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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

wine while nursing? oh my.

My friend told me she was walking with her husband in a winery a few weeks ago, pushing a stroller with her friend's infant in it. My friend and her husband were holding wine glasses. An older woman walked by them with a look of disgust, rolled eyebrows and a sigh, staring directly at my friend pushing the stroller.

Later when my friend told the baby's mom this story, the mom said that was typical. The older woman must have thought my friend was the mother and was nursing the baby, therefore "shouldn't" be drinking wine.

This story made me so angry. Mothers have enough pressure on them to be great, perfect, good enough mothers without strangers passing by with nasty looks on their faces. To each her own is what I think. Everybody does it differently. You can have opinions, sure, but keep them to yourself or your best friend, not the whole world. It's not fair or helpful in any way to the new overwhelmed mother just trying to get by while her whole life has been turned upside down.

Kids develop at different rates. That's just how it goes. From the book The 7 Stages of Motherhood by Ann Pleshette Murphy, the author wrote, "Alienation is the last thing you need at a time when there's no such thing as too much reassurance." (page 105) Motherhood should be a judgment-free zone.

Drinking while nursing... for me, I stay away from alcohol for the slightest chance of it getting into my baby's system. But that's me, someone who is slightly paranoid and who doesn't drink anyway even when not pregnant or nursing, so it would not matter to me missing a glass of wine at a cool winery. However, I am the minority. Doctors say it's totally fine to drink while nursing, of course in moderation and with some careful planning. I know many girl friends who did this and their children are very healthy and happily adjusted babies. I don't judge them or see them differently knowing they drank while nursing.

You have to do what's right for you. That is the ultimate truth in motherhood.

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