Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh My Gosh... I'm a LACTIVIST!


Hi, my name is Jessica and I'm a lactivist. To everyone else this has probably been obvious for a long time but this is the first time I'm admitting this fact in a public setting. I'm not sure how it happened really. In my head it was a sudden shift that came out of nowhere and has caught me by surprise. Is that my voice? Is that MY voice? I ask when I hear myself speaking about breastfeeding... again. One day I was a normal, level-headed, regular person and then the next I was talking about breastfeeding all the time, crazy-advocate and a *gasp* real lactivist. There was a time when I read literature on breastfeeding and responded with small nods and "Hm, that's interesting" but now I'm pounding the table yelling "Preach it sistah!" I've even introduced myself as "Hi, I'm Jessica, The Leaky B@@b."


No, seriously, I have.


What the...? How did that happen?


*Freak out*


In reality the shift was probably gradual. Sure, there were some monumental, no-turning-back moments such as when I decided I wanted have my babies at home or when I became a student midwife, but since nobody would ever have described me as level-headed in the first place, maybe I wasn't that far off from the beginning. The funny thing is, when it comes to feeding babies, I actually think I'm more level-headed now than I ever was.


How do I know I'm a lactivist? Well, there are some tell-tale signs that I can no longer deny in myself. So I now bring you:

You might be a lactivist if...
  • You read every article on breastfeeding you come across. Even if you already know everything it says. Maybe even if you've read it before. You can't help it, you have to read them and your significant other is likely going to get an earful about what you read regardless if the tone of the article was positive or negative.
  • You don't flinch, blush or feel even a little awkward with words like "breast," "boobs," "nipple," "areola," "bra," etc. Around anyone, ever. You may not even care where you say them. It is common to say them often.
  • You have to resist the urge to applaud a woman breastfeeding in public. Or smile broadly at her while staring. Or hug her. Or point her out to, oh, everyone. Or stalk her, just a little.
  • Little gets you hotter than another story in the news about a woman and her baby being asked to leave an establishment while breastfeeding or invited to breastfeed in the bathroom. Seriously, the bathroom? It's been said before but you'll say it again; would YOU want to eat in the bathroom? Didn't think so. What is wrong with people having an issue with a baby eating? You will go on and on and on about this to anyone willing to listen and sometimes, even those that aren't.
  • Talking with someone that has just had a baby you don't hesitate to ask "how's breastfeeding going?" You don't actually know if they are breastfeeding but you assume they are. And if things aren't going well you're ready to spring into action to help. Your baby gift is a pair of the softest reusable breast pads, a tube of lanolin, a water bottle and a boppy.
  • The idea of someone touching your breast or you touching someone else's breast to assist with breastfeeding a newborn is like, so whatever. Since that's what b@@bs are for, it's no big deal any more. You might even forget that it still is a big deal for others and inadvertently make new moms uncomfortable. Got to work on that.
  • You have downloaded and printed or purchased "Thank you for breastfeeding in public" cards to hand out to breastfeeding moms you spot while out and about. And you use them too. There are some in your purse, your glove box, your diaper bag, the back pocket of your jeans, and your kids backpack. You consider it a good day if you got to hand out a few at the mall.
  • There are at least 2 Facebook groups you follow about breastfeeding and Twitter too. Maybe even a forum or two. You check often and share lots of links and stories. Reading the stories others post there is addicting and before you know it you've spent hours reading about breastfeeding. All for the cause, all for the cause.
  • You get home from a trip to the zoo and post on a FaceBook wall how many women you saw NIP while you were out. Probably on one of those pages but maybe even your own private Facebook. This doesn't seem strange to you at all, after all, how else are we going to normalize breastfeeding? Seeing mothers NIP should be celebrated, you're just doing your part. Nothing crazy about that!
  • You have taken pictures of yourself breastfeeding. Or had your partner or older child snap a few for you. It's real serious if you've had a breastfeeding sitting with a professional photographer. Is it framed and on your wall? Is there a piece of breastfeeding art, photograph or other, that isn't of you? Why not, right? It's beautiful and natural. In fact, you probably have more pictures of you breastfeeding, most likely of just your chest, arm and little one, than of you actually looking at the camera or doing any thing else.
  • You have shared pictures of yourself breastfeeding online. On those groups or forums. Or your own blog. Even better if it's your profile image on a social networking site or discussion board. You're a proud breastfeeder! Breastfeeding is not obscene Facebook! You probably even "liked" the Facebook page that says that.
  • You know what the World Breastfeeding Symbol is and you have used it either online or in real life. Do you have a bag or shirt with it? Does your baby? A car decal? Or is it part of your profile pic? Yeah? You've got it bad baby. If you ever happen to see the symbol in a business you'll probably hug the shop owner.
  • You know when World Breastfeeding Week is and you get a little giddy when it rolls around every year. Events are planned, give-aways are entered, and lactation cookies are baked. You know what organization is doing what, where and when and you plan on being there. That is, if you didn't organize it yourself. You probably even got a special shirt for the occasion. Maybe even learned a dance.
  • You don't like Nestle and avoid buying Nestle products. Even if your favorite candy is Butterfinger. The fact that the BlogHer conference was sponsored by Nestle really bothered you and you even asked your favorite blogger how they could participate. When Halloween rolls around you debate digging through the kid's loot to find the Nestle products and throw them away. Except for the Butterfingers, you eat those rationalizing that at least you didn't pay for them.
  • Covering for breastfeeding to you means making sure your belly, back and sides are covered but you don't worry about who may catch a brief glimpse of a little b@@b. In fact, you have mixed feelings about breastfeeding covers. Whatever helps a woman feed her baby is great but should we be hiding breastfeeding? It's complicated and you're just happy for breastfeeding in public at all. Personally, you just don't want your flab showing.
  • Breastfeeding past a year is normal, passed 2 common and over 3 no biggie. It's the people that have a problem with it that are weird. You know that the global average age for weaning is age 4 so people just need to get over themselves since breastmilk doesn't suddenly turn to water after a certain age. It's not like there is an expiration date on breastfeeding, sheesh.
  • The Kelly Mom, Best for Babes, Dr. Jack Newman, La Leche League, and other breastfeeding websites are bookmarked on your computer. You also have a considerable breastfeeding library which you loan out often. In fact, you bought several copies of your favorite breastfeeding book to have on hand to give to new moms. You do so with excitement and a list of those websites and don't even notice your partner throwing a breastfeeding-cover-apron-thingy over his head while you jabber on excitedly. When you do notice you give him a "Thank you for NIP" card.
  • You can name at least 3 celebrities that breastfed. You might even know how many kids and how long they breastfed. But you're not sure what movies or TV shows they are from and maybe have never even seen them in anything or know why they are even celebrities at all.
  • Science comes out with new information that breastfeeding has "new" health benefits for mom and/or baby and you say "duh." The information is good to know, you're glad they've done research but it just seems kind of obvious that feeding as nature intended would be a good thing, right?
  • You meet someone for the first time in a non-breastfeeding related environment and you somehow are talking about breastfeeding within 20 minutes. You know if they were breastfed, if they did or intend to breastfeed, how long, what they've read, if they are aware of your favorite breastfeeding resources, etc. Later you may not remember their name but you'll be able to confidently greet them with "You breastfed your youngest for 16 months, of course I remember you!" This applies to men too.
  • You think maybe Gisele was on to something. Even if you don't exactly agree with what she said or that it could even happen you can totally understand it and even secretly wish it was possible. You're cautious about saying that anywhere but can't help wonder "what if...?"
  • The phrases "if breastfeeding offends you put a blanket over your head" and "if breastfeeding is sexual then a bottle is a dildo" make you laugh and you really, really want to share them somewhere. You probably have too. And you know more and have come up with a few of your own. They are what go through your head when having conversations with anti-breastfeeding types. Sometimes they even come flying out of your mouth.
  • Your children think feeding babies with bottles is weird. In their minds the only reason to do so is because something is wrong or the mother is unavailable and then it would be expressed breastmilk. They may not even know what formula is.
  • It is strange that you haven't typed or said "breastfeeding" in one full day. Woah, how did that happen? You must have been sick.
  • Out on a date your partner asks if you could talk about something other than breastfeeding for a little bit. Whether you were talking about you breastfeeding, someone else breastfeeding, breastfeeding in the news, or something else, you didn't even realize you were until he asked to change the subject. It just seemed... normal.
  • You want to replace the slogan "breast is best" with "breast is normal." You've thought long and hard about this and you're ready to change the world. Breastfeeding is normal!
  • After reading an online article about breastfeeding in public harassment incidents, you read through the comments and respond to every uneducated reply posted. You only walk away after you realize your blood pressure is through the roof. And in search of some chocolate.

Recognize yourself at all in any of these? Know anyone that fits these? I bet you could add some too, share yours in the comments here so I know I'm not alone.

Ladies and gentlemen, Hi, I'm Jessica, The Leaky B@@b and I'm a lactivist.

Now... I need some chocolate. Or maybe some baby kisses. Or both.

93 comments:

  1. I once met a co-worker for the first time. She had just come back from maternity leave and within 4 minutes I had asked her if she wanted to borrow my other breast pump. HEHE She thought I was slightly odd. But, I totally am pretty much with you on every point!

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  2. I love it! This is fabulous...and is almost an exact description of me as well :) Love finding similar people via the internet, makes my day!

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  3. Haha...I am SO this person. I just told my husband about this article, and he just rolled his eyes and said "Umm, yeah babe. You're a lactivist alright." Well, then I stand up proudly! Where is my membership card? :)

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  4. Oh my goodness! That's me! Have you ever heard the indignant retort, "Hey, I resemble that remark!"

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  5. My DH and I just truly LOL'ed about the dildo comment! Haven't heard that one before. I am definitely a lactivist but sometimes I am too quiet about my beliefs.

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  6. Love it. I'm a lactivist too! How did you know about my bookmarks? It surprises me how I am all of the above except for the NIP cards. I still have seen any NIP.

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  7. Preach it, sistah! Yes, yes, and yes to all of those. What better -ivist to be than one that promotes healthy happy babies? Thanks for another great post!

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  8. ok So I am turning into this. I am not even going to hide it. I do get nervous that I am over standing my bounds still though. But I am starting to care less and less. Or more like care More and MORE. I do several of these things everyday. And the last one I did today for the first time.

    I also wanted to add that when you hear of a BFing mom being told to leave XYZ you want to. go nurse there ASAP. And hope they wil try to pull the same bull.

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  9. Those are great! How about.....

    If you avoid the baby food aisle at the store like the plague and don't even want to look at the formula for fear that someone might think you want to purchase some.

    if the checkout lady gives you a coupon for formula with your receipt and you return it to her saying "no thank you, My babies drink my milk."

    If you tell people frequently what the breastfeeding laws are in your state and encourage them to NIP as much as possible.

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  10. I'm breastfeeding my baby while at the computer reading about breastfeeding, am I in? :)

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  11. Check, check, check...

    I have a t-shirt that says: "If my breastfeeding offends you, feel free to put a blanket over your head." I've only had positive reactions when I wear it out. I'd like to have the "bottle/dildo" one, but I don't want to have to explain to my kids what a dildo is. :)

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  12. ..You mean.. other people do these things & feel this way??
    Why..I just might be a lactivist too!! Wonderful post!

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  13. I am so this! :) LOL... and have used the dildo remark on a few occasions :) I am one of the FIRST to start the education of the ignorant on those sites you are talking about LOL... I read a few of these to hubby and he SOOO said "Wow, did you write that about yourself" LOLOL...

    Yesterday we were at the grocery and we saw a NEW baby. I stopped to admire and after a few minutes of chatting asked if she was nursing! LOL... She said yes and hubby SO high fived her! ROFL :) HE SURE DID !:) He is my lactivist in training I think :) LOLOL :)

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  14. Well I'll admit I've got every one ticked off! I"M A LACTAVIST! Could have told myself that but I am glad I am not the only one who does every single one of these! And havng an hour or "so" long conversation with myself in my head about breastfeeding is not just weird me! Well maybe a little weird but that's US! weired, same, normal leakies!! You don't like it, put a planket over your head!

    Adrienne

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  15. oh....my...goodness! I AM a lactivist! My hubby tries to tell me (while secretly fearing that I will walk around in public bare chested...not necessarily BFing either) but I didn't believe him. We still have arguments about NIP (I did it once before we even discussed it and he is still worried about pervs). To him, they belong to him and the baby...THAT'S IT. I'm taking my preggo friends to lunch on Sunday and you KNOW BFing will be a topic of convo (and since hubby won't be there...I may just NIP)

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  16. I've got a 7 week old baby, and I was passionate about breastfeeding before...but now I am OBSESSED with making it "normal."

    I've done all of these {although I breastfeed with a cover in public...I'm new to this & not subtle...at all}. Plus I am breastfeeding right now!

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  17. The one about breastfed kids not knowing that formula exists is so true. I didn't know what formula was until I was 17 and working at Walgreens!

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  18. oh, I meant to say unfortunately I can't give up the Butterfinger (I'm addicted to all chocolate)...I do however, roll my eyes when someone MENTIONS Nestle

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  19. Yup! Definitely a lactivist and PROUD OF IT!!

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  20. Not only am I a lactivist, my husband and older daughter are too!

    Unfortunately, we've never seen another woman NIP. But if I did, I would totally want to be her friend (assuming I could pull it off without coming across as a stalker).

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  21. Hellz yeah, (wo)man!

    My husband is too. We went to AT&T the other day, and there was a woman nursing in a sling, and very loudly my husband said. "She's breastfeeding in a sling, in public! :DDDD!" Like a little kid! It was adorable. He knows what's up.

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  22. ... when you proudly still breastfeed your almost 4-year-old (yes, also in public) and wear a "Yes, I'm STILL breastfeeding!" T-shirt or write an informative No Nestle post before going to BlogHer or have spent hours and hours on a post in response to Gisele Bundchen's breastfeeding law comment that includes many links to references so people get more educated about the facts...

    http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2010/08/gisele-bundchen-we-dont-need-a-breastfeeding-law-moms-need-resources-and-encouragement/

    Oh my goodness, this is all so me! I already knew I'm a lactivist, but this is really fun and so true! Thanks for making me smile. Will tweet it out to all my followers.

    Best,
    Dagmar
    Dagmar's momsense
    @DagmarBleasdale

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  23. Love it - I breastfed six of my eight children and the only reason I didn't breastfeed those two was they were my first two and had no help or encouragement - by number 3 that changed. I am a grandmother now and so thrilled to see the radicals who keep the truth of breastfeeding going -

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  24. Well, I guess I'm in too, then. That's alright with me, because joining me is my husband who said at dinner the other night, "Giving out formula samples isn't breastfeeding support because if a mom uses them, her supply will drop."

    I was shocked that he had been paying that much attention to the many many many breastfeeding conversations I have subjected him to. I was also proud. And reminded of how cute he is. I lurve him.

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  25. Ugh! You think it's all about the boobs! You have no idea how hard it was for me to breastfeed. You boob nazis are all the same!


    ...You know you're one if you've had something like THAT posted on one of your journals/blogs. Hehehe, did I get you excited for a moment? (I've seriously had guiit-trolls post stuff like that on some weird articles... I just don't get it.)

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  26. PREACH SISTAH!!!!!!!!! I breastfed both of my kids EVERYWHERE, in church, in restaraunts, the movies, stores, the car, you name it I fed them there. I refuse to go to the bathroom to feed my children. I don't eat in the bathroom so therefore my kids don't either.

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  27. Haha. That is SO me.
    I was at the beach yesterday and my husband took a pic of me breastfeeding.

    I just ordered some t-shirts for Maks bday that are matching "Lucky Breastfed Toddler" and "Proud Breastfeeding Momma".


    I'm seriously obsessed with promoting breastfeeding. Haha.

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  28. Wow! I am well on my way to becoming a lactavist. Funny thing is that I have four children...all breastfed (13mo, 19mo, 13 mo and 24) and just with this last one am I showing signs! When out to dinner with my husband and I am looking at a mom and baby, my husband will say...are you trying to figure out if she is breastfeeding? My reply: Of Course! Thanks for such a great post!

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  29. Awesome! Awesome! I don't know when I made the switch, but man, I can check nearly every one of those off my list. And those I don't I'm thinking, "Wow, that's a great idea."

    And DH is on-board because he's always concerned about the foremilk/hindmilk balance for DD2.

    Love it!

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  30. How about: I talk about breastfeeding to long lost high school friends, and they give me THAT look- like I've suggested they all dance naked, or something. They are truly shocked at my use of "breast" or "nipple", and the discomfort on their face tells me that I'm the only sane one!
    Thats when I realized I was different" a lactavist!

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  31. You know you are a lactivist if...you offer a friend your pumped breastmilk instead of her having to feed her baby formula....

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  32. * You still follow breastfeeding news even though your youngest weaned over a year ago and you have no plans to have any more children.
    * You'd gladly be a wet nurse as a career if it still existed. It means that a) you'd get more time doing one of your favorite things on earth, and b) some baby would get breastmilk rather than formula.

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  33. Doh!! I resemble 21 of those remarks!!I just found out I'm a lactivist!!
    I Love the "Thanks for breastfeeding in public" cards...I would never be brave enough to give them out, though.
    You need to add these to the list:

    -you have accidentally ended up moderating a breastfeeding forum when you requested an entirely different forum.
    -At least one of your usual screen names is directly related to breastfeeding
    -you have made up your own cafepress breastfeeding merchandise and given it as gifts
    -you have pasted some of said merchandise to your car or other such prominent location

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  34. Definitely a lactivist!
    I frequently go to kid groups and end up talking about "extended" nursing with the other moms. I nursed until almost 4 with my oldest (youngest is still going at 2.5), and have helped change the minds of serveral women that thought they HAD to give it up because their babies were turning one (or two).

    When I saw the breastfeeding sign in a store window a few months back I specifically went in and bought something (from a store I would never normally go to) just because of the sign - and let them know that too (in the middle of our long BFing convo;))!

    Here's another one - you make sure to tell every new mom you know to get any and all formula samples OUT of the house and to never consider them again - then tell them they can phone or text any time day or night and you'll help them through any issues. :)

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  35. Oh, another one!
    You have given milk to a milk bank. :)

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  36. Oh wow! I thought I was weird for looking and reading all articles related to BF, BM, etc etc! And yes, I do approach nursing moms and share info with them on BF!

    Thanks for sharing this! Breastfeeding rocks!

    FYI, I'm still nursing my 17.5 months old and loving every moment!

    http://www.imafulltimemummy.com/

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  37. I LLLoved YOUR Blog and YES I am right there with YOU On ALLL points:) as a Matter of fact I have been signing Any note or card with LLLove........standing for LaLecheLeague where I Got So Much of MY Support In My EarLLLy days if Breastfeeding:)!!!!!!!!

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  38. Oh.My.Breastmilk. I am definitely a lactivist! I feel like my entire existence has a name now. Little did I know that I've been a lactivist since I was young...I breastfed my Cabbage Patch dolls!
    I can literally check off every single thing from the list except for the handing out cards that say thank you for breastfeeding, and I am going to make some immediately.
    Come to think of it, I can honestly say that I NEVER see women NIP in my city and I've been trying to change that dynamic by NIPing as many places as possible. I should take pictures like a scavenger hunt.

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  39. written for me! although i need some cards to hand out! i do keep my states breastfeeding law on a card in my bag! i always congratulate those NIP moms, i always assume new moms are nursing and do the whole, oh, what happened, when they say they arent breastfeeding, i have nursed EVERYWHERE!! including the dugout during my husbands softball tournament! the plane, the car, the mall, restaurants, everywhere! :)

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  40. Christene JaramilloAugust 19, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    Halfway through.. I got a little paranoid.. I though "wait.. has this woman been spying on me?" Great to know I'm not alone!!

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  41. What a fantastic read! I was smiling the whole time! I already knew I was a lactivist but this definitely confirmed it! :) Not only am I one but my kids are too...especially since their baby brother was born a month ago.

    I thought of another example...you have a breastfeeding ticker posted somewhere (email, facebook, blog, etc). Also you come up with user names that suggest you are a breastfeeding mom!

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  42. Hey have you been spying on me too hehe!! This is me completly, & it all started with inocently reading a few La Leche League articles =)

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  43. *phew* I am not alone. I love the ones you've added too, I can see a new post coming with more "You might be a lactivist if..." listed. There is more than just a little of myself in these you've added here.

    For those of you looking for Thank you for NIP cards, Paper Mama (link in the top right hand corner of this page) has some on her site and they are very pretty too and they are beautifully subtle. Well, as subtle as you can get for a card that thanks someone for breastfeeding in public. But hey, for a lactivist, it's a heck of a lot more subtle than the stalker-ish activities I've been known to do.

    Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!

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  44. LOL! I have totally turned into this. I don't know how it happened or where. I owe it all to my youngest daughter and God's gift of a dairy allergy and a picky eater-lol. Since she was allergic to dairy and very sensitive to soy it left her with the choice of a nasty formula or boob. I never thought I would nurse to a year, now past a year. I only nursed my 1st DD for 4mo. I have always been pro-breastfeeding but a lactivist was a bit much. Having my 2nd dd changed everything. Here we are at a few weeks past a year and still nursing! I can't believe it. Now I have found myself talking others into nursing. "Just give it a try" ;) lol

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  45. Add this one:

    -Your 2-year-old son pulls his baby sister close to his chest to give her a "drink." The day before, he tried to hook himself up to your breast pump. :D

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  46. I do ALL of this,except the cards.Im going to make some.I think I'll put our states breast feeding law on the other side.I agree with so many ppl on here!Its great to see so mant of us!

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  47. You know you are a lactivist when you have read all 41 posts above yours.
    I love breastfeeding, I found out my mom gave my daughter a formula bottle when I was running errands, when there was BM in the fridge. I was so upset that I cried. I never want her to have formula. Thanks everyone for there posts I love reading about BM, BF, or anything relating.
    Oh and I breastfeed when my daughter is hungry no matter where we are. And yes I do believe people should throw blankets over their heads if they are uncomfortable with it.

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  48. Hwy, wait a minute... I think I'm in there somewhere.LOL
    The difference is, I have known I'm a Lactivist for awhile.

    Very funny, and apt, post.

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  49. Nice post, and your photos are beautiful!

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  50. HAHA! Krista, I almost put your name in there! Wondered if you'd recognize yourself in that one, lol!

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  51. Loved this!! I am well on my way to being a Lactivist!!

    ...about the wet nurse comment.... I work at a daycare where the formula runs freely :( and have seriously thought, while feeding a baby a bottle of the stuff, about whipping out one of my over productive boobs and giving him something better! It took a lot of restraint!

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  52. Seriously?!? Reading some of these comments makes me wonder why something so "natural" makes you all feel so superior and self-righteous for doing it.

    I tried everything, including consulting with Dr. Jack Newman himself and following his protocol to the exact specifications and nada. No milk for my poor, screaming baby...for three months we cried together.

    "guilt trolls" as one of you called my kind of people, people who support breastfeeding and tried desperately to do it and "failed" are not "guilt trolls." We are fellow mothers who love and nurture our babies, two qualities that ARE NOT exclusive to exclusively breastfed babies.

    Boycott Nestle all you want, they help nourish my baby and your judgement is not welcome. Keep your nose out of my bottle fed babies' business and I'll not think it absurd when you sit with your saggy tits out pleased as punch with yourself that you can do what 99% of the animal kingdom does (except me, yeah, LLL...women like me DO exist, as Dr. Newman).

    Lactivists are as bad as formula lobbyists...you make women feel bullied and pushed into decisions just as doctors bully and push to formula-feed (according to you, this isn't the case with my ped at all).

    Get a life, seriously.

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  53. ...though I've suspected it for a while. It's now confirmed. I am, too, a lactavist. I think I only didn't fit in with ONE of those bullet points. In my defense, it must be genetic! My mom is a lactavist too, I was breastfed until I was nearly 3!

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  54. My children are 17 (birthday this past May) and 18 (soon to be 19). I breastfed my oldest till he was 1 year old and he weened himself ... I was pregnant with his sister and he didn't like the change in the taste of my milk. My daughter went until she was 3. I used to breast feed in public all the time and my ... now ex... husband would get so mad. At one point I was the Librarian for the local LLLC chapter and continued to attend meetings and volunteer even though my daughter had weened herself. I have thanked mothers for breast feeding, as well as silently applauded ... I didn't want to embarrass them so I didn't do it openly. I still find myself asking "how is the breast feeding going?" or "you are planning on breast feeding I hope?" of new or expectant mothers. In fact when my nephew's wife discovered that she was pregnant I not only asked her that but I also told her that if she needed any help I would be glad to assist in any way I could. He will turn 2 soon and she is still breast feeding. Even after all this time I still support/push breast feeding whenever I can. I hope that some day it will be normal!

    Keep up the good work!!
    Cindy

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  55. ...you know you are a lactivist... if you refer to formula as the "F" word!
    ....you know you are a lactivist... if your two year old lifts your boob to offer you a drink and you just laugh!
    you know you are a lactivist...if you know what tandem nursing actually means (also in action!)

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  56. Yep. That's me. I also stalk pregnant women who are *considering* breastfeeding. Think it might be certifiable as a mental illness that I find myself wanting to hand out business cards to new moms saying "no, seriously, even if it's 3am and you're having problems bf'ing, I'll answer"?

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  57. LOL - Yes, this is definitely me!!!!
    I have been called loony, and many more things beside, and just this week, I could not resist going to talk to a woman in a shopping centre about how fabulous it was that she was breastfeeding her babe!!
    I will be readig again!!!
    Denise x

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  58. I am pro breast, I did it, I love it, I promote it, I encourage it...but I also believe that some of the obsessiveness that is described above, alienates some women.
    If a woman DOESNT want to, she has a right to make that decision. Your best intentions can make some women feel bullied, inadequate...this is usually the preserve of men. We are women, we should make the decisions that we have the confidence to make, by ourselves.
    Blessed be.

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  59. How about if a mom you dont know approaches you at the zoo and says, "Hey can I get your number to give to my friend who is having BF'ing difficulties?" Apparently I had talk to this mom about BF'ing at some point and I dont even remember! lol

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  60. The leaky B@@B? Where did you introduce yourself as such? :) You're hilarious! Seriously, I'm a lactivist too, and I am not sure how that happened either. Breastfeeding IS normal, and nobody should ever have a need to "normalize" it. Sadly, the reality is slightly different.

    Olivia
    www.writeaboutbirth.com

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  61. I'm a lactivist and I know exactly when the change occurred. I moved from Hawaii (where BF is totally normal, extended BF is even normal, at least in the group of moms I knew), to Nebraska where there are NO laws in place to protect it, and I was nursing my over 1-year-old. I've never had anything rude or positive said to me while nursing, but not having a law on my side makes it a little stressful, just knowing the confrontation could be coming. If I make a scene, and the cops get called, I could actually get in trouble because there's no law. NO LAW! People here who nurse don't do it in public and are almost ashamed to admit that they do. Transplants like myself BF in public as much as they can, but the locals just don't get it.

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  62. Ha! Reading this because it was something to read WHILE breastfeeding! I can relate to many items.

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  63. Hi, my name is Krista and I'm a lactivist. Awesome article. And the last time I was at the zoo I couldn't help myself. I said "Way to go momma" to one NIP mom, and to another later I gave a thumbs up and winked. Both were covered, which saddened me a little, but at least they were doing it! My little boy is a just a few weeks away from 2 years and neither one of are even close to weaning. Go B@@BY!!

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  64. Cool, ladies. My kids are 20 and 18 and I was so involved in bf support you wouldn't believe it. Even ran a biz out of the spare bedroom called The Nursing Nook. Even taught classes for free at the health department. Even had T-Shirts printed up that said "Proud nursing mother" and "Happy breastfed baby." Nursed each 3-plus years. Yesterday I dropped my baby off at college, but the night before I watched some videos of him nursing as a newborn and another of him popping his head under my shirt when he was 2. And I would have given a year of my life to go back to that day (or any day in my children's early years) to get to live through that all over again. I have plenty of regrets in life, but the way I raised my kids is not one of them. It's nice, as a brand-new empty nester, to know that I gave them an intense dose of love and affection and that they can never doubt for a second how much I love them.

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  65. WOW, the poster who find lactivists to be bad people...how can you say that!? We simply beleive that breastmilk is best for our babies. Just because you seem to have had a bad experience being made to feel less than a good mother for your inability to nurse doesn't mean that all lactivists feel that way. I am a lactivist and yet I respect a mother's decision to ff. I do not judge, since I can't understand her reasons. While I suggest all the ways I know of to get her bf'ing support, ultimiatly, it's her choice. And either way, her baby will grow into a healthy adult. We beleive the bf'ing should be all mothers first choice but recognize it's not possible for all mothers. It's mothers who don't TRY who bother us. You obviously gave your best, trying to give your baby what she/he derserved. And that's all you can do.

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  66. hahahah, yes I made a username for my husband's ps3 "LaLeche". LOL!

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  67. "...you sit with your saggy tits out..."

    Any chance you had at anyone listening to one iota of what you said was just thrown out the window with this comment. WTG.

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  68. hehehe I realized I was a lactivist at a La Leche League meeting when our leader said (jokingly) that she was planning on bringing some duct tape so that others could make some input in the lactivism themed meeting that was coming up. I was half embarrassed about it and pretty freaked out about it until I learned to embrace it. Though many ppl talk about us in a negative light, everything we do is for the health of babies and children and mamas everywhere. Nothing shameful about that!

    Now.....that new Gerber Good Start commercial? THAT is shameful. Do I hear any Amens?

    Oh, and Anonymous, if you are so jonesing to give us the beat down for supporting nursing moms and advocating for infant health in the community....then why post as anaonymous? Oh....maybe because your post was disrespectful and based in total garbage. I wouldn't want to stake claim to that kind of garbage either :)

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  69. We are not judging you. WE are passionate. We are not trying to shame those who can not breastfeed. Just trying to educate those who want too.

    And we do not like nestle not because they make formula, but they violate advertising codes of conduct.

    I have had booth a FF baby and a BF. We are not judging you we are supporting you. Even if you Formula Feed. All I want is there to be real honest information out there and for all mothers to truly try it.

    If you did all you could there is no guilt so why are you trying to guilt us for BFing and making it possible for all mothers who can to do so.

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  70. May I add that you know your a lactivist when you are reading this 2.5 years after your child weaned and your friend calls to invite you to the nursing support group because she "figured you would be interested"

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  71. To the negative poster - If you tried to breastfeed and were truly unable regardless of the amount of education on the subject, or help from available resources (which it sounds like you had) then why on earth should you feel guilty? You did what was best for your baby. However, not everyone has enough breastfeeding education, and certainly not every health care provider pushes breastfeeding, or really even supports the breastfeeding mother. As "lactivists" I think all we want is for every pregnant woman, and mother to have the best information available, as well as supportive health care providers. Also, every woman should be made to feel like breastfeeding is normal.

    I read this post to be a humorous one, poking fun at ourselves. It's unfortunate you took it the wrong way. That's all me and my saggy boobs have to say.

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  72. as someone whose screen name is BOOBS4MILK on most of my social forums i frequent, i'll fess up and say "LACTIVATE ME" in the lactivist club.

    :)

    ps. i've formula fed, too. i don't hate on formula feeding MOMS, just the formula companies and inept medical professionals who push phoney milk on tired and hormonal new mothers.

    peace,
    jen h aka boobs4milk

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  73. so i was reading this while nursing my 13month old and realized yes i am a lactivist. and the funny thing is, although i nursed all my boys, i thought nursing past teeth was weird. but my 3rd (current nurser) has refused every attempt to wean. which has turned out to be a great thing for us. i enjoy nursing him over ff. and was going to force him to wean at 1 yr but we have a family from egypt staying with us and the mother is nursing her 17month old and just seeing her made me realize it is ok and perfectly normal. her support has made me give up weaning my son.

    now, i also must add:
    you know your a lactivist when you see a baby on a bottle and have to resist the urge to offer to nurse the baby
    and also, seeing ff babies makes you tear up.
    i honestly wish i could be a wet nurse, especially for premies and any mother who feels they cannot bf their baby.

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  74. I don't fill themm all but I do fill most. I ask all my friends if they plan on breastfeeding. I also seem to be the one they come to for encouragement. I really want to become a lactation consultant.

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  75. Incident at Papa Morphy's pizza this evening- while waiting for our pizza, Sam wanted to nurse. I very discretely nursed him on the bench and the 3 workers were asking each other "is she breastfeeding?". I was just waiting for them to ask me to go to the bathroom so that I could inform them that I have the legal right to BF wherever I choose! They didn't say anything so I guess I won't have to boycott them, lol!

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  76. Thanks for the post. I finally understand myself... I am a lactivist :-). (I'm the embarrasing guy that cheers when I see a woman breastfeeding in public) I'm also proud to say that while visiting the floor of the House of Representatives in DC, we took advantage of the situation and my wife breastfed our baby. I wish we knew which representative's seat she was sitting in :-).

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  77. R Burgett, my husband's a lactivist too, I think it's incredibly hot. Did you get a pic of your wife feeding your baby in the House? Because that is super cool and knowing what rep's seat she was in would be just the icing on the cake. By the way if you were to cheer because you saw me breastfeeding in public I might be cheer back, love it when guys support breastfeeding. Thank you for being a lactivist!

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  78. My son is the above commenter and I couldn't be prouder of his little family! When I was told that my granddaughter was BF in the House of Representatives, I wanted to cheer!

    The best kind of positive and lasting change comes through patient and consistent encouragement and example. And sometimes that takes time and we get anxious for it to happen NOW!

    Nothing made more of an impression on me that watching my mother BF my younger sister (I was eight) and her putting some into a teaspoon for the other four of us to taste. I remember thinking, "It's warm and sweet!"

    So that is my encouragement to you ladies. Be exactly like the breast milk and the babies you are lactivists for. Be a consistent and encouraging, warm, sweet example ... and change will come ...

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  79. So glad to find you on SITS. I'm not quite a lactivist, but a supporter for sure and a nursing mom. I think I'll share this with friends cause it's just always good to talk about, and like you said, to point out that breastfeeding is NORMAL! :)

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  80. This post just confirmed my suspicions, I too am in fact a LACTIVIST! I'm guilty of almost all of these things. In fact I just nursed my 13month old to sleep while reading this article I wanted to add a few things though:
    People are scared to babysit for you, because they aren't sure what to do with your breast fed baby, since the only thing you ever do to calm her down is breastfeed
    Your friends/extended family members tell you that they caught their daughters 'BFing' their toys, even though they weren't breastfed themselves or at least have never seen it.
    Thanks again this was an awesome post, and I did really good and didn't read the whole thing to my partner even though he was sitting next to me.

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  81. Yup, I'm a lactivist too. You know you're a lactivist if you make a long list of all the things you do that make you a lactivist! Although I haven't been good about keeping up with all the breastfeeding posts lately. I blame it on being on holiday. Oops, does that not make me a very good lactivist then? ;)

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  82. You know you are a lactivist when its 5am and although you finished feeding your LO an hour ago you are still reading this blog with total enthusiasm!! And when donating milk is not quite enough - you need sponsorship for doing it because your agenda is to jabber on to yet more people about the benefits of mummy milk and raise as much awareness a possible! Yes I am doing a sponsored milk-a-thon!!

    What a great post!! I have set it to all my friends lol :-)

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  83. OMG this is so me- tho' I've known for years I was a lactavist :) My kids know the Nestle logo & actually TELL people I can't have that because they are a bad evil company. And the 1st thing we do on Halloween is separate out the Nestle & dump it in the trash. I have a professional photo of me 7 months pregnant & nursing my 2 year old. I refuse to buy any baby product with an image of a bottle on it. When my 1st grader came home with the Barbar book that says that the triplets were not growing well on mother's milk & HAD to have bottles I some how spilled juice on it & bought a different book as a replacement. I have also been known to move Babywise to the "science fiction" area of bookstores & libraries behind some boring looking books where it belongs.
    Great blog I <3 it!

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  84. great list! I was lucky enough to have a Medela Mommy party this past week and got to spend a few hours sitting around with other mommies talking about breastfeeding, lactation and boobs... had a great time - I must be a lactivist! stoppping by from SITS

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  85. Those were great! I wasn't aware of how much of a lactivist I was. Too bad breastfeeding didn't work out as planned with DD. Yeah, darn PCOS gave me very low supply, but fingers crossed when this little one is born things will be different and will go smoother. I'm 95% sure I can make things work this time around, I'm determined and I WILL be able to breastfeed the way I want.

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  86. YAYYYYYYYYYYYY!! YOU ROCK!!

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  87. I have been breatfeeding for the past 2,5 years and I will still go on! I breastfeed everywhere, whenever my littleone needs milk/

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  88. This makes me smile, I was almost every single one of these. Love it! Thanks! :)

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  89. A few to add

    You open your donated Breast pump from the package in the mail like a kid opening presents at Christmas.

    And you pump for the first time at school(or work) and you have to resist the urge to show everyone because you are so proud of the 3 oz. of milk you made.

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  90. Yay! I'm not alone in my obsession! Not that I was worried but it's nice to know there are others out there!

    I have another one:
    While visiting your parents, you never thought twice about sitting down at the breakfast table with your pump...and your family never batted an eyelash over it.

    The Boob

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  91. I know this sounds terrible, because I am pro-breastfeeding... but when I read things like this, it turns me off more and more to breastfeeding.
    Reading the responses of some of the women in here... I've never seen so many judgemental things in my life.

    Is it not the common goal of all mothers to have happy and healthy children? I had a premature baby that spent her time in the NICU being fed *gasp* Formula. Zero breastmilk. How in the world did she survive on such horribleness?!
    She is now a happy, thriving 10 month old.

    I am one of the 2% of women who Truly could not breastfeed- my body didn't produce milk due to kidney disease (also why my daughter was premature). I am NOT guilt ridden, because honestly.. the more I read about women who are "lactivists", the more I realize that I'm in the group of people who aren't as judgemental.
    I don't care if you feed your child in public. I don't care HOW you feed your child. Why do you care how I feed mine? If formula was a killer... people wouldn't use it.

    It's one thing to be proud of the fact that you're breastfeeding, but it's another to judge those who don't. Instead of teaching children to think it's weird to use bottles, or WRONG to use bottles, you should be teaching them not to judge and to teach them that mommies make decisions based on what is best for their families.

    And for the childcare person who actually considered whipping out her own boob to feed a formula fed baby- I feel Incredibly sorry for you. People like you make me not want to have my child in daycare.

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