I have to wonder if I’m driving some of my Facebook friends crazy with the amount of breastfeeding information I’ve started to post in the last couple weeks. Since some of the lovely ladies I’ve seen on the La Leche League website have joined my Facebook page, I’ve been much more informed about breastfeeding in the news.
I always knew if I had children I would breastfeed. Mind you – I didn’t know I would have children – but I did know that if I had them I would breastfeed. I grew up knowing heartfelt stories my mother shared with me about the time she nursed me. I knew she enjoyed the closeness we shared. I knew she enjoyed the convenience of breastfeeding. I saw the results of being breastfed on my immune system myself. I knew that breastfeeding was the best start a child could have to his or her life.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to find that breastfeeding rates are so low, but I am. Most everyone I know quickly opts for the “ease” of formula rather than breastfeeding. While in a WIC breastfeeding class the instructor asked, “How long do each of you want to breastfeed?” When I answered “At least a year,” a woman in front of me said, “Good luck with that – I just barely made it two weeks – I couldn’t stand it.” Fast-forward to what I know now – the national average reflects these same sentiments. 75% of women do start breastfeeding, but it usually only lasts a few weeks before Mom is reaching for a can of formula.
As I learn more and more about the benefits of extended breastfeeding, I find myself more and more committed to my choice to breastfeed. I also find myself in awe at the amount of mothers who think formula-feeding is easier (trust me, it’s not) and the amount of moms more concerned about the condition their breasts are left in than what is best for the little human being they are raising.
I suppose the point of this blog is to state – firmly – that I have found I am a lactivist – a lactation activist. I’m finding it more and more important to spread the news of the importance of breastfeeding. If that means I have to pester my Facebook friends about breastfeeding, I will.
Oh – and ask me for breastfeeding help if you need it.