The breastfeeding relationship can ebb and flow over the course of a natural duration.
With all the breastfeeding controversy I really just wanted to share a particular report I read last year that really said so much to me, but I think it would be great to add some stories here and my breastfeeding inspiration to paint a vivid picture of the breastfeeding diorama.
One story: A woman could not breastfeed. Her nipples were inverted and she did everything she could to try breastfeeding her daughter but it didn’t work. She used her love and passion for the “womanly art” to write a guide for mothers participating in WIC in her area about breastfeeding. I hope this woman is a Lactation Consultant or working in the birth/postpartum, maternal/child health field today. We need more people like her in the field!
Story two: I did a breastfeeding counselor training while pregnant with my first daughter. I was inspired by the disasters of Hurricane Katrina and the fact that babies were suffering because they didn’t have clean water for formula. I thought they could find out which women were lactating and make sure the babies were fed. Breastfeeding was something I’d never thought of before. 5 years later my two daughters are still breastfed. I know that I was able to keep this up through support and accurate information. I can understand how easy it is to not breastfeed or to not stick with it if you don’t have qualified support or accurate information, and sometimes it really is impossible. However breastfeeding is a powerful act and unfortunately I see so many times that people criticize women who breastfeed for an “extended” period of time, usually by saying they’re doing it for themselves rather than the child.
I believe this is the farthest explanation from the truth. I believe that mother’s who continue to breastfeed their children after whatever is thought of as reasonable in their inner circle, do so for the children. I literally think there are zero women out there who are clinging to their children and forcing them to breastfeed. I literally think there are zero moms who don’t look forward to having their bodies back. Yes, it is awesome to snuggle up and watch your children so closely while they nurse…but its not always so pretty. You may have to go through stages of biting, quick snacks, wrestling, twiddling, non-stop nursing marathons, and so on. Children learn more about empathy through these stages, when they are patiently corrected and shown the impact they have on mommies.
So without going through the whole list of benefits for the child, the parent and communities, let’s just say that no one is breastfeeding strictly for their own benefit. It’s a team effort.
- IBCLC Day! (skiingmama.wordpress.com)
- There is a Long History of Breastfeeding Warriors (singlemomontherun.com)
- Real-Time Breastfeeding (yogicare.wordpress.com)
- Breastfeeding time again (feministphilosophers.wordpress.com)
- Extended breastfeeding: a father’s perspective (guardian.co.uk)
- Breastfeeding Friendly Chester – An Update, A Guest Post AND A Competition!!! (lifeloveandlivingwithboys.wordpress.com)
- Attachment Parenting Beyond Breastfeeding, Babywearing, and Cosleeping (attachmentparenting.org)
- The Key to Breastfeeding Success (lifeloveandlivingwithboys.wordpress.com)