Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Oh, you still breastfeed?

Yeah, I do, and plan to continue as long as I can. I am often surprised, and I don't know why, when people ask me this question. The moment you become pregnant you are on everyone's radar for unsolicited advice. Prenatal nutrition, type of birth, what type of shoes you wear, what type of job you have. Everyone has an opinion. Then when your baby is actually here, it only gets worse. All of a sudden your breasts are the hot topic among strangers. "Do you breastfeed? Oh, good for you." I feel like I got an A on my report card or something getting that kind of congrats. At no other point in my life did random ladies ask me about my bits. The congrats only last for the first three months or so, and then the questions change to "Is he on formula yet? Well that's why he doesn't sleep you know." I know plenty of formula fed babies that ruin their parents dreams of ever sleeping again.
I think my biggest surprise about the "do you still breastfeed" question, is that my son is 7 months old. Now if I had an eight year old hanging from my breast while waiting at the bus stop, I can see why one may be curious. But even if that was the case, it's our choice. The global average age of weening from the breast is 4 years, and the World Health Organization recommends that babies be breastfed until at least two years old.
It's humorous when I hear people saying that breastfeeding is so inconvenient, and they are so surprised I have done it for so long. Yet I have never had to sterilize my breasts, measure how much I am giving him, or worry about how much breast milk to pack for a trip. I believe there is a time and a place for formula, and if you have not been able to breastfeed, or choose formula because that works for your family, then by all means use it. But please do not look at me like I am the oddity because I am breastfeeding him at 7 months. And yes, I still breastfeed while he's teething. It only took one nip for him to learn that if he wants to keep enjoying the booby snacks, there will be none of that.

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