Breastfeeding is not a superpower

by Dezi Hall

I get it, mamas. Breastfeeding can be hard. Like, really hard. And when we are able to do something that lots of people think is hard it's only natural to want to congratulate ourselves. But, let's keep it real here. Being able to breastfeed is great, but it certainly isn't superhuman. In fact, it's pretty much the exact opposite of superhuman. It's just plain old regular human.

The self-aggrandizing shirts and posts from many breastfeeding moms would have you believe that whipping out your boob and sticking it in baby's mouth is just about the most hardcore thing on the planet. Instagram is flooded with captions like: "6 months EBF and going strong!!!!!" Multiple exclamation points needed just to show you how truly amazing this is. (EBF, for those not in the know stands for Exclusively Breast Feeding.) Or, my personal favorite: "I make milk! What's your superpower?"

Um… excuse me? Have you ever even seen any Marvel movies? How much pride and self-righteousness do you really want to claim over a bodily function that you literally have no control over? Your shirt might as well say, "I make snot! What's your superpower?"

Now, before you get ready to vilify me as a dirty little formula feeder, let me say that I did "EBF" my child. I never even used a bottle once. But lean in close and I'll tell you a secret… It's not because I'm superhuman...

Even this baby is giving you side-eyeGetty Images

It's because I'm lazy.

Pumping and freezing milk and heating it up or making a bottle all seem like a lot of work. Know what isn't any work at all? Yanking down my scoop neck top, popping out my boob, letting my infant eat and then going about my daily business with nothing to clean up or wash (except my milk stained shirt).

Also, let's address the fact that some people (a lot actually) either can't breastfeed or choose not to do so because it doesn't work for them. Let's say a woman adopted a baby. Is she a lowly mortal because her milk ducts are dry? Are you really so superior to her? Or what if a woman just doesn't want to do it because it hurts and she's gotten mastitis five times? Or her milk production is just a little too low? Are all these women less worthy than you up there in the clouds flying around on your magic nipple squirting the townspeople below? (This is the only way I can envision breastfeeding as a superpower.)

This cat looks a little smug too, actually. Getty Images

Why is it that you demand that others treat you with respect when you need to breastfeed in public (keep doing this!) but don't extend the same courtesy to your other mothers in arms who might not want to do things exactly like you?

By all means, keep feeling good about yourself. But think twice before you not so subtly put yourself on this grand breastfeeding pedestal. Maybe, just maybe, doing a thing that cows and dogs and bats (!) do isn't so earth-shatteringly badass of you.

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