Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My boobs are mine, your boobs are yours

We're halfway through World Breastfeeding Week! I'm a breastfeeder. I like breastfeeding. I think breastfeeding is wonderful. I nurse my toddler in public, go to La Leche League meetings, and am friends with a whole slew of wonderful breastfeeding mommas.

But, after being inspired by Lauren over at Hobo Mama, I feel the urge to proclaim: It is every woman's right to feed her baby as she sees fit! I truly do think breast is best (but I also feel that the phrase should have been coined "breastfeeding is normal"). I am absolutely a proponent of better education and correcting misinformation. I like baby-friendly hospital movements, the growth of LLL to offer more mother-to-mother support, and any effort to normalize breastfeeding. I don't feel that formula should be marketed as heavily as it is, nor that hospitals should offer "breastfeeding kits" to new moms that do everything but literally say "you're going to formula feed eventually, here's what brand you should buy."

And with all that said, I don't care if you mentally couldn't even attempt breastfeeding, or if you latched your baby on once and never again, or if you made it three months and then went back to work, or if you pump and bottle feed, or if you promptly wean at six months/a year/whenever. I will continue to help mommas when asked or provide correct information when I see old wives tales being spread. I will keep on supporting other lactating mommas with words of encouragement. And in the same breathe, your baby is not my baby, and I am not you!

(Though I secretly wish I could tell every pregnant woman how lovely toddler nursing snuggles are! But I can't without seeming like a freak, so I keep my mouth shut!)


  1. If you're a freak, then I am too. I still breastfeed my toddler when I'm not at work, and there is nothing like looking down at my beautiful little girl snuggled up in my arms.

    I wish I had known someone like you when my daughter was first born. I simply could not get her to latch on correctly and it took 14 weeks of giving her expressed milk before she and I finally worked it out. And those 14 agonising weeks of averaging 3 hours of sleep each day, (because I spent all my 'free time' expressing her next feed) were absolutely worth it, to finally get it right. I am so glad I stuck to my guns when everyone (including my mother-in-law) kept telling me to just give up and give her formula.

    I'm so glad you're out there to help other mothers!

  2. I wish I had known someone like me too! We had a fine start, but I didn't know any of the current friends that I have, and I truly felt like I was the only person aside from the internet that parented this way!

  3. My children will soon be 22 and 25 and I still look back fondly when I remember the loving moments I spent breastfeeding them. My mother and mother-in-law did not breastfeed nor did anyone in their families. With my first child, my mother was apprehensive and my mother-in-law was downright hostile. She constantly made sarcastic remarks about how breastfeeding was the lazy way to go and consistently tried to undermine my efforts. I breastfed my son until he was eighteen months old. By the time my daughter was born, my mother proudly told her friends that I was breastfeeding and my mother-in-law grudgingly tolerated my plans. I breastfed my daughter (now entering her senior year at Wellesley) until she was almost 2 1/2. I still smile when I remember how she would ask, "Breast milk please?"


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