A Memo to Angelina Jolie About Breastfeeding.






Hey again Angie. I swear I’m not stalking you. Seriously, it’s just that after I wrote you that last letter responding to the whole “twins situation” I kind of thought we were on the same page about how difficult it is. But then, I find out that you posed for a big fancy magazine breast feeding your babies and looking all serene and mother-earthy. Like breast feeding twins was just the most nature thing in the whole entire world. I couldn’t help but feel it was sort of a slap in the face. Admittedly, I haven’t actually seen the pictures so maybe you were wearing nipple shields and they got air brushed out and maybe there was a Boppy involved, or frozen cabbage, at the very least some damn soothing Lanolin but I doubt it. Well, kudos to you on your success, Angie. Fine, I’m probably a bit jealous.


I could tell you a whole long story about my failed yet drawn out attempt to breast feed my first daughter and how I smelled like Fenugreek for at least a year which is forty-eight weeks longer than I actually breastfed, but you don’t have time for that. Not with all that breast feeding you’re doing. But, I did quickly want to share with you that I was all cool in my decision not to even try and breast feed when I found out I was having twins. If one was hard two would be hell, right? I mean, sure, I knew I’d have to get an unlisted number so that the La Leche League couldn’t call and lecture me, or picket outside my house, but I was okay with that. But then I found out much later on that my twins would be born prematurely and all my resolve flew out the window. Those preemies, they need the breast milk. I knew I’d have to give it and them my best.


You probably don’t know this but two preemie babies plus two milk challenged boobs equals frantic pumping. Hang on, I have to go have a glass of wine just thinking about this. Okay, I’m back . Maybe you should just give me your number so I could call you…if anyone could breast feed twins and talk on the phone at the same time it would be you…anyhoo, the very day Sadie and Mattie were removed from my stomach, the nurses wheeled in this huge hospital grade pump with tubing and funnels and a motor so big it could start a car. It looked like some sort of medieval torture device. The thing sat next to my bed about three days untouched. I know I was on a lot of pain medication but I swear through the haze I heard it taunting me. But I couldn’t let it intimidate me.



You are so right! And don't even bother reading the comment from happybabymama. She must be a covert agent for LLL. If she were in my shoes and could barely produce a SPIT of milk, she'd understand. Especially after she'd choked down multiple pills of Fenugreek 3 times a day. And pumped. And pumped. And then tried blessed thistle and cried for days b/c her body just wasn't cooperating. If it were just about pulling up big-girl panties then we could all breast-feed, couldn't we?


OK, your first mistake was not pumping right away. I delivered my daughter 10 days early and had lots of pain meds after the delivery. The nurses at my hospital were relentless, they made sure that I pumped every two hours regardless of how sore and tired I was (my daughter was in level 2 nursery and wasn't allowed in my room). She needed the breastmilk for an immunity boost because she had a lung infection and jaundice. By day 2 I was pumping enough to feed the entire nursery. Every hospital needs those kind of nurses to give women the direction they need, especially if they're first time moms. We have it too easy with formula, everyone just gives up today. I commend Angie for breastfeeding the twins. I'm still breastfeeding my daughter of 11 1/2 months and she has 7 teeth to boot. So ladies, put on your big girl panties and make the effort and feed your baby the way women have been doing it for centuries.


You forgot the Mother's Milk tea and the lactation consultant!


you ROCK! From your accurate account of Angie's super-momminess to the horrors of pumping to the guilt associated with not being a well-spring of breastmilk, I applaud you. Thank you for the laughter, the mindshare, and the support. I'm so glad I'm not the only straight mother of three that has checked out Angelina's rack...


So, did she respond to this letter? How could she not? It's not like she couldn't juggle the twins, the other kids, the career, the charities, Brad, etc. She can handle a little response letter.


Oh, sweetie! I know how you feel about the pumping! When I went back to work after my son was 6 months, I would have to pump as many as four times a day to keep up supply! I used to just sit in my office, feeling like a big dumpy dairy-cow and cry. I can't believe I did that for another 6 months. It was torture and I was miserable. I've decided that the next time around, I will not subject myself to it. I don't care what the stupid AAP says, the best thing that you can provide your child is a happy mom, and for me, that means not pumping at work. Let Angie, with her fifteen Nannies and "I work 10 weeks out of the year" schedule breastfeed all the babies in the world. That doens't mean we have to follow suit!