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June 15, 2004

Breastfeeding 101

Tonight was our last class: Breastfeeding 101.

For a couple of months I had thought that this was the class that I wouldn’t have to attend. Instead I thought that my longtime friend, Clarence Bear, would join Fabulous Babe as a stand in for Junior. Fabulous Babe helped me correct this flawed thinking and at 7:00 we found ourselves sitting in class.

The woman teaching the class was very earnest and the material was familiar. (If you have enough of these books laying around the house you start picking up things just by association.) She walked us through a lot of different scenarios and situations and did her best to answer questions. She offered a variety of facts and statistics that seemed a little odd but I think I know why.

One of the more interesting subjects was the subject of lactation consultants. In the videos tonight they’re matronly looking women who were disturbingly forceful. (“The baby will latch on…. NOW!”)

All I could think about was a hard boiled, down on his luck, double breasted suit wearing private detective who free lanced on the side as a lactation consultant. Like a Mike Hammer novel the lines started to write themselves:

“She walked into my office with dryness and cracking that made every step hot painful agony.”
“She was a beautiful woman with a problem. A problem with Collostrum.”
“Her eyes said “Yes” but her poorly fitted nursing bra said “No.”
“She stood before me with a Medela Pump In Style and I knew she meant business.”

Alas no woman would probably ever entertain the idea of being assisted with their nursing by someone who was good with a .45 and wanted his whisky raw and smoky, like his dames. Don’t worry. Cliff Hobarth, Private Dick and Lactation Consultant is probably not going to be a movie of the week.

Several of the women had brought stuffed bears with them for the practical exercises. Fabulous Babe had brought Clarence but also the Boppy Pillow to practice with. Unfortunately her current size wouldn’t allow full use of the Boppy Pillow. It wouldn’t fit around her which gave us both a giggle.

I’m pretty sure that our instructor was a La Leche acolyte. Less harmful than Jim Jones followers La Leche believers come in varying degrees of faith. At the extreme end are those who believe that you should breastfeed a child until they reach an age that the benefits of mother’s milk are no longer necessary. From what I can piece together this cut off age is around 34. (Give or take.) Lesser La Leche-ians back off of that age by a few years. (Must want them out of the house earlier.) It depends on how devout a follower they are.

Fabulous Babe has a rule that sounds fine by me: Old enough to ask for it by name you’re cut off. We heard a story the other day from our neighbors about going to a party where a 4 to 5 year old came into the room and started nursing. It was a Kodak moment just to capture the expressions of everyone else in the room.

I support my wife in whatever she wants to do. That doesn’t mean I don’t have limits or that I don’t find some of these things weird. (Do you really know a 9 year old that still breast feeds.) I still think its ok to use a bottle with a child without them growing up to be a psychopath.

After class Fabulous Babe wanted Ice Cream so we hit the DQ. Even with the Turtle Sundae she had to start off the night sleeping on the couch.

My poor honey boo.

Posted by Jim at June 15, 2004 12:16 AM