Tuesday, May 15, 2012


When I first saw this photo I’ll admit it disturbed me. Not because some mom was breastfeeding her able-bodied toddler or the rebellious ‘I’ll do as I please’ expression both participates wear (I actually kind of respect that) but for the shitstorm of repugnance it would evoke at a time when hatred toward women is escalating.

I’m amazed, pleasantly, by how many people are embracing the ‘attached parenting’ view of toddler nursing. Being a proponent for breastfeeding (my kids were all mommy-juiced), I admit to being surprised at how many moms are supplementing their 2, 3 and even 4 year olds with the breast. I loved breastfeeding my babies, loved the closeness, the comfort, the knowledge I was filling them full of wonderful, healthy elixir but I stopped when each turned 12 months old. It was time..for me, for them, to move on. They didn’t need the feedings and I found other ways to comfort them.

I will cop to being slightly offended by the title "Are You Mom Enough?" as if the only REAL moms are the ones nursing through the onset of puberty (perhaps I'm more offended than I thought). I'm all about mom's making the decision when enough is enough, for you..and for me. As women and mothers, instead of criticizing and one-upping, let's support and defend a woman's right to choose.

8 Really Good Reasons To Breast-Feed Your Baby
1. Early breast milk is liquid gold – Known as liquid gold, colostrum (coh-LOSS-trum) is the thick yellow first breast milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Although your baby only gets a small amount of colostrum at each feeding, it matches the amount his or her tiny stomach can hold.

Tricia Cline

2. Your breast milk changes as your baby grows – Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow. It is a thinner type of milk than colostrum, but it provides all of the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.

Katie M. Berggerv

3. Breast milk is easier to digest – For most babies — especially premature babies — breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them.


4. Breast milk fights disease – The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. This protection is unique; formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk. In fact, among formula-fed babies, ear infections and diarrhea are more common. Formula-fed babies also have higher risks of: Necrotizing (nek-roh-TEYE-zing) enterocolitis (en-TUR-oh-coh-lyt-iss), a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in preterm infants.
Lower respiratory infections
Type 2 diabetes
Some research shows that breastfeeding can also reduce the risk of Type 1 diabetes, childhood leukemia, and atopic dermatitis (a type of skin rash) in babies. Breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Leonardo da Vinci

5. Life can be easier when you breastfeed – Breastfeeding may take a little more effort than formula feeding at first. But it can make life easier once you and your baby settle into a good routine. Plus, when you breastfeed, there are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. You do not have to buy, measure, and mix formula. And there are no bottles to warm in the middle of the night! You can satisfy your baby’s hunger right away when breastfeeding.

Karen McKendry Minton

6. Breastfeeding can save money – Formula and feeding supplies can cost well over $1,500 each year, depending on how much your baby eats. Breastfed babies are also sick less often, which can lower health care costs.

Orazio Gentileschi

7. Breastfeeding can feel great – Physical contact is important to newborns. It can help them feel more secure, warm, and comforted. Mothers can benefit from this closeness, as well. Breastfeeding requires a mother to take some quiet relaxed time to bond. The skin-to-skin contact can boost the mother’s oxytocin (OKS-ee-TOH-suhn) levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps milk flow and can calm the mother.

Mary Cassatt

8. Breastfeeding can be good for the mother’s health, too – Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of these health problems in women:
Type 2 diabetes
Breast cancer
Ovarian cancer
Postpartum depression
Experts are still looking at the effects of breastfeeding on osteoporosis and weight loss after birth. Many studies have reported greater weight loss for breastfeeding mothers than for those who don’t. But more research is needed to understand if a strong link exists.

Photo by me of my daughter and granddaughter

**Quotes and articles about the Time mag cover and breastfeeding**

"The battlefield keeps shifting. One week, women are attacked for earning more than men, the next week for poverty. They’re assaulted for having too many children or too few, for physically clinging to them in “attachment parenting” or coldly hiring nannies, for breastfeeding too long or weaning too soon, for seeking public daycare or private, using birth control or forgetting to use it, for staying home full-time, marrying rich, marrying deadbeats, accepting welfare, aborting for Down Syndrome, not aborting, being Yummy Mummies, being “too posh to push,” the list goes on.
Watching anti-abortion protesters on Parliament Hill this week after the Harper government had beautifully shut them down during a Commons debate was more of the same. If you’re against abortion, don’t have one. If you don’t like other women breastfeeding, pump and donate. That’ll go over well."
Quoted from article by Heather Mallick, Star Columnist

"Prudishness from our flesh-flashing culture is blatantly hypocritical. Grocery stores display racks of magazines with nearly-naked models. Our beach may as well be a nude one for all the skin shown. Out in public, I see scantily-clad adults, teens and kids everywhere. I'm expected to be tolerant of this. Well how about some tolerance for functional breast exposure? If nude is nature, then breastfeeding is the best example."
Quote from Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben's commertary

“There’s no one way to parent,” she writes. “But we’re told in many insidious and just plain overt ways that we’ll never be good enough. It doesn’t make sense, and the result is that we have lost the ability to trust our own instinct.”
Taken from article by Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer Christian Science Monitor

"Time Magazine Asks "Are You Mom Enough?" Every Mom Should Be Offended"

I am not the Babysitter - Jamie Lynn Grumet's blog

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