I have been planning to write about breastfeeding for quite some time. Only, I am so busy that I haven’t quite gotten around to it.
Then, Time had the above picture on the cover. I thought this was a great opportunity to discuss my thoughts on the subject. Then, after the amount of coverage it has gotten, I thought maybe this isn’t the time.
In the end, rationality won out. Right now I am on vacation. Right now I have more free time to write. Right now, my daughter is 11 months old; she still nurses twice at night and multiple times during the day. I plan to nurse her until she is at least 18 months old. I would love to go longer, but not sure if my travel schedule can manage.
A lot of the controversy around the Time photo was not actually about the age of the kid— although that comes up too. How long is too long? Everyone has their own opinion. In the end, I think it should be what works for the family and the child. Society really shouldn’t butt in too much.
The controversy was about the tag line: Are you Mom enough? My feelings: Time is trying to sell magazines and wanted to be controversial. That said, it is sad to see people pit parents against one another. Yes, I am pro breastfeeding— but if you can’t or don’t want to, I don’t want to judge you. I don’t know your circumstances or your reasoning. I know what works for my family.
The other thing that irks me. And this topic has been slightly less explored by the blogs and chat rooms I have been in, is that the tagline makes it sound like it is only the Mom’s decision. Maybe sometimes it is. The article (which I haven’t fully read—full disclosure here) talks about attachment parenting. This, including breastfeeding, need to be a decision of all people parenting the child. I couldn’t manage to breastfeed for as long as I have without my husband’s help. He is the stay at home Dad and he had to manage with breast milk bottles, keeping our daughter on a schedule so that she was hungry when I was home to feed and pump.
The two other main points that I wanted to talk about (before Time article) were:
•Breastfeeding role models in my life (or lack thereof)
•Breastfeeding in public in multiple countries
•Why I breastfeed and good resources
I hope to get to them soon.