Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Better Than You (No, really, I'm SO not)

I have pretty strong opinions on many issues...and a lot of the positions that I take are not really mainstream.

I believe in natural birth and think the best place to be born, is probably home and with a midwife.

I chose a method called Attachment Parenting to raise my children -- family bed, child-led weaning, and I carried my infants around on my body in a sling, rather than using a stroller -- most of the time.

I also believe that raw milk and meat is better coming from grass-fed cows that get a lot of time out in the sunshine and fresh air. There is a significant difference in the nutrients of the products between grass-fed and grain fed cattle. Pasteurization destroys and alters nutrients, and changes the ratios so that the nutrients left may not be as useful to your body. And Vitamin A and D are replenished, but in forms your body can barely use, and are even suspected carcinogens. Not only that, when the fat is removed, these fat soluble vitamins are even less useful. You need fat to absorb vitamins. I could do a whole post on this.

Obviously, I feel strongly on these issues. I have done a LOT of research on these issues and have personal experience with them. As far as breastfeeding, I even underwent what amounts to two years of training to be a La Leche League Leader and certified lactation consultant. If I didn't feel strongly that "Breast is best" doesn't mean "its just a little bit better," I wouldn't have done that. I also wouldn't have nursed two children for a grand total of seven years combined.

Does this mean that I believe that you are inferior if you chose differently, if for some reason you couldn't, or if you didn't really think about the issues? No. Because in my life, it has taken me 40 years to get to this point, and I wasn't even there on some of the nutritional issues a year ago. And I know I'm not done yet.

Let me give you some examples:

Despite my birth beliefs, I have two children out of two who were born via c-section. The first because I didn't know any better, the 2nd, because after 32 hours of labor, they weren't going to let me go any farther. Things weren't happening according to their textbook at the hospital, where I could only deliver at, because there wasn't a midwife in L.A. at that point who could get a doctor to back her up if she did a home VBAC, despite the fact that the safety statistics are there.

Breastfeeding -- I didn't want to breastfeed. I only tried because I promised my husband I would give it six weeks, and he held me to that. And since my son was very allergic to cows milk and soy, it was a blessing that he did. But he was nipple-confused from the first time he received a bottle in the hospital, and it took almost 4 weeks to get him to nurse. I think the c-section made me determined. But he had four weeks on soy formula, throwing up all over the place and dealing with chronic constipation. The difference I saw in my son when he finally was a breastfed baby as opposed to a formula fed baby showed me that there really is a difference.

Nutrition -- we have eaten fast food at least three times this week, and despite my knowing that I was reacting poorly to wheat for years, I only managed to get off of it when it turned into full-blown celiac disease.

But that doesn't mean that I don't strongly believe that there is an ideal as to how something should be. And I know I generally don't reach it. I know most people don't. But that isn't going to stop me from posting articles or statements about what the ideal is. And I am not necessarily saying you should meet this ideal. I am putting information out there, in case you are interested in this topic, because I certainly am....and it is my blog (my facebook status, my mouth) :D

I get frustrated when people take it as "I didn't do this, so you are attacking me." No, generally the information that I put out there is citing something that is fact. If you didn't have a natural birth or breastfeed your child, I still know that you love your child, and if you missed out on those things (and I did) you still have MANY ways that you love your child. If you don't want to become a food hippie like me, I at least hope there is something you do that is good for yourself...that YOU are more interested in.

But in the end, through my research and experience, I believe strongly in these things. I wouldn't be sharing this information if I didn't believe strongly in these things. So my sharing them with you is not an attack, it is a gesture of love -- this matters to me. I hope it helps you. But it should be treated like any gift I would give you. If it doesn't help you, get rid of it.


Amie said...

here, here!! - of course I have even gotten scared to post really provocative stuff on my own blog, which about 2 people read, because of this. It gets old. I really loved your link to the IndianaJane btw, thanks!

Cecilia said...

I am with you on All of This.

Bikermom said...

Sigh....we are such defensive creatures aren't we. I think in my old age I have given up trying to discuss any of this sort of thing with people unless they are truly interested simply because suddenly they seem so threatened by a different thought. Pushing the ignore button is easier said than done. Sorry people have gotten stressed. I'm glad somebody still has strength to say something. Thanks.

Adrienne said...

Great honest post! Your insight would be greatly received with some friends I have that are considering BF.

O'Brien Home said...

Just found your blog while trying to find a certain quote from Martin Luther and ran across this post! Love it! Thank you. Crystal

p.s. I let my youngest breast feed till she was over 3