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    Bureaucracy Makes War on Community {Intro}

    April 22, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    I try to stay away from the online battles that take place on blogs and bulletin boards. There are many reasons for this, but suffice it to say that if I make a comment, I try to stick to the less controversial subjects or simply leave a compliment unless it’s concerning a subject I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.

    This changed yesterday momentarily, but then I quickly realized the fruitlessness of my involvement in such a debate, and I have now resolved to continue with my former methodology, which is to stick to my own corner of the internet and be content. {This, by the way, is also how I view life, which is why I fill my gas tank once a month. But I digress…}

    I want to go over yesterday’s debate here, in my corner, where I feel very safe and have had some time to think and grow in wisdom. First, I will explain exactly what happened and give a little history.

    I am on an email list for BabyCenter. I’ve gotten to where I don’t “need” said emails as much as I did early on, but suffice it to say that the site offers helpful emails and newsletters that are customized by a child’s age. I receive one for each child. These newsletters always contain what they call a Burning Question, which is essentially a link to their online debate boards. They try to have a new topic each week.

    This week’s topic was: Should moms be allowed to share or sell their breastmilk*?

    I was interested in this topic for one reason: I have suffered lactation failure twice in a row. This means that I do not make enough milk to feed my babies, and doctors and lactation consultants alike have not been able to help me. I once pumped all day, and it didn’t add up to even half an ounce.


    Human milk provides the perfect mix of nutrients, hormones and proteins and it cannot be duplicated.
    –La Leche League

    after having E., I supplemented him with formula {after the 9-day stint in the NICU due to dehydration, of course, where he was fed mostly through IV} because we didn’t think it wise to spend around three dollars per ounce aquiring breastmilk from a milk bank, and I didn’t have any trusted friends who were breastfeeding at the time.

    When I had A., the situation was a bit different. She was on formula supplementation in the beginning, but when she was about eight-months-old a couple of my friends had babies, and they graciously pumped for me when they could and so I was able to also give A. real human milk.

    I almost wept when my first friend offered. I loved nursing and had been so disappointed that it wasn’t A.’s sole source of nutrition {I had hoped the second time would be different}, and it meant so much to me that a friend would be generous in this way. But, you see, this was really basic Christianity at work. She was rich in milk, and I was very, very poor.

    Needless to say, I found it interesting to discover that this week’s Burning Question was not only covering a topic that was dear to my heart, but that there was a hint that a group of people would wish to make such forms of generosity illegal. So I want to analyze the subject a bit over the next few days {excluding Sunday, of course}.

    *Male readers may want to avoid this blog for a few days as it will be peppered with words such as “breastmilk,” “breastfeed,” etc.!

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  • Reply Carmon Friedrich May 8, 2006 at 5:27 am

    Dear Brandy,

    After my 7th baby was born, I suddenly had problems breastfeeding! It was a blessing in disguise as it was just one way the Lord used to make me less dogmatic on that subject, but it forced me to have to take extra measures to feed my little guy and showed me that I was not so self-sufficient. I was able to breastfeed him with supplementation and lots of effort with an SAS and breast pump, and I nursed him for a year. I have had the same problem with all my children since. I know how you felt about not being able to nurse those babies, and I appreciate you tackling this topic!

  • Reply Brandy April 24, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    I am so glad to hear that you have done this! I know how much I appreciated it, and I’m sure the woman from your church feels very much gratitude for what you did! Sometimes I yearn for the days when a healthy nursemaid was a normative solution for mothers like me. 🙂

  • Reply Kimbrah April 24, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Brandy- It’s interesting that you brought this topic up. After Bobby was born a couple in our church got custody of and adopted a little boy who was 3 days old when they got him. She wanted to try to re-lactate (she had had a daughter who died in infancy) so she could nurse him herself. I offered to provide breastmilk until hers came in and advised her to get a supplemental nursing system to help that happen faster. It didn’t work out for her, but I feel it was one of the best things I could have done for that baby. He got some good antibodies and things formula doesnt’ offer and I had plenty of milk. I don’t see why that should be illegal. I agree with you that it is the Christian thing to do, so help our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. Thanks for bringing this to light.

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