Extended Breastfeeding: Mom Enough?
I had a different post scheduled for today, but I need to jump in on the new Time magazine discussion. I'm sure by now there are very few of you that haven't seen this cover.
It's meant to be sensational, for sure. But I for one find it beautiful and amazing. (I also happen to read this woman's blog, which you can find here.) But I know many in our overly sexual society have a problem with it. "Oh dear God, a woman breastfeeding in public...a toddler. ::clutches pears and faints::"
Henry and I have had a perfectly amazing and easy breastfeeding journey. At an hour old, he was latching and nursing like a champ. Those first few moments are something I will never forget. As Henry got older, we never had issues. I never had an infection, any real soreness, no latch problems, no supply worries. It has literally been the closest thing to the perfect breastfeeding experience that I can imagine.
Today, at almost 14 months old, Henry is still nursing four times a day. I have no real intention to wean him anytime soon. There I said it. I guess that makes me "an extended breastfeeder" too.
We have weaned some. I forced Henry to drop a few feedings, just enough for me to start ovulating again. This way Morgan and I have the option to grow our family. But beyond this, I see no reason to stop. The health benefits are undeniable. And the cost is right.
The part that I take issue with the Time article is in the tag line "Are you Mom enough?" What does that mean?
Are mom's that can't, don't, or won't breastfeed into toddlerhood not good moms? Heck no! Breastfeeding is hard work. Physically and mentally draining...even in the best cases. I don't blame them.
Plus, add this to the fact that the United States is one of only four, that's right FOUR, countries in the WORLD (the other countries are Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland - certainly not company the United States should be proud to keep) to not offer paid maternity leave, forcing many woman to return to work well before breastfeed relationships are established.
|Excuse the "hot-mess-ness" of these pictures, but it probably more accurately shows what breastfeeding a toddler looks like.|
Then we are going to turn around and judge a woman for not breastfeeding for "long" enough? Its insane. Totally insane.
What if I had to completely stop breastfeeding for ovulation to return...would that have made me "not Mom enough?" Should I not stop, ever?
I'll be honest, I haven't yet read the article. I'm interested to know what it says. I really hope it doesn't judge the way the cover seems to imply. Those moms who struggle night after night to get their newborns to latch, those moms who can never build a supply, those moms who just stop nursing for whatever reason...they are good moms too.
And it makes me sick to see this judging. There is no hierarchy among Moms. We all love our babies. We all have long sleepless nights. And we've all been pooped on.
Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there. You're all "Mom enough" for me.
What are your thoughts on the Time cover?