Saying breastfeeding has an anti-feminism slant baffles me. One time a “doctor” told me, “There is too much pressure on women today to breastfeed.” He continued on by telling me, “Letting him breastfeed too long teaches him to take advantage of women.” I was shocked and appalled by his arrogance and ignorance but continued the discussion and asked if he was aware the World Health Orginzation recommends breastfeeding beyond 2 years. He asked me if I was there for his opinion or my own. I stared at him as he stood there arrogantly in his scrubs and Marc Echo shoes. “What a joke,” I thought to myself.
Who was this guy to tell me to stop meeting the needs of my baby? He doesn’t even acknowledge the World Heath Organization. Now the media is responding and everyone is commenting on the issue just in time for Mother’s day. Some say… oh teeth… for sure then you wean. A teething baby needs soothing more then than any other time. You try to suck on a straw and bite it. Unless something is wrong, babies don’t bite when they breastfeed. Take it from me- I got bit!
It was a signal for me to make changes.
It is hard enough to find quality food for myself not to mention appropriate food for Levi, why not give my child the food that was designed for him? It puts him to sleep, keeps him full and happy, helps me shed pounds, and prevents my chances of cancer. Maybe I enjoy being needed by my child. It is no bother; really there is nothing else I would rather be doing.
I have been a little obsessed with reading my favorite Mom’s respond to this media attention. Here are the key thoughts that seem to be consistent:
· We are all Mom Enough
· In “Mommy Wars” (media wars) both mommies and children loose
· No one starts out breastfeeding a 4 year old, it is an evolving relationship.
· We were almost all uncomfortable about breastfeeding at one time- that is why some Moms are making decisions to pose for such photos. It is an effort to “normalize” what is normal. The natural age for a human to wean is between the ages of 2-7.
Empowering women was one of our family values, especially being raised by my single mother. She is a successful entrepreneur in a predominantly woman based cosmetic company. I have watched her transform women’s lives through empowering them and believing in them. Women are often “praised to success” This is the point. Breastfeeding is awesome, but we need our culture’s help and support. We need doctors and grandparents and in-laws and friends to praise us and say, good for you!
Let mom’s decide when to wean. Everyone seems to be on board with letting women decide when they do or do not get pregnant. Isn’t this a feminist issue at its core? Empower women to follow their motherly instincts and respond to their baby. Above else love your neighbor as yourself.