When I was pregnant, my doctor asked me if I planned to breastfeed. I thought about it for a few seconds and replied that I planned to try. This was the entirety of my pre-birth breastfeeding preparation.
The day after my son’s birth, I waddled my way through the hospital halls to the daily breastfeeding class where I rolled my eyes at the earnest instructor who waved a crocheted breast at us as she pontificated on the World Health Organization’s recommendation that babies be breastfed for at least two years. I set a goal of one year, tops, and then I wanted my body back.
My son is celebrating his fourth birthday this week. My son is still breastfeeding.
Before you accuse me of fueling the mommy wars, please know that I don’t care how you feed your baby. I don’t care if you breastfeed for a week, a month, a year. I don’t care if you combo feed or exclusively pump or choose formula from day one. I don’t care how you choose to feed your baby; I care that your baby is fed and I care that you have a choice.
Full-term breastfeeding is my choice. It is my son’s choice. It is a choice that has been called creepy and weird and even abusive. I choose to use my body the way it is designed to be used and I am judged.
I don’t breastfeed my four-year-old to make a point. Breastfeeding has never been about making a statement; it’s just something I do. I’m not breastfeeding my child at you to make you feel bad about your parenting choices, I’m just feeding my kid. I’m making a choice that works for me and my family and I won’t be shamed for it.
The list of why breastfeeding can suck is long enough with the cracked nipples and clogged milk ducts and engorgement; we don’t need to add judgment, contempt, or humiliation. Instead of concerning ourselves with others’ mammaries, let’s support every mama’s right to choose, even if you don’t agree with the choice. Let’s mind our own business and our own boobs.
About the author: Hillary is a part-time serious office person, part-time aspiring creative, and full-time mama of one spirited little guy. She loves kitchen dance parties, all the gin, and people who spell her name with two Ls. She pretends she knows what she’s doing at www.hillarywith2Ls.com