Sunday, August 2, 2009

Breastfeeding Evolution, Part One

I have evolved. No, not how Darwin would describe evolution; but my own journey towards perfecting myself. Learning and being fit to survive the trials that so many other women do not survive. Breastfeeding. Or, as it is known as in my house, nursies. How many women snap up their bras for good, in defeat? How many women believe that they “just aren’t made for this”? How many women secretly feel like they have failed as mothers, because they gave up? And what does it take to push through to a satisfactory weaning? To survive?

Words of advice are often no use when given to women who have already admitted defeat. And, honestly, I don’t know all the answers to these questions. I can only offer my example. Share my each and every struggle, so that other women know that it isn’t always easy. I have heard it all before, the excuses as to why these mothers are no longer nourishing their babes at their breasts. The mothers are not the only ones to blame, though. Some people say that it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t particularly agree with that. I believe that it takes a family to raise a child. However, I do believe that it takes a village (or a city, or a whole society) to breastfeed a child. It is a little known fact that women who do not have breastfeeding support, from their husbands, employers, or families, often end up discontinuing the breastfeeding relationship with their child. I can only share the joy that has helped me to survive. It has not always been pretty. In fact, sometimes, it has been downright horrible. Perhaps I would be taking too much liberty in saying that there were even times I felt like breastfeeding was torture. Nonetheless, I feel that there is nothing more important than understanding the miracle and feeling the fire that has pulled me through the breastfeeding mire.

Do you have to understand completely why breastfeeding is important, physically and emotionally, for both you and your child? Do you have to live in a society that commends and supports the breastfeeding relationship, and most importantly, the breastfeeding mother? I’m not sure if you have to be completely stubborn, as I have been, to keep breastfeeding until your child is ready to wean. But that is what has kept me going. I’ve never been more grateful for my personality-that desire to learn everything I can and to try my hardest to be the best at everything.


Nick, Sara, and kids said...

Good job Mal!
At what age do you think you will be finished breastfeeding? Or does it depend on when Benji is ready or when you get pregnent?

mimihalley said...

That is incredibly true: that it takes support from all around to continue breastfeeding.

Mallory said...

You'll read in the upcoming parts of my Breastfeeding Evolution, that I am planning on doing child-led weaning. So, whenever the kiddo is ready to stop, we'll stop. I would love to tandem nurse, if Bug keeps nursing whenever I get pregnant again.

Deveny said...

That's great you are so comfortable breastfeeding for years but I think super pro-breastfeeding gals need to be careful not to assume those who don't are 'ashamed' or don't care about their child. Yes, sometimes b/f women are descriminated agaisnt in public but sometimes they seem to turn that anger agaisnt those who are done at 6 months etc. You know I love ya mallory but heaven forbid you think I don't love my child enough if I don't breastfeed past a few months for any number of reasons. :) I'll do what's best for my child AND me. <3