Wednesday, August 29

Just Because You Breastfeed

Just because you breastfeed is doesn't mean...

  • you need to join the ranks of so called "lactavists"
    • Instead find a positive form of lactation activism and offer support to other mom's looking to breastfeed.  Or if you prefer opt to do nothing, it's your choice.
  • you need to stop wearing a bra and opt instead for long flowing multi-colored shirts
    • There are great nursing bras, tanks and shirts out there.  Follow your own style, breastfeeding isn't just for the "hippie" minded.
  • you need to breastfeed in public
    • Look around you'll be surprised by how many private places you can find in public to nurse.  And if you want to nurse in public, go for it; with or without a cover.
  • you need to stop eating meat, chocolate, dairy, garlic or what have you.
    • Some babies do have dairy intolerance, but those are the exception not the rule.  Talk to a professional before altering your diet if you suspect an intolerance.  And all those old wives tales you hear about not eating garlic, chocolate, etc are exactly that old wives tales.  In fact the more rounded your diet is, the more rounded your nursing's pallet will be.
  • you can't ever go out without your children
    • You can pump and leave milk for a caregiver.  No pump, plan your outings around baby's nursing schedule (this gets much easier to do once you pass the 6 month mark and introduce solids).
  • you need to be have an affair with a breast-pump
    • Sure if you are going to go back to work and plan on exclusively breastfeed you will need a pump, but pumping doesn't need to be your life.  You decide on what works for you and your family.
  • you need to start cloth diapering your baby that is wearing a teething necklace while babywearing
    • Deciding to nurse is one single parenting choice, it is not a way of life (as some media and organizations portray it).
  • you need to publicize your decision to breastfeed
    • If you want to great, obviously it's something I love talking about and I think the more we talk about it the more normalized it becomes and in the end we'll talk about it less; but it's your choice.  If you feel more comfortable not talking about it that's fine.
  • you need to breastfeed until they live for kindergarten
    • The World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding  with appropriate complementary foods up to two years or beyond.  Again this decision is totally up to you, any amount of breastmilk is better than none and I encourage everyone to strive to meet the WHO goals; but again it's a personal decision. 
I guess what I am trying to say, is don't be let society and the media views on "what a breastfeeding mother is suppose to look like" influence your decision to breastfeed.  Breastfeeding is something you make your own, and you will find a way to make it work with your lifestyle (assuming you're not doing drugs or are HIV positive or have a condition that physically prevents breastfeeding (which is rare)) and your lifestyle may change along the way; but then again whose life hasn't changed by simply becoming a parent?  Yeah, that's it... becoming a parent is simple.  Ha!!!

There is no "Gerber baby" for make it your own.  

Just like your breastmilk is made unique for your baby, your breastfeeding lifestyle will be unique to you.  

Do you have a breastfeeding lifestyle myth to bust?  Share it with us.


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