Though we’re still working towards a time when every parent truly does have all the knowledge, support, and freedom they need to make an informed choice about whether or not to breastfeed their babies, we live in a time where people do have more choices in the matter than ever before. As a result, moms have lots of reasons for making the feeding choices they inevitably make, and if the number of comments on posts about breastfeeding are any indication, there is quite a lot of things that other moms want you to know about their breastfeeding choices.
If I had to name the main reasons for my choices, I’d have to say that I choose to breastfeed because it makes my life easier, and because my son and I both enjoy it. Breastfeeding was challenging for us in the beginning, like anything that’s brand new. However, once we got the hang of it I was so grateful to be able to do it. It helps us both relax, and we often play little games or make each other giggle while he nurses. For me, nursing is like having two magic wands that shut down close to 80% of my parenting woes. If my son wakes up really early and I’m still tired, I can offer him some milk and get him back to sleep for an extra hour or two. When he gets hurt or sick, or is upset about something (usually, it’s having to get in his car seat), he asks to nurse and I can comfort him fairly quickly. For us, nursing means a lot less crying, and I am absolutely about that life. Right now, I’m planning to nurse full-term and let him self-wean, but I’m also open to weaning him if I decide I need to be done before he does.
The biggest thing I’d want other moms to know about my breastfeeding choices, is that just because this is my choice, doesn’t mean that I am judging their choices or feeling superior or thinking less of them if their choices are different. I really want everyone to know what they need to know to make the best choice for themselves, but beyond that, I am far too busy trying to keep up with my own life to even have much of an opinion about how other people live their lives. I am proud of my body, and of what it’s capable of, but my pride in myself costs other mothers nothing. Worthiness isn’t a zero sum game, and we’re not in competition with each other for respect or self-esteem. That’s a common thread in all the things I hear from other moms about their breastfeeding choices, as are the following: