Never would I have thought that I would be one of those women who enjoyed breastfeeding so much, they couldn’t let it go. But here I still listening to SB cry. She will be one soon and I am dreading her no longer needing me; needing me physically, emotionally and nutritionally. But here she sits on my lap as I type this. I wish you all knew the struggles I went through in the past five years of bringing our kids into this world. However, I think some of you do.
Society places such a high priority of being healthy, natural and wholesome on our well being; that when we can’t compile due to personal decision or force we feel we are failures. I have faced this pressure twice before. Felt the pressure and failure on myself; twice before. But here I sit today, completely capable of nursing SB past a year, and feel compelled to nurse her as long as she wants. Maybe it is because with my other two I was forced to stop; medical issues with them (and now I know it was mainly a undiagnosed medical condition in myself) prevented me from nursing Bug and Diva past two months. However, I feel the responsibility to keep nursing SB.
Some may say it is in the best interest of the child, others may argue it is more a mother’s need to feel she is still needed, and more importantly, wanted. There are studies about how much healthier breastfeeding babies are and studies showing how the benefits for all involved outweigh any stressors it can create. But what if you feel all those studies are counterfactual? Could they be published to impose a standard or benchmark upon us to follow?
This is my thought.
What proof do I have that proves these studies to be right? None. Three children; two with rare medical issues and one with a lengthy first year of breathing issues which landed her in the hospital and on a continuous dose of breathing treatments. Society told me how healthier my children would be if I breastfed. And I believed that I was the one at fault for my older children’s health issues. But after nursing SB for a year and her having prolonged health issues, I personally see only statistics that were made up in order to make individuals feel incompetent and inadequate as a parent.
When I had to stop nursing my other children for the sake of their health and nutrition, I battled for months the over whelming feeling of quilt and despair. I’m here to tell you it’s normal. Society has made breastfeeding seem like the only way to nourish a child. But children need much more than just breastfeeding to help them thrive.
It’s ok to have these feeling of failure and even resentment towards those who can provide. Just understand that you will continue to do you best raising your child. It is born in us the day our children are born to do the best thing for them. So if breastfeeding doesn’t work for what ever reasons you never need to explain to people, by instinct you will do the next best thing for your children.