I spent the weekend with my family over Memorial Day. My father, aunts and uncles are all in their late 70’s- early 80’s. Like most Italian families, we sit around the dinner table for hours talking (which I love). Since we are obsessed about food, any kind of food, the conversation always includes discussions over food and the eating of it. In my case, it ends up being about breastfeeding(this happens to me no matter where I am).
Well, the truth is, we were far from fine! As infants, multiple illnesses and hospitalizations for dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea were common but yet that was considered normal and "fine." Even though we all had colic, well, “all babies have colic.” As a matter of fact, my aunt said that she had to stop putting Karo Syrup in my cousin, Lorraine’s formula because “she didn’t tolerate it too good”. Just a day after being home from the hospital (at 1 week old), we were fed cereal in our bottles....every day! Take a look at my baby picture at one year old. I look like a block of cheese on shoulders!
When it came to breastfeeding our own children, my cousins and I were quite successful. Too successful, as far as some of our relatives were concerned, especially since we nursed long-term. We supported each other and reveled in our accomplishment. Break through the barriers of misinformation and mythology and without the guidance of our own mothers, breastfeeding was ours and we proudly owned it. I remember at a family get-together one Easter, there were eight of us (cousins) nursing in my parent’s living room. As my Uncle Skeeter passed through the room, he covered his eyes yelling, “Do you have to do that here?” We retorted, happily, “Yep, here, there and everywhere............need a little cream in your coffee?!”