Breastfeeding: Aren’t We Done Talking About This Yet?

mh_breastfeedingIf I had a dime for every blog post, news article, or discussion I’ve had regarding breastfeeding over the last eight years, I’d be a rich woman. I find it amusing and a little frustrating that we still have to have this discussion. Breast is best. It seems like new research is released every week adding to the ever-growing list of benefits breastfeeding provides. I don’t need to go into it here. You can google breastfeeding or, I don’t know, ask your pediatrician and they’ll tell you all about it.

Breastfeeding continues to be a hot topic on Facebook where they continue to ban member’s personal photos of breastfeeding. Which of courses sends quite a message. There was also an incident at a Paul Frank store a couple of weeks ago where a woman breastfeeding in the store prompted a cashier to send out the following tweet on Twitter, “Having your whole boob out and breastfeeding in our store #NOTOKAYATALL.” Of course the tweet was deleted pretty quickly, but not before it had been retweeted a bunch of times and had caused the Paul Frank store Twitter feed to be bombarded with responses. And the mommy blogosphere came out in full force. Most of them in defense of the mother, some not so much.

Then people wonder why reports like the one released last week find that less than 75% of women breastfeed at all, and after a year, only 20% are still nursing their babies.

Could it be because, even though it’s 2010, women still have to face the judgment of store clerks in a Paul Frank store? Or the judgement of Facebook moderators and the ever watchful eye of judgmental women who think they know exactly when a woman should stop breastfeeding? Maybe it’s the long loud sighs that come from the boss’s office every time she’s go to pump at work.

Well, it’s a good thing I don’t give a crap about other people’s opinion because I may have chosen not to breastfeed at all if I had.

My personal advice to mom’s who are concerned about breastfeeding is the following:

  • Screw the store clerks. If your baby is hungry, feed him.
  • Stop breastfeeding when you want to stop breastfeeding. Guess what, I breastfed my children until they were…. oh wait IT DOESN’T MATTER. My kids are not yours so it doesn’t matter what I did. And guess what? I don’t care how long you breastfeed yours, whether it’s for one year or five.
  • If people don’t like the breastfeeding photos you post on your Facebook profile, they don’t have to look at them.
  • Call your HR person. That’s right, the laws they are a changin’. This country is attempting to make itself more family friendly and one way they’re doing that is by requiring your company to make it possible for you to breastfeed. If your boss doesn’t like it, tell him to call congress and complain, but leave you to your business. And clarify that it’s YOUR business not his.

When will we finally reach a point in society that says “breast is best, end of story”?