As a mom, I have dealt with many triumphs and struggles when it comes to my children. My son was the easiest baby in the world. He was not only born right on his due date, but he was also born naturally. He didn’t cry much, slept in his crib, drank his bottle (after four-months-old), and ate his food. He had no real complaints – except the potty. Lord, he hated the potty. He would go #2, but never #1, in the potty, til he was about three-years-old.
Then there is my daughter. She also came on her due date, via medically induced emergency C-section. Basically, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her leg, and when my doctor and labor nurse forced pitocin on me despite a beautifully naturally progressing labor, they put her in distress. Yes, I am still pissed about this. Anyhow, she never did like sleeping by herself, cried A LOT (colic/reflux), and despite her sunny disposition during the day, still cries a lot and refuses to sleep by herself. These are blessings, however – to me, this shows that she is attached to her mommy, which at 14 months old, is not a bad thing at all.
And get this – I am still nursing her. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am one of those moms that is going to let her baby wean herself. I refuse to force her to wean. While 12 months of nursing may be “enough” to everyone else, it is not enough for my daughter, and whatever isn’t enough for her, isn’t enough for me. End of story.
But it’s not really the end. I am not going to sit here and bitch about how people ask me to cover up by coming up with the now cliche retort of “Well then why don’t you put a blanket over your head?” nor am I going to listen as you berate me for my choice. Wanna know why?
You’re not me, and you’re not my daughter.
That, and I’ll just ignore you. Moreover, I may even try and change your mind. I am not only a nursing mother, but I am a PROUD nursing mother. There is absolutely nothing anyone can say that will make me succumb to their ignorant, completely misguided views on breastfeeding, in public and at home. I am more shocked than anything on how breastfeeding has been twisted into this obscene act, how people give me dirty looks for feeding my daughter in the most natural way possible without covering up. Did you know it is actually legal for me to feed my daughter without a cover? Did you also know, in many other countries, such as Mongolia, the average age of weaning is seven-years-old? SEVEN WHOLE YEARS! In the U.S., less than 40% of infants are exclusively breastfed. This is alarming. Not only given the cost of formula, but the lack of essential nutrients other than vitamins that these children are receiving! After all, formula doesn’t contain essential antibodies to help fight against disease like breastmilk.
I gained 32 pounds during pregnancy. To date, 14 months postpartum, I have lost almost 40 pounds. Breastfeeding helped me do that. Does formula help with weight loss? Does formula help prevent breast and ovarian cancer? I didn’t think so!
Keep in mind, I do NOT judge formula feeding mothers – especially if they tried to breastfeed their children. I would not ever insult a mother for doing what is most comfortable for her and what most benefits her child. It is unfortunate that society – doctors, peers, etc.- have such a skewed view of breastfeeding. Hospitals are paid to advertise formula, to hand it out as the solution right when there is a problem. If your baby loses three ounces in the hospital, they try to shove formula down an infant’s throat. It’s awful, and appalling. My daughter is so lucky to have the pediatrician she does – in fact, her pediatrician encouraged me when I thought I would fail due to the issues my daughter had in her first few months of life (see above).
All in all, nursing my daughter is something very dear to me. I know that I have given her the best possible food I can give her, aside from teaching her about clean eating. I honestly don’t care what the general public thinks of this choice. If they can look at scantily clad females plastered all over public billboards, commercials, advertisements, posters, and movies, me feeding my daughter shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right? After all, it’s just a boob!
Oh look, there it is! Can you believe my audacity? I’m nursing! The horror! The shame!…….NOT! 😉
As you can see by the look of contentment on my daughter’s sleeping face, that she is satisfied, and that is all that matters to me. I will proudly continue to nurse her until she is good and ready to wean. Don’t think I will? Watch me!