Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Breastfeeding: The Case For Doing What's Right For You

I recently came across this article: The Case Against Breastfeeding

The article is long but worth reading if you are interested in hearing a case against breastfeeding. If you are like me and just like to hear the other side, it is also worth the read. I will admit that I do not agree with  what the author wrote against the benefits of breastfeeding. I also don't believe that any mother should have to convince herself (or others!) to breastfeed or to not breastfeed.

I have friends who have breastfed for 3 years and friends who were never initiating breastfeeding. I have friends who breastfed only while on maternity leave and friends who pumped for a full year after returning to work. I have friends who exclusively pumped and friends whose babies never received one bottle. I have friends who struggled through nursing challenges and were unable to continue breastfeeding and friends who had nearly no problems at all. I have friends who were sad when their baby was fully weaned and friends who couldn't wait to be finished.

I have friends who absolutely love breastfeeding and I have friends who absolutely don't.

Women should not feel guilty if they are unable to meet their original breastfeeding goals. They should not feel ashamed for either deciding to not breastfeed or deciding to breastfeed for longer than a year
I have nursed both of my children for over a year. My first was for 15 months and my second is 19 months old and still nursing today. I am, by all definitions, a breastfeeding advocate. I love nursing and I love talking and writing about it. But this is not to convince another mother that it's what she should do. It's because I know that nursing is challenging and I like to share my stories and what I have learned. I know that if info, education and support are provided then more women can succeed at meeting their breastfeeding goals. 

I am comfortable with the decisions I have made regarding nursing and therefore it doesn't matter to me what research or anyone else says about it. We all need to trust ourselves and the decisions we make. I enjoy breastfeeding and I know that it's what is best for me and my baby. I don't feel judged by this choice because I am confident in it.
The only thing that I can say to my friends and family, to the author of the above article and to all mothers is to do what is BEST for you and your baby. Whatever that might be. Simply, make the best decisions you can as a mother. And be confident in those decisions.


Also - if you are reading this and are a personal friend or family and are wondering if you are a 'friend' mentioned above - the answer is most likely, "yes!" I have two or more friends that fit into each breastfeeding category mentioned above. 

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