Instead Of Worrying About How A Mother Feeds Her Baby, Support Her

toddler latched on to mom

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“Breastfeeding is complicated. It’s another instance of a woman being told what to do with her body and then shaming her no matter what she decides. ⁣

It’s not being given another option when baby is born but then also not offered adequate support.⁣ It’s telling mom, ‘Breast is best’ and then telling them they should stop when their child is ‘too old for that now.’

Mom sits in a wooden rocking chair while she breastfeeds her toddler
Courtesy of Jenny Purdy

I’ve known moms who breastfed for 2 days and moms who nursed for 3 years. I know moms who chose to formula feed from birth. I know moms who drove themselves to the brink of insanity and were drowning in depression trying to breastfeed.⁣

I myself suffered for months with severe postpartum depression because I didn’t want to start medication and jeopardize breastfeeding.⁣

This story originally appeared on Love What Matters.

Our society and conditioning will always prioritize baby over mom, ignoring the fact that if mom isn’t okay, baby won’t be either.

Even now, my 2.5 year old and I are nearing the end of our breastfeeding journey and I am still filled with conflicting feelings. ⁣

Mom breastfeeds her newborn in their nursery while reading her toddler a book
Courtesy of Jenny Purdy

Feeling torn between wanting my body back and a semblance of freedom while also feeling guilty if I wean her before she’s ready. ⁣

Some days I dread nursing her before nap or bed – I will literally bristle when she latches.⁣ Other days she wants her daddy to put her to bed with ‘milk in a cup’ and I stand on the other side of the door feeling like I was punched in the gut. ⁣

All of this to say, yeah, breastfeeding is complicated. Even for someone like myself who has had a relatively ‘easy’ time.⁣

Little toddler with wavy brown hair cuddles up to their mom while breastfeeding
Courtesy of Jenny Purdy

Maybe instead of worrying about how or why or where a mother feeds her baby we ask how we can support her. We give her options so she can make informed choices. We ask if she’s okay.⁣

And maybe we just mind our own business, whether a mom whips out a boob to nurse her toddler or a bottle to feed her newborn.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jenny Purdy of Bowmanville, ON. You can follow her journey on InstagramFacebook and her website.

Mom of two breastfeeds her young child while sitting in the car
Courtesy of Jenny Purdy

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