I keep hearing things that really bother me lately. Of course there is all the hype of half the population thinking that breastfeeding is somehow gross, unnatural, or worse- sexual. My goodness, I can not understand that. Feeding our babies are what breasts are there for. If men find them attractive, well okay, added bonus! But that should not take away from the fact that they are meant to nourish infants.
I personally am not on any kind of crusade here. I don’t care if you breastfeed or give your child formula. I believe that formula is good and that a baby can and will get everything that he or she needs from it.
I have already posted about feeding my son in public and how I will feed whenever, and wherever he happens to be hungry. I will do that whether it bothers people or not. I am not trying to make a spectacle of myself, but I am using part of my body for which it was intended- to feed my baby. This post, however, is not about public nursing.
I keep hearing about people, even doctors, who seem to think that young infants “need” other food. I am all for giving your baby solids at 4-6 months. Chris has no interest in baby purees, but he loves pretty much anything I put into his mesh feeder. However, I know that he is not, and really can not, get the nutrients he needs to grow and be healthy. He is not eating enough solid food to do that, for one. Plus, he still gets everything he needs from my milk. The same goes for formula. They have stages for a reason, to meet the needs of your baby as they grow and their nutritional needs change. So, if your baby is not interested in baby food or solids before turning one, who cares?
I have heard that you need to get your baby to eat solid foods so that you, the mother, can have some freedom. Well, I don’t know about other mothers, but I did not become a parent so I can have freedom. I don’t think of myself as enslaved or employed by my children. It was my choice to have them!
I have also heard that you don’t want your child to become dependent on your milk. Ummm…aren’t babies supposed to be dependent on their mothers? Sure, it is our job to teach our children to be independent and responsible. To teach them that the world doesn’t revolve around them. But when children are just babies, the world does and SHOULD revolve around them. It is such a fleeting time, and if you are not prepared for your child to be your world, then maybe you should have waited. It’s okay for your child to be dependent on you, at least for a year. When they are two you will hear “I do it myself” constantly. Can’t you wait until then to be “free”?
Not to say it is even necessarily parents themselves that I hear these things from. It is mainly non-parents and/or men. People that think they know everything, but have no idea how wonderfully inside out your world turns when you become a mother.
I am just sick of being judged. You can’t win sometimes, but feeding your baby should not be one of those times. Whether you breastfeed or formula feed I urge you to feed your baby. To hold them and rock them and comfort them while it is still possible for them to be comforted by nothing more than the feel of your skin. Experiment with solids if your baby is ready and shows interest, but if he or she isn’t interested, know that it’s okay. Milk or formula is all your baby needs, contrary to popular belief.