Friday, February 3, 2012

Blame it on the b-b-b-b-breastfeeding

I took a picture of the giant ball of hair that I combed out of my head in the shower but it's too disgusting to post. I knew that postpartum hair loss was a "thing" but it didn't really happen to me with Miles. Or at least I never really noticed anything beyond my normal shedding. But this time it's pretty bad. I mean, even my edges look crazy. Like, my baby hair got thinner. It's awful but normal in that it happens to many of us and "this too shall pass," blah blah blah.

So imagine my surprise when I complained about this and someone told me, "Oh it's because of the breastfeeding." Of course that's not true, it happens to many women whether they breastfeed or formula feed from day one but I found it interesting that breastfeeding was deemed the culprit. Maybe it's because the hair loss generally abates around 3 months and that's when many women stop breastfeeding. Or maybe it's just one of the long litany of ills that gets blamed on breastfeeding.

I recently read an advice column written by a popular blogger where she called postpartum night sweats "the breastfeeding sweats." I've heard from a lot of women who say that because milk ducts are modified sweat glands that nursing is to blame for waking up soaking wet for weeks after giving birth. The problem is that that's not true. Hormones are to blame for postpartum night sweats and again, many of us suffer through them. Your body has to get rid of those extra pregnancy fluids somehow and no, moms who choose not to breastfeed don't get a pass here either.

But isn't it funny how breastfeeding always gets the blame for these things?

Problems in your marriage after the birth of your baby? It's because you're breastfeeding.
Run down and exhausted from caring for a little one? It's because you're breastfeeding.
Baby allergic to any foods? It's because you're breastfeeding.
Baby wants to be held all the time? It's because you're breastfeeding.
Kid has cavities? It's because you're breastfeeding.
Suffering from PPD? It's because you're breastfeeding.
Baby not sleeping through the night? Yup.....It's because you're breastfeeding.

I've heard almost everything get blamed on breastfeeding, including body aches and pains for mom, fat babies, skinny babies, cranky babies, even medical diagnoses for everything from autism to diabetes. Heck, according to some, breastfeeding your boy child can even make him gay.

I'd love to hear your stories if you have them. What does breastfeeding get the blame for in your life?

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