Thursday, May 6, 2010

Breastfeeding Ignorance

When Sophie was born, I joined a moms meet up group hoping to meet other moms in my city, get us out of the house and for Parker to meet some other little friends. The first meet up I went to was great: We went on a toddler style hike and I met two other moms with children as close in age as my two. And out of the 5 of us, 3 are/have breastfed past 1 year.  I was happy.
Then the second meetup I went to was specifically for babies (plus older siblings) at a mom's house. I was thinking it would be nice and relaxing but it was nothing like I hoped for. The mom who hosted swore constantly (I'm talking F-bombs), smacked her kid and the two hours we were there she only held her baby for 5 minutes. Ugh....not what I was looking for at all!
I thought I'd give it one more shot so today I went to another mom/baby playdate. The host was great, she even cloth diapered (yay!) and there was another mom that I liked too but the same mom who hosted last time was there along with another mom I hadn't met. Within 5 minutes of being there the two moms started bashing breastfeeding and were upset that the nutritionist at the health unit where baby group is held was recommending exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months and then breastfeeding up until 2 (me, I'm THRILLED that our healthcare system is doing this!!). They were upset because they felt it wasn't fair to the formula feeding moms and breastfeeding is talked about at the hospital so it shouldn't be brought up at baby groups (!!). This whole time I'm biting my tongue and seconds away from taking my kids and leaving but then the one mom goes on to say how gross it is to breastfeed past 6 months let alone two years! That's when I mentioned the WHO recommendation of breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond. The mom tells me that is for women in third world countries who don't have enough food and breastfeeding is all they have (sigh) and that breastfeeding that long will turn their child into a social outcast. I flat out said that's not true... and told them I still breastfed Parker (2) and had no intentions of stopping anytime soon. That he was in control of when he decided to be done breastfeeding, whether that be tomorrow or several years from now. Well, didn't that just shut them up! Of course, they didn't say much to me after that but that's okay I was busy loving up the babies and talking to the two moms who had a clue!
Anyhoo... all this got me thinking of how educated women view and understand breastfeeding. I was really shocked that people felt and thought this way. The one mom honestly thought that the only reason the WHO recommended breastfeeding until 2 and beyond was so that children in third world countries wouldn't starve to death.
So while I don't plan on going back to another meet up, I thought I'd do up a post on breastfeeding resources so that you all (because I have so many readers, ha!) could educate yourselves and others.

There are so many great resources out there with fantastic breastfeeding information. Why is there still so much ignorance about breastfeeding out there?!

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