I have been nursing my kid for almost ten months now. At some point after her year is up, I will slowly wean her–hopefully following her lead to some extent. I’d like her to do it on her own, but circumstances will probably have me directing the weaning a bit. I wanted to originally go until she was 18 months or two, but a certain situation will probably change that.
Anyway, I am very glad that I have access to a wonderful lactation consultant. Without her and all of the good content/websites I’ve been exposed to, I may have stopped sooner.
I have no problem with people formula feeding. Do whatever is best for you and your life, but it angers me that despite the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that women nurse for at least the first year of life and then until whenever mom and baby like, my last doctor seemed intent on mentioning weaning at every single appointment since my daughter turned around four months/five months. It would be different if I had expressed that I wanted to wean; instead, I always stated how I did not want to wean. That I had no interest in weaning her for awhile, and that as long as she wanted to, I would absolutely nurse her for her first year of life, possibly after, depending on family planning, my life, our lives, and of course, the baby and what she wants. Yet time and again, it is always mentioned. Not for any other reason it seems than it is easier–easier for doctors to quantify how much a kid is eating. Easier for doctors to NOT have to think about nursing and drug interactions, procedures, etc. It is easy for me to see how so many women stop nursing after a few weeks. The people that supposedly inform us how “breast is best,” don’t want to support moms. The information out there is incredibly untrue and dated.
For example, a woman can have a glass of wine or two–as long as you are not drunk, don’t pump and dump. Obviously if you are, pump and dump.
Another myth? That breastmilk is not enough. Most of the times, women have a fine supply. An infant will cluster feed the first few weeks of life not because he/she is starving, but because he/she is “upping” your supply.
Anyway, I am not here to preach about nursing, but to say I find it incredibly aggravating that the medical community that is supposed to support breast feeding, constantly fails to support moms. Instead of encouraging me to wean when I don’t want to, how about telling me, “I think it’s great you want to continue to nurse considering all the amazing health benefits!” When I saw my general practitioner, he was very happy to see I was nursing my kid. He said he thought it was wonderful that I continued to nurse. He is the type of doctor we women who choose to nurse need more of!
It just frustrated me the lack of support and information these doctors have about something so essential and important. I rarely asked our doctor what medications would interact with nursing. I always asked my OB and lactation consultant. I wish the medical community cared enough to ditch the money and sway of formula companies ( not DITCH making formula–just DITCH pushing it to women who want to nurse because of the money), and instead, invest in breast-feeding education. So many people tell me they were told they couldn’t nurse, when the reality is, they could have, but were poorly informed. It is fine if a woman does not want to nurse or actually can’t due to real (very few) medical conditions…but if a woman wants to, she should have access to good medical information and support.
I decided I had had enough, and am on the way for a new doctor as this doctor was not quite for us, in addition to other reasons as well. Enough lip service medical community: step up to the plate and help women damnit!