Monday, May 14, 2012

The Mommy Wars and Extended Breastfeeding

Being a parent is hard, especially in this day and age. Thanks the the internet, you can express your opinions about everything. But it also can make it easier to butt heads with parents who don’t agree with your parenting style. This is one of the reasons, I think, for the rise of what the media likes to call The Mommy Wars.

The Mommy Wars were flamed this past week with conversational cover of Time magazine. The magazine cover featured a mom, Jamie Lynne Grumet, breastfeeding her almost four year old son. The pose along with the tagline, “Are You Mom Enough?” seemed designed to stir people up. Extended breastfeeding tends to be a highly debated topic that people, including non-parents, have strong opinions about.

I was an extended breastfeeder, but I didn’t intend to be. It just happened. When I got pregnant, I really wanted to breastfeed, for monetary reasons, since nursing is free! Nursing my daughter was a bit difficult in the beginning thanks to a bad latch in the beginning. But once we got used to it, it was just so easy.

My daughter’s first birthday came and went, and she still liked to nurse so there seemed no reason to stop. Same with her second birthday. Now, we did start her on food at six months, so as she got older she nursed less and less. But it was still great at bedtime and when she needed comfort. Our nursing relationship had a big bump when I ended up in the hospital a few months after she turned two. Nursing was very uncomfortable after I came home and I started to wean her. I still feel a little sad about how our nursing relationship ended but I was glad I was able to nurse her so long.

I was lucky because I had a good supply and besides a few latch issues in the beginning, we had no problems. But I watched other women struggle so hard to nurse and then feel so guilty when they had to use formula. I wish there was less of an attitude of guilt for those moms who don’t want to or can’t breastfeed.

But on the other hand, I also wish people wouldn’t demonize extended breastfeeders so much, because that is what works for their family. In fact, I wish that people would not criticize other’s parenting decisions. The Mommy Wars would die out if we could just have mutual respect for other parents and the decisions that they make for their children. Because honestly, we are all Mom enough for our kids.
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1 comment:

  1. Charlie is three months old now, and I only nursed him twice. Physically it works but emotionally it just kills me so I switched to formula for my sanity. The hate is crazy. You have to do what works for your family. If it's not affecting anyone else's health, hint hint anti vaxxers, then why should you get to judge other peoples choices.