Scary stories from a lovely place

Opinion Sunday: Breast is best

Feeding Silas on the side of the road near the Pilanesburg while waiting for a tow truck

Breastfeeding has got to be the best way to feed a baby. Once you get used to it it’s easy, convenient and cheap. It is natural and free of any kind of potentially harmful ingredients (unless you drink or smoke or get high). It’s full of all sorts of crazy living cells which provide untold benefits to the baby.

But it’s politically and emotionally charged. While breastfeeding it’s easy to feel asexual, exhausted, harried or exposed. These obstacles are surmountable. Everyone has an opinion about it which they seem to feel happy to share even if their breastfeeding days are long over.

And, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people get too sick to manage it. Some people go back to work and can’t sustain a supply. For some people it just doesn’t happen for whatever dietary, emotional or unknown reason.

For all these reasons it’s hard to extol breastfeeding as the best way to feed a baby. Michelle Obama discovered this recently when she tried to advocate breastfeeding in America.

Conflicting messages from government, health and medical organisations and baby ‘experts’ don’t help either. Annoyingly, breastfeeding or not can both be ‘proved’ as the best or not. Thus the mother is left to wade through all this crap while trying to make a good decision for her child and dealing with emotional fatigue.

I wish there could be a more unified front about this, or at least more cohesive information. I know what I think, but it’s hard to talk to people about it when there are so many different ideas. It also doesn’t help when mothers feel defensive or weird for their decision and any discussion boils down to the ‘fineness’ of their child.

What do you think would help clear the air on breastfeeding?


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This entry was posted on March 13, 2011 by in Baby, News, Slice o' Opinion Pie and tagged , , , , .
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