Friday, May 11, 2012

Breast Feeding Controversy...

And the topic resurfaces again. I think I recently wrote a blog in favor of breastfeeding when Beyonce was nursing her new born infant and got criticized for it. It's a natural act and most women, when out in public, wear a blanket or some kind of cover up, not to offend the sensibilities of others. Women should not be criticized for breast feeding. But today the news has been running with the story of a mother who is breast feeding her son, who will turn 4 in a month, and she says she does it because it boosts his confidence. The mother, herself, who is 26 years old, claims she was breast fed until she was six years old. The reporter in the clip below says that breast feeding guidelines say to breast feed a child until they are two or older, but never mention an upper limit. So women can breast feed, essentially, for as long as they want.

I'm not sure if I feel like a hypocrite or not. As in favor as I am about breast feeding, in public or private, something about this just doesn't seem right to me. Of course it's none of my business what any mother chooses to do with her child. Every individual has the right to make that decision for themselves and their children. I, myself, decided not to breast feed my babies because they would have to be fed every two hours and I felt I could not function with so much sleep disruption. I was never breast fed either as a baby, and it wasn't a difficult decision for me to make. I weaned my children from the bottle between two and three years of age without much difficulty.

Looking at the above picture and reading the story just makes me wonder. After a certain point, there is no real need/benefit in breast feeding a child. He is eating and drinking and getting most of his nutrition the usual way. This is part of what they call "attachment parenting." There is even more to it, for example, allowing the child to sleep in the parents bed. It seems like an extreme approach even to me, and I have been a stay at home, very hands on and involved mother. I spent plenty of time with my girls doing other things. This approach is just not for me. It seems to me that instead of fostering independence, this would encourage dependence, clingy behavior, and a higher degree of separation anxiety when the child goes to school. But I can't say that is what would happen for sure. I guess this is a case of to each his own, and I'll leave it at that. What do you think?

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