Friday, November 16, 2012

Mother's Milk: Le Leche, the Jerkward, and the Honking

I took the photo below during one of our recent birthing center classes.

Not really.
One would generally assume that at a Birthing Center, your typical clientele wouldn't necessarily be the biggest of meatheads and chauvinists.

Last week we attended a class on breastfeeding, and it was a full house.  Altogether there were 12 couples, all of who were well on the way to month #9.  Most of the couples looked and behaved like you might assume a well-attended breastfeeding class at a birthing center would be.

There was a lot of plaid.  And men with ponytails.  And earrings.

When we all went around the room to introduce ourselves, we were asked to say our name, when we were due, what we did for a living and what town we lived in.  One couple who looked to be about our age mentioned that they were from the same town as us and I had every intention of introducing myself to them at  the first break.  They lived close by and were due right around the same time as we are.

I couldn't be happier that I didn't.

The peanut gallery comments from time to time were pretty funny.  At one point we were asked to go around the room and talk about one benefit of breastfeeding -- they ran the gamut from strengthened immune systems to the low cost (as compared to formula and bottles).  But the husband from down the street said, "breastmilk comes in nicer looking packaging," which, clearly, is correct.

But then he did something that blew my mind.  In a room full of 23 strangers (including the teacher) he reached over and honked his wife's boob.

Yup.  Room full of people you don't know and your impulse is to tweak her boob?

His wife didn't seem terribly put out by it, so I figured it wasn't a big deal.  But then he repeated the behavior whenever he'd answer a question.

The teacher asked the class -- "If dad can't participate in the feeding of the baby, how can he bond with his newborn?"

Our new friend from around the block raised his hand and said,"we can demonstrate how it's done."  And then he leaned over his wife's chest and pantomimed suckling.  That's right.  Pantomimed.  Suckling.

I wish I were making this up.

At this point, the poor girl who was married to the clown blushed from her neck to her forehead.  She pushed him away and stared at the floor.  The teacher was nonplussed but it seemed so strange to watch this guy at a freaken birthing center breastfeeding class bully his own wife.

That poor girl is going to be raising a human being with this turd.  And, in all likelihood, this turd-spawn will be in the same grade/school as our daughter.

By the time he was cupping her breast like he was weighing a melon at the supermarket, I was grateful that class was at an end.  Was he uncomfortable being surrounded by so many hippies?  Do boobs as food-source make him squirmy?

Why would he feel the need to assert his masculinity in that setting, of all places?  He fathered a child.  Pretty concrete evidence, if you ask me.

The good news is that it was a pretty informative class.  You'd think the whole process would be rather straightforward, but there's some art to the science of it all.  Probably the coolest part of the class was a video that showed a baby being placed, immediately after birth, onto his mother's abdomen and kicking and climbing his way to her breast and self-attaching.

It doesn't happen with babies when the mom has had an epidural, and even then not all babies will do it even if the mother hasn't had drugs during labor, but it was crazy to see.

I couldn't find the exact video of it on YouTube, but if you Google "baby self attachment" or "breast crawl" there are dozens of videos that crop up.  This one gives you the basic gist.


Crazy stuff.

Next week starts the final countdown.  As of Tuesday, we're cleared for launch at the Birthing Center.  Maybe she won't be like every other Gach and actually show up on time.

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