aren’t hearing the message you need to hear, tune it out. There are plenty of people out there that do understand, that have been there, that get down in the muck with you and commiserate and support instead of standing above and telling you what you are doing wrong.

Find those people- ignore the rest.

The Breastfeeding Blog Hop is a weekly hop that runs Thursday and Friday. It is hosted by Jen at Life with Levi, Marah at Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and myself. Feel free to link up a pertinent post and check out what others have to say!

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8 Comments on “When the Internets are NOT Supportive”

  1. 1 Mysanityblog said at 10:48 am on August 25th, 2011:

    I got that comment about how I didn't drink enough water and I wasn't doing something right because my milk was drying up. I was doing the best I could and it isn't helpful to make a mom feel guilty when she already feels bad. Being made to feel like something is wrong with you if you are not providing enough food for you baby, is implying that you are defective. Those comments are hurtful and unnecessary.

  2. 2 lilburghers said at 4:54 pm on August 25th, 2011:

    Glad you know who to listen to (YOU!). So sorry to hear those words came for an LC!

  3. 3 Lori said at 5:17 pm on August 25th, 2011:

    Gah, I would have cried hearing that CRAP when I was struggling in the beginning. I now know that my problem is an actual, documented condition. Instead of judging people and spouting nonsense, maybe we should help them find out what is wrong. It should NOT have taken me almost 10 months to find out what my problem was.

  4. 4 Candida said at 10:17 pm on August 25th, 2011:

    Great advice! Thanks.

  5. 5 Milk and Whimsy said at 10:04 pm on August 27th, 2011:

    I think every mom needs to be supportive of every mom. Mothering is hard work no matter how you go about it.

  6. 6 Mandi said at 10:57 pm on August 27th, 2011:

    Amen! I too “let my milk dry up.” I was hospitalized 3 weeks after giving birth with an e.coli infection. I tried to pump and dump to keep my supply, but I didn’t have enough energy. 2 days later my baby girl was admitted to the hospital with bacterial spinal meningitis. I have to admit, I’m pretty jealous of all the moms who got the chance to Breastfeed. It kind of hurts my feelings when they talk about how great they are because they Breastfeed. Thanks for sharing! I completely understand.

  7. 7 lifewithlevi said at 9:42 pm on August 28th, 2011:

    I agree it's important to ignore the dumb comments, but sometimes it's hard not to let them get to you. That's why I'm glad we have so many supportive women to lean on here from the hop!

  8. 8 Breastfeeding Blog Hop: Support Groups | The Slacker Mom said at 3:06 am on October 13th, 2011:

    […] be construed as propaganda. There was always someone to cheer you on, but there was also a lot of negative vibes.  As a woman who struggled with supply issues (real supply issues, not, I think I might have […]

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