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Karen

Can I pretend to be offended now? :)

OK, but here's a question...while you were on this particular tirade, why not ALSO go ahead and critique the frightening 1970s era photographs most often shown when illustrating a breastfeeding mother? The WAB has plenty of them, (though don't critique the mom/toddler smiling on the front of chapter 7 - that's my friend Chris and her son and they're cute and fully clothed). But really, can't publishers find pictures of MODERN (and by modern, I mean people in the 2000s, not the 1980s, which used to be the very DEFINITION of "modern" - you know, "modern rock", etc.) women breastfeeding their babies? There also was much discussion because the current edition of the book has a woman nursing her baby using a more european style - unbuttoning the shirt from the top, whereas in the U.S. we generally lift the shirt from the bottom. Fascinating, eh? I'm full of this shit you know... ;)

But meanwhile, I agree that it's pretty ridiculous the tone most books take to talk about breastfeeding, pregnancy, childbirth, etc. The WTEWYAE was so over the top on the nutrition stuff (like how you could treat yourself with one or two "fruit-juice sweetened cookies" - like you're such the picture of blissful maternity while barfing your guts out in the powder room that in between you've had time to make up some cookies from scratch, substituting that nasty refined sugar with fruit juice. Fuck you!)

Now on the sleep thing, I do have to say that I think it's unfair the pressure out there to "have a baby who sleeps through the night." Think about it, it's one of the first questions ANYONE asks a new parent - how is the baby sleeping and/or is he sleeping through the night. Um, junior is 4 hours old, he is only sleeping through important stuff like breastfeeding, and waking for the icky stuff like heel sticks. Then he wails. Becuase that bitch nurse wouldn't let me breastfeed him while she stuck his heel for the dozenth time. "I am not sure I could do the heel stick safely in that case..." I'm not sure you can do ANYTHING safely if I pummel you for hurting my baby and prohibiting me from doing something to alleviate the pain. Oh, did I go on a tangent? sorry. ;) This is YOUR blog after all, isn't it?

OK, but I have to finish this thought, the whole bit about sleeping. I think we set up new parents for failure from the very beginning because everyone defines a "good baby" as one who sleeps through the night. Um, I'm 33 years old and I don't sleep through the night (damn small bladder!) I have a 3.5 year old who doesn't (lucky me, the one night he did was the night we were in the hospital having his baby sister - that's been the only night to my knowledge.) Of course then there's the fact that many medical professionals define "sleep through" as a 5 or 6 hour stretch. Um, sure, my 16 month old baby sleeps that long at night, but I hardly call that sleeping through since she wakes up only about 2 hrs after I go to bed!!

One of the things we talk abt in LLL is the idea that adjusting your expectations CAN help you better accept that your baby has these needs of you. Of course it also helps to remind yourself of how incredibly short this period of time is, even though it seems unending when you're in it (like the phase the aforementioned 16 month old is in where she likes to climb on the kitchen chairs...) It all whizzes by in a blink and there you are, left wondering if it was worth it being pissed all those nights when the baby was crying. It's not their fault, they're just trying to tell you SOMETHING (maybe they need to be fed, or maybe they need to be close to someone - after all, WE don't sleep alone ...) Anyway, it's a stupid thing, but one suggestion I got from a league mom one time was to just turn the clock around so that it didn't face me at night. On the really bad nights, I do that. Then I don't have to notice that the baby was up every 30 mins for a while. Because honestly, what are my alternatives? Mainly to get pissed in the middle of the night (which will further awaken me, thereby delaying my eventual return to sleep). Of course poking my husband is one of the alternatives, which I have done a few times when I just ... couldn't ... take it... anymore. But this baby sure has taught me that what you learn with baby #1 isn't always relevant with baby #2. Liam would nurse back to sleep at any point in the night. Yes he might have woken frequently (every 2 hrs round the clock for his entire first year, I swear!) but he was a quick nurser and would zonk right back out. Meanwhile I have the energizer bunny in my second. She was up every 30 mins for 1.5-2 hrs last night asking for a drink of water. OMG I was ready to throw her out the window... but of course i forgot the bit about turning the clock around...that would have helped significantly last night, because to me it seemed like she was asking every 5 mins, but somehow because I knew that it was every 30 that pissed me off even more, because how good was the quality of sleep i got in those 30 minutes since the last water request? LOL

At any rate...this is YOUR blog isn't it? One last thing and then I swear I'm leaving. You are always entitled to your POV...it's always a good mental check for me to see how other people are taking this information that I get and give abt breastfeeding. Helps me not sound like such a frigging moron sometimes I hope.

Charlie

I feel your pain (well, actually, no, because my wife is the one who has to do the breast-feeding, but....). The book issue is just a symptom of the whole pregnancy/childbirth/child-rearing worls, which is that everyone is an expert.

If you want a REALLY annoying, smug book by a woman who knows everything, try "The Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg. Actually contains some good stuff, but you finish every reading session by throwing it at the wall.

Kaz Cooke is much less annoying than the rest. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1580085318/qid=1114331560/sr=8-3/ref=pd_csp_3/002-7806525-3320868?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

ElizabethN

I didn't cosleep, and I still found breastfeeding easier than bottle feeding in the middle of the night. (Well, I never actually did the bottle feeding in the middle of the night, but my husband had to when I was hospitalized for a week when she was a few months old.) At least the milk is already there and heated up!

It really is worth trying to figure out how to nurse lying down, even if you're not cosleeping, though. I found it immeasurably helpful to be able to lie down and zone out while she was eating, even though I was going to be putting her back in the crib when she was done. Lots of pillows behind your back help.

But I definitely agree with your main point, that advice books for new moms are generally condescending and stupid. If you want real data, try the Cochrane Reviews on Pregnancy and Childbirth at http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/cochrane_clsysrev_subjects_fs.html

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