I suppose my cosleeping, babywearing, cloth diapering persona would seem incomplete without a full discussion of breastfeeding. But, to be perfectly honest, I don’t have much to say because that seems to be one area of parenting where I’ve never second guessed my decisions.
I breastfed my daughter for one year. There were no notable complications, other than having to take my shirt off in every Starbucks in Toronto (but maybe I would have done that anyway). I introduced solids, starting with cooked vegetables, around 7 months and we stopped nursing at a year because it felt like the right time.
I am still exclusively breastfeeding my son (he is 5 months old) and I can’t really imagine taking care of him any other way.
Breastfeeding is so clearly the ‘way to go’ as far as I’m concerned, that I’ve never even bothered to really articulate why. I could tell you about respecting my baby enough to feed him the baby equivalent of a “whole foods diet” as opposed to a “protein shake diet”. I could tell you about the frequent recalls on baby bottles, bottle nipples and formula. I could tell you that until ten years ago baby formula didn’t contain any DHA (which is vital for brain development) and now it does (and is causing illness due to differences in the synthetic forms).
I could make the analogy that choosing breastfeeding is like choosing to feed your child fresh whole foods that you would feed yourself, versus feeding your baby every meal from a box or jar. But maybe you will also put your baby on the “gerber diet”. And then I would just never stop ranting about the evils of basing a diet on over-processed, packaged foods and the core problems in our societal views towards food but maybe you would feel like I was getting too preachy.
Besides, it is no secret that many women seem to have trouble getting started breastfeeding and they just don’t see any other options. I attribute this to a lack of logistical support and onsite help from other women. Basically, I blame our stupid society for not creating opportunities for women who know things well to teach women who need to know them.
I know how to breastfeed, maybe I can help. I’ve now added “Lactation Consultant” to the list of careers that I am considering for when
my maternity leave and sick leave and carried-over vacation time run out I enthusiastically make my ‘comeback’ into the working world.