Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Boob Goes A Long Way

I've gotten myself into some hot water.  Or, hot breast milk.

I'm new to twitter.  For the most part, I haven't a clue as to how it works.  But I'm learning and it's been a little bit of trial by fire.  In an effort to draw attention to my new twitter self, I engaged in the following exchange last week:

@MommyNews:  Think 'extended' breastfeeding (past 1 year) is wrong? Well, Michael Jordan was breastfed to age THREE.
@NextStopBaby:  @MommyNews wrong is a little judgy...perhaps socially taboo is better? Or WEIRD (ok, I'll be judgy)
@MommyNews:  @NextStopBaby I nursed my son until just before his 4th birthday - so clearly I don't think it is wrong, taboo or WEIRD
@NextStopBaby: @MommyNews with that, I can understand why you don't.  Different strokes for different folks.

Initially (read: 5 seconds after the above occurred), I regretted the exchange.  I felt like a twitter bully for stirring up trouble with my snarky remark.  A week later, the only thing I regret is my approach.  I should have been more intelligent in my choice of audience.  Turns out that @MommyNews describes herself as a "Breastfeeding Advocate" and there's no debating the issue with a woman who breastfed her child until he could ask for her boob with spoken (and probably written) words.  Meanwhile, she probably realized that there is no advocating for extended breastfeeding to a woman who's never had a baby, much less breastfed.

But, my opinion - that breastfeeding at a certain age becomes weird - is genuine.  I'm not sure what that age is, but I do feel (wicked) uncomfortable at the thought of a four-year-old politely asking to nurse and his mother responding that she first wants to hear about his day of school.  I just shouldn't have directed this feeling at some who has a decidedly different perspective.

Breastfeeding is an important parenting choice.  One that is personal and unique to the mother and baby and, as a result, one that should be sensitively considered.  Like I tweeted, I don't think there is a wrong answer, but there are certainly diverging opinions that simply can't be reconciled.  And that's okay.

Mental Notes:
  • Breastfeeding is no joking matter and there's no point in slinging breastmilk in either direction
  • Lay a little lower in the twittersphere


WW said...

I have heard from mothers of young children that it is extremely hard psychologically to stop breast feeding. Mothers often view feeding time as bonding time...the type of bonding that no childless woman could ever know. There are also strong scientific reasons to breast feed your child beyond year 1.

That being said, I am of the opinion that at some point you have to call it a day...preferably before the kid comes home from football practice, tosses his keys on the counter, looks at you and says "Mom, I'm starving."

Bobby said...

Hey Leah, First time commenter, love the blog. Your writing struck a chord with my past in dear old Blighty. Bitty - great for all ages. Enjoy!


Leah (it's me) said...

WW - Agreed, breastfeeding has physiological and psychological components that are both important.

Bobby - HYSTERICAL. Thank you kindly for sharing. My Thursday is now going to be exponentially better.

Kendall (On An Inhale) said...

Leah, I feel the same way. If you can ask for it (or are out of a diaper) it should be OVER! I'm not a fighter either. Not worth my time! I think you handled it really well!

krunk said...

To each his own, but for cryin' out loud. Those were awesome comments Bobby and Whitney ;) get it?
Here is another video on the subject

Coll said...

Just died laughing over the youtube clip from Bobby! Le, great post!