Life happens: Give it a breast already

By Aprill Brandon
Feb. 13, 2014 at midnight
Updated Feb. 12, 2014 at 8:13 p.m.

In case you guys haven't heard yet, I'm pretty much the best person on the planet.

It's true. I mean, sure, Pope Francis had some good moments this year. But when it comes down to it, no one can compare to my pure and humble unselfishness. My pure, unadulterated courage. My pure and utter lack of pride in how completely amazing I am.

In fact, I'm so amazing, I feel bad for everyone else. No matter what anyone ever does from here on out, they'll never compare to me.

So just what have I done to deserve the title of "Best Person Ever," you ask?

Well, I ... (cue dramatic church organ music) ... am planning on breast-feeding.

OK, perhaps breast-feeding alone doesn't necessarily make me the "Best Person Ever." I'm pretty sure I'm still in the Top 5, though. But judging from how people react when they find out I'm planning on breast-feeding once I pop this kid out, it does automatically put me in the category of "Better Person Than You."

Yes, apparently any woman who breast-feeds in this day and age deserves her own parade, carried through the streets on a litter by the lowly parents who decided to feed their children formula.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the following:

"Good for you. You're going to be such a good mom."

"Breast-feeding is tough. You're so brave for making this decision."

"You're obviously the superior parent. Will you raise my children?"

And that's all from just planning on breast-feeding.

But here's the thing. I don't deserve all these accolades. One, because even though I want to breast-feed, it doesn't necessarily mean I'll be able to or that I can hack it as a breast-feeder. Many women stronger and tougher than I have tried and failed.

Two, here are the reasons I decided to breast-feed, in order of importance:

1. Cheaper than formula.

2. Will help me lose weight.

3. Good for the baby or some junk.

And three, while breast may be best, our society has gotten out of control with the judging act regarding those who decide to bottle feed.

Seriously, I've heard people compare using formula to child abuse. I have friends with babies who have had to sit through lectures from strangers about how selfish it is that they aren't breast-feeding.

And God help you if you can't breast-feed for medical reasons but then don't spend your life savings to buy breast milk from some hippie mom you found on the Internet.

Sadly, as I'm quickly learning, the breast-feeding debate is just the front line in the bigger conflict known as the Mommy Wars, in which every parent feels they know not only what is best for their child but what is also best for your child.

And I'm about to enter the fray woefully unarmed.

But, truth be told, I'm kind of glad I am unarmed. Because I'd rather just assume you're doing what you think is best for your child, and I'm doing what I think is best for my child. And regardless of what we are actually doing, chances are still high that neither one of them will turn out to be a serial killer.

And if we're really lucky, neither of them grow up to be that know-it-all co-worker who interrupts every conversation with "well, actually" either.

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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