Today starts World Breastfeeding Week.
I'm frustrated. I love breastfeeding, but I can't express how awesome I think it is without someone getting their Hanky Panky panties in a wad. Just because I believe that breastfeeding is the most wonderful thing since well, the wheel, doesn't mean that I look down on a mother who chooses to formula feed. I don't. I do, however, look down on our society for being inconvenient and unsupportive to nursing mothers. Perhaps if it it was different, more mothers would give it a try and/or nurse longer.
I'm tired of all of the negativity from well-meaning, misinformed family and friends. Every problem a breastfed baby has is blamed on the nursing relationship or breastmilk. Baby is fussy? Clearly it's the breastmilk. Won't sleep through the night? Give him formula/cereal, and he will. Once a baby has teeth, he will be incapable of sucking. An older child or teenager that is problematic is clearly that way because he was nursed until he was three. These things aren't true, and they make my heart hurt for mothers who have to listen to such ignorant comments.
I'm annoyed when women who express a desire to breastfeed to her pediatrician but receive criticism about their baby's weight gain. They then receive instructions to formula feed instead of referrals to a lactation consultant or LLL.
Yes, I currently have a successful nursing relationship with my son. I hope to continue nursing until he's somewhere between 18 and 24 months, but I'm trying not to make my plan too far in advance. He may be done with me long before then. I have the right to want to stop as well.
No matter how how long I breastfeed this baby, or the next ten, I will always be a breastfeeding advocate, and I'm happy to be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week for the first time.