Ok, I know equating breastfeeding lunatics with a political group who terrorized and practiced genocide on a mass scale is hardly fair, but it gives you a fair idea of how strongly I feel about the groups of mothers who advocate only one way of parenting, birthing or feeding your children as correct. Grrrr….
I'm talking about the women and select medical or lay childbirth and breastfeeding support that try and espouse that their way is superior to any other. Who tout (loudly) that unmedicated childbirth is better in every way, and every case than any other method, that breastfeeding exclusively until your child is eating corn-on-the-cob and can tie his own shoes (alright I'm exaggerating, but I'm hot) is the only responsible means of feeding your child. Grrrr…..
This is an ongoing problem among mothers- and I hate it. Absolutely despise it. The thing is, I have the perspective of seeing the issues of childbirth and breastfeeding from both sides. I've had my babies both medicated with wonderful epidurals, and natural, feeling all the glorious burn. I have had terrible struggles with breastfeeding, I have pumped more than a 1000 hours in my childbearing years so far, had infants who cannot nurse, sick infants who require special supplementation, breast surgery, and finally an infant who nurses beautifully. Other than a nursing baby being much more convenient than pumping, none of these things is better than another. None of them are badges of motherhood or of my feminity or my womanhood.
I don't need or want someone with an agenda, political or social, trying to tell me what is best for my particular family, or why what I am doing is wrong. The presumption of many of these groups is that "If we educate you, you will understand and agree we are right"- To me this kind of arrogance is astounding. It is also unbelievingly presumptuous- to believe there is one way of doing something (giving birth or feeding your baby) insults my intelligence. It questions my stewardship over my children, and assumes I am ignorant and uninformed. That is a mighty big assumption, ladies and gentlemen, to make about any mother who doesn't make the same choices as another. I resent it.
There is a thread in the comments on MMW right now that got me all fired up about his. I tried to stay out of it for a while, and I tried to be civil. But now I'm steamed. Folks, there are as many "right" ways of loving and caring for you children as there are mothers. Unmedicated birth with a midwife is in NO WAY superior to a hospital birth with an epidural. (And don't start throwing links and statistics at me- I'm aware of them and have read a great deal-it doesn't change how I feel at all about allowing others their freedom to choose for themselves.) Breastfeeding until your child is two may help your child's health, but there are a thousand other factors that build a child as well. And frankly, I'm ready to kick over that Column of Superiority with women waiting to "educate" me.
Just say something to me when I pull out a bottle for Abby- it might be breastmilk, it might be formula. Say something.
I dare you.