Adult breastfeeding cam chat
Still, despite my stint as the postpartum playground crank, I could not bring myself to stop breast-feeding—too many years of Sears’s conditioning, too many playground spies.
So I was left feeling trapped, like many women before me, in the middle-class mother’s prison of vague discontent: surly but too privileged for pity, breast-feeding with one hand while answering the cell phone with the other, and barking at my older kids to get their own organic, 100 percent juice—the modern, multitasking mother’s version of Friedan’s “problem that has no name.”And in this prison I would have stayed, if not for a chance sighting.
But after three children and 28 months of breast-feeding (and counting), the insistent cheerleading has begun to grate. In Betty Friedan’s day, feminists felt shackled to domesticity by the unreasonably high bar for housework, the endless dusting and shopping and pushing the Hoover around—a vacuum cleaner being the obligatory prop for the “happy housewife heroine,” as Friedan sardonically called her.
When I looked at the picture on the cover of Sears’s Breastfeeding Book—a lady lying down, gently smiling at her baby and still in her robe, although the sun is well up—the scales fell from my eyes: it was not the vacuum that was keeping me and my 21st-century sisters down, but another sucking sound.
In my playground set, the urban moms in their tight jeans and oversize sunglasses size each other up using a whole range of signifiers: organic content of snacks, sleekness of stroller, ratio of tasteful wooden toys to plastic.But breast-feeding is the real ticket into the club.My mother friends love to exchange stories about subversive ways they used to sneak frozen breast milk through airline security (it’s now legal), or about the random brutes on the street who don’t approve of breast-feeding in public.In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice—it’s a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting.Yet the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?William Sears, whose Web site hosts a comprehensive list of the benefits of mother’s milk. Indeed, the article opens with a promisingly realistic vignette, featuring a theoretical “You” cracking under the strain of having to breast-feed around the clock, suffering “crying jags” and cursing at your husband. The root of the problem is not the sudden realization that your ideal of an equal marriage, with two parents happily taking turns working and raising children, now seems like a farce. In the days after my first child was born, I welcomed such practical advice. I may have put in fewer parenting years than he has, but I do have some perspective. I have experienced what the Babytalk story calls breast-feeding-induced “maternal nirvana.” This time around, nirvana did not describe my state of mind; I was launching a new Web site and I had two other children to care for, and a husband I would occasionally like to talk to.It turns out to be quite simple: You just haven’t quite figured out how to fit “Part A into Part B.” Try the “C-hold” with your baby and some “rapid arm movement,” the story suggests. I remember the midwife coming to my hospital bed and shifting my arm here, and the baby’s head there, and then everything falling into place. And when I look around my daughter’s second-grade class, I can’t seem to pick out the unfortunate ones: “Oh, poor little Sophie, whose mother couldn’t breast-feed. Being stuck at home breast-feeding as he walked out the door for work just made me unreasonably furious, at him and everyone else.More like tiny, unsure baby steps: two forward, two back, with much meandering and bumping into walls.A couple of studies will show fewer allergies, and then the next one will turn up no difference.the playground last summer, shortly after the birth of my third child, I made the mistake of idly musing about breast-feeding to a group of new mothers I’d just met.This time around, I said, I was considering cutting it off after a month or so.