It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the boys and though this post references them, it’s not about them. This post is actually about me asking you, the readers, a question. And it isn’t the sort of thing we usually talk about on this blog, so feel free to stop reading if the question or the thought of what might follow, bothers you. Anyway, the question is this:
Since having the twins, I have been reading blogs, articles, magazines, Facebook posts and leaflets about breastfeeding. It has been important to me because I chose, right from the start to breastfeed Michael and Leon. There was no debate in my mind and through all the research I did while pregnant, I just became more and more sure of that fact.
Since then, after the first eight-ish weeks of absolute hell (mastitis, thrush, sore nipples, no sleep and damp bedsheets), breastfeeding has just fallen into place. The boys know what they’re doing, I know what I’m doing and it is as pleasant an activity as any other that I get to share with them every single day. The bond I share with my children as I feed them, nourish them with my own body, is unparalleled by anything else I have ever come across.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched a documentary on attachment parenting. The show did a very good job of almost ridiculing these dedicated mothers, particularly those who breastfed their children beyond the age of about 18 months. I have also, through some of the Facebook groups I am a member of, been exposed to newspaper articles with titles like ‘Breasts are For Sex, Not For Children.’ I have seen debate after heated debate about the merits of breast milk over formula, bed sharing versus not and just want to get an idea of what people think.
I realise this is a massive step away from what this blog usually covers, and I’m sorry about that. As I said previously, if this post is not to your taste, please check back on Sunday at which point I hope to resume our usual programming.
Seven months into living with my boys I find that I don’t have strong opinions either way. Well, I have strong ideas about what I want to do, but not about other people. I plan to breastfeed until I feel like stopping (or until their new little teeth start biting where I’d rather not be bitten) and nobody is going to stop me doing that. I admire the mothers who breastfeed beyond one year, but, frankly put, I want my body back before my boys reach four years old. I don’t have any problem with seeing a woman breastfeed in a public place and I myself have had to do so on several occasions. In fact, I do almost every single day. I don’t use a cover – I tried to in the early weeks and it was so much faff just I just gave up on it – and I don’t feel offended if a curious child pops away from his mother’s breast and temporarily exposes a nipple. I don’t find it strange that we as adults will drink the milk from other mammals (cows and goats) but not our own. The fact is interesting to me, but since I have always put cow’s milk on my cereal, it makes no odds to me. I don’t particularly feel offended/upset/disappointed by seeing another mother feed their child from a bottle.
All these things (and more) cause such heated debates, furious tantrums and fallings out that, for my own curious mind, I thought I’d bring the debates to you.
So… what do you think? Do you have strong opinions/ideas/thoughts either way? Has anything I’ve mentioned above brought out a strong reaction in you? Is it a lot of fuss and bother over nothing? Do you have any experiences you would feel comfortable sharing? I’d love to hear from you.