I’ve already told my breastfeeding story. Every mom has story, one way or the other. Some struggle for a long time, but finally come out victorious with a story of exclusive breastfeeding. Some get the hang of it with no problems. Some exclusively pump. Some just can’t physically do it. Some just plain don’t want to.
Another study is coming out now saying that if 90% of moms in the US breastfed exclusively for at least six months, the lives of 900 babies would be saved, and billions of dollars (I’m assuming this is in healthcare costs) would be saved, as well.
I love how all the way through the article they go on and on about how important it is to breastfeed, and all of the horrible things that happen to babies and children because of formula, but at the very end of the article there’s this one little paragraph:
Dr. Larry Gray, a University of Chicago pediatrician, called the analysis compelling and said it’s reasonable to strive for 90 per cent compliance. But he also said mothers who don’t breastfeed for six months shouldn’t be blamed or made to feel guilty, because their jobs and other demands often make it impossible to do so.
I understand how important it is to breastfeed your baby. I understand how much of an uphill battle it’s been to convince moms to go back to breastfeeding when in a lot of cases their own mothers didn’t. I’m tired, though, of all of the guilt. I’m tired of thinking that any illness my child gets is because I didn’t breastfeed enough. I’m tired of feeling that my kids would have higher IQs if I had breastfed more (and believe me, no one wants them to have higher IQs – they’re scary already). I’m tired of being told I don’t have a good enough bond with my kids because they didn’t breastfeed enough. I’m tired of feeling guilty for having a surgery that was strictly for my own benefit, that resulted in my not being able to exclusively breastfeed. It’s all so insulting.
There needs to be a better way of encouraging moms to breastfeed without insinuating that they’re bad mothers if they don’t.