Even though my daughter is now almost 9 months old, the breastfeeding questions are still coming! I can hardly believe that people are still asking about it. And there is a part of me that just wants to say, yes, I breastfed until she was 7 months old and leave it at that. Yet for some reason I feel like I have to tell them that I supplemented with formula – as if it’s any of their business! I understand that people mean well, but does that have to be the first question after you’ve just found out I had a baby???
For example, I run into an old friend at the mall. Tell her that I’ve now got a 9 month old daughter. First question after that – Oh, did you breastfeed? Why does it matter? It happens regularly, this seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind. Or they’ll ask, are you still breastfeeding? Now, I can understand when my friends who are pregnant with their first child ask about it, because they are curious and of course, are hopefully that everything will be “easy” for them. And I do hope that is the case, I’m certainly not wishing anyone else goes through what I went through (and have since found out many women have similar experiences).
You know what, I’m glad that I’m not breastfeeding anymore! I enjoyed the experience for a few months after the initial challenges but when she decided she was done, I was just fine with it. I have so much more freedom now that I don’t have to worry about being home for a feed (even though we were supplementing) because my breast was full of milk and I was uncomfortable. I can be out of the house as long as I choose to! And if I want to go out for a few drinks with the girls – great! Breastfeeding a baby is tough on a mom in some ways because she has less freedom. And I know my friends who are still breastfeeding would never complain, but there are times when things are just a bit more challenging for them when it comes to feeding or soothing baby (meaning they have to be there).
This may not be a popular opinion, but all of the promoters of breastfeeding til baby is 1 year old may have forgotten to take into account that it’s all on mom’s shoulders if that’s the case. Shouldn’t we be occasionally thinking about mom’s well being too? I’m not saying this is the case for all moms who breastfeed for a year and beyond – but it’s quite possible that some moms would like to stop earlier but perhaps feel pressured to continue as long as possible.
On the flip side, formula isn’t cheap – so that would be one great reason to continue to breastfeed as long as possible.
So where do you stand? Do people still ask you if you are still breastfeeding? Do you get asked if you did? A what age to people stop asking about your child’s first food sources? Check in on the comments below!