I wouldn’t CHOOSE artificial limbs over real ones… and that’s why I breastfeed.

January 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Posted in breastfeeding | Leave a comment
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It’s necessary to start this post by stating my position. Despite being a breastfeeding mum, I am not what you’d call a “lactivist”. I am happy to raise my children in the way I want to, and for others to do the same with their children. You’ll never find me on a breastfeeding march or picnic – I’m about people making their own choices – hopefully informed – but their own choices none-the-less.

Frankly, I can’t think why someone else would really care about how I feed my babies, as long as they ARE fed and well looked after, and that’s how I feel about other people’s children. I have supported a number of friends who WANTED to breastfeed, and am always happy to offer my own experiences, useful internet links and contacts etc, but I certainly wouldn’t consider anyone a worse parent for choosing not to or try to persuade anyone. So….

This morning I was catching up with my Twitter feed¬† and happened to click on a link to Dr Miriam Stoppard’s “Opinion” piece from the Mirror. In it Dr Stoppard set out her counter-argument to an earlier story of a study that had thrown some doubt on the benefits of breastfeeding over formula feeding (sadly, no link or specific information about the article was provided !!!?!).

In the article, Dr Stoppard says:

My fear is that this sort of story can turn women off trying to breast-feed. And while I’ve always been in favour of women having the right to choose, in the UK we have the lowest breast-feeding rates in the whole of Europe and this troubles me.

Reading this page got me wondering WHY so few British women choose to breastfeed. And how come MOST of the mums I know have at least breasted for a short time. Do I live in an unusual area where breastfeeding is more of a norm? Is it something particular to my socio-economic group, my age,  or just my circle of friends?

While I was pondering this I came to think about what it was that lead me to choose to breastfeed my own children, something I was very insistent on despite DS being born early and having time in SCBU and being unable to feed properly for almost a week leading to jaundice. There are obviously many benefits for both mother and baby…. plus it’s free…. it’s convenient…. it just “feels” right…

As all this was going through my head, I looked up to the TV where the BBC news was reporting on a story about a percentage British Soldiers being unfit for their jobs. On the screen was a group of soldiers exercising, including one with an artificial leg. He was doing fine, keeping up with the rest of the group, but despite looking very “hi-tech” it was obvious that the artificial leg just wasn’t as good as the other legs.

I laughed to myself and stopped searching for the “reasons” I breastfeed. I really didn’t need to think about it any more at all. I breastfeed for the same reasons I wouldn’t CHOOSE to cut off my healthy leg and replace it with an artificial one.

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