Why do lactivists like Bauhauswife find it so hard to bond to their own babies?

Silhouette of a narcissistic and selfish woman with a crown on her head standing on the word ego

I feel sorry for Bauhauswife, Yolande Norris-Clark. Apparently she can’t bond to her own children without the exchange of bodily fluids.

I, on the other hand, had no such trouble.

I’ve always loved this quote from Maureen Hawkins:

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were an hour, I would die for you. This is the miracle of love.

It beautifully describes how fiercely I bonded to each of my four children, even before they were born.

I would have — and to this day still would — give my life for them.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]For those who love their babies more than their mothering performance art, Fed Is Best![/pullquote]

I had no control over it. It happened without my doing a single thing.

The quote does not mention feeding method, yet lactivists appear to have trouble bonding to babies unless they breastfeed them. They must breastfeed for extended lengths of time to strengthen the tenuous bond. Indeed, their ability to bond with their own babies is so fragile that unless they immediately hold their babies skin to skin, they have trouble completing that natural bond.

That’s not to say that every woman bonds to every baby immediately. It can take days or weeks or more, but nearly every woman manages to bond fiercely to her child and nearly every child bonds to his or her mother with or without breastfeeding.

Why do lactivists have so much trouble doing what every other woman does naturally? What accounts for the irony that the women most committed to natural infant feeding can’t manage natural bonding without the exchange of bodily fluids?

Consider the Yolande, Bauhauswife. In her post, No, Fed is Not Best, But You’re Just Fine she writes:

As a culture, I believe we drastically misunderstand the importance of the breastfeeding relationship as simply a delivery system for what is arguably the nutritional “best”.

Instead, it’s my profound conviction that the actual food infants receive from their mothers is only a small part of a countless number of aggregate needs that breastfeeding fulfils, including physical warmth, love, care, socialization, relationship, the basis for a healthy sexuality, the origins of language, the foundation of empathy, and on and on.

Physical warmth? Seriously? I don’t know about you, but I mothered with my entire body, not only my breasts. Long after they had weaned themselves from breastfeeding — indeed until they were school age and beyond — my children clung to me when they needed physical and emotional warmth.

Socialization? One of my sons has Asperger’s Syndrome. I breastfed him just like I breastfed the others but as a child he had profound difficulty with socialization. It’s almost as if breastfeeding has nothing to do with socialization.

The origins of language? Another one of my sons has a profound language deficit. He was not speaking at the age of 4 and required years of speech and language therapy. It’s almost as if breastfeeding has nothing to do with language.

Relationship? Healthy sexuality? Does Yolande believe there was no sexual dysfunction and no sexual crime before the advent of formula? If so, she’s living in a fantasy world of her own creation.

The foundations of empathy? If that’s the case then Bauhauswife was not breastfed since she demonstrates precisely ZERO empathy for women who don’t mirror her own personal choices back to her.

I feel sorry for Yolande when she writes:

I know from experience that thawing milk, or mixing powder to put into a bottle and popping a silicone teat into my baby’s mouth is not even remotely similar to holding him to my heart, helping him latch on to my nipple, meeting his eyes as the electrical letdown buzz surges through my body and my milk starts to flow, in response to our mutual love.

I was fiercely bonded to my babies before I ever breastfed. Why wasn’t she? Why did she need to breastfeed in order to have the fullest, emotional relationship with her child?

Yolande worries:

Yet it’s almost forbidden in this era of validation-and-inclusion above-all-else, to suggest that not all choices are equal …

You’re right, Yolande! That’s why I feel no hesitation in refusing to validate the ugly nonsense that you spout.

Don’t get me wrong. You are entitled to feel however you wish to feel about the daughter you bottlefed. And I am entitled to feel sorry for that poor child since you consider your relationship diminished for the most trivial of reasons. No child deserves that.

That’s what happens when lactivists view their children as mere props in their mothering performance art. Like bridezillas who become enraged by a wedding cake that is the wrong flavor and think the wedding is ruined, lactivists become distraught when the baby “ruins” their experience. Sadly, lactivists seem to have trouble appreciating, bonding to, and loving their babies for who they are, instead of what they can do for them.

Yolande concludes:

I will never begrudge, or judge the individual women who chose to, or have to, pump, and bottle feed, for any reason under the sun.

Again, I did it, which is why its so important to me to speak the truth: bottle-feeding is not the same as nourishing a child with our breasts.

I can’t be so generous. I do judge women who can’t bond to their babies without breastfeeding. That’s why it is so important to me to speak the truth:

For those who love their babies more than their mothering performance art, Fed Is Best!