Should we stop celebrating the practice of breastfeeding?

The topic of this week’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop is Breastfeeding Celebrations – a real headscratcher of an issue, if you ask me.

I definitely celebrate breastfeeding. I celebrate it every day. In fact, I’d shout the praises of breastfeeding from the rooftops if I thought it would do any good. I can just picture myself, leading the Breastfeeding Parade in a huge boob-shaped float, waving to the crowds as I throw out handfuls of Mother’s Milk tea bags…

But, seriously, what is there to really celebrate? World Breastfeeding Week, mothering groups meeting across the country, blogs devoted to breastfeeding, BF-pride bumper stickers, a blog hop!? Do we really need all this affirmation?Aren’t we breastfeeding moms just doing what we should do? What we’re supposed to do? Many of us make the effort not to espouse the “benefits” of breastfeeding, as if it’s nothing but gravy–a helpful “extra”–but instead focus on the risks of not breastfeeding. We choose our words carefully (like using “full-term” instead of “extended”) in order to add to the normalization of the art and practice of breastfeeding, so why should we celebrate it as if it’s something sooo special?   By doing so, aren’t we adding to the misconception that it’s a lofty goal that only a choice few super-achievers can manage to accomplish for any length of time?

Well, in my eyes, we celebrate breastfeeding because “it” needs us, and it is just. that. special. As nice as it would be to live in a society where nursing your child was the expected norm and there was no need to celebrate, that’s just not the case. Some people still see it as weird, uncomfortable, even wrong – so, those of us who believe that all babies deserve the optimal nutrition biologically meant for them, we celebrate. We celebrate the mamas. We celebrate their babies. We celebrate the benefits, the bonding, the beauty. I, for one, celebrate to show the new moms and moms-to-be who might be scared or struggling that the rewards are worth the effort a million times over. Maybe someday nursing moms will be an everyday, boring, barely-noticed phenomenon. Maybe someday, moms using their breasts to feed their babies will be more commonplace than breasts being used to sell junk on TV, and then we can save the celebrations for other things (like simply waking up to a smiley baby face each day.)

But for now,  I DO celebrate the almighty boob, it’s purpose, and the fact that my child will enjoy the “benefits”  loooong after our nursing days are over. I celebrate myself, and my sticktoitiveness even in the midst of being kicked in the face and having my nose twisted off by a 21-month-old acrobatic nursling. And if even one mom looks at me and says, “Wow…it makes her so happy! Maybe I should try that,” well then, I have even more reason to celebrate. :)

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Speaking of celebrating, we’re closing in on the 22-month mark here at our house, and I’m definitely taking the opportunity to celebrate with some of my favorite breastfeeding products! I’m participating in A Blogtastic Extravaganza with a self-sponsored Breastfeeding Support prize package featuring Earth Mama Angel Baby, My Brest Friend, and more. It’s just my way of celebrating YOU. Be sure to stop by and enter to win! (And tell your friends!)

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is Breastfeeding Celebrations. Check other posts below and link up your own.

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Comments

  1. I hear ya loud and clear on this one!!

    Although, I think it’s funny how some people pick and choose what’s ok to celebrate and what’s just a normal occasion. I mean, people get all up in arms about celebrating mother’s day or an anniversary because you shouldn’t need just one day or something like that. Well, my thought is if you feel it’s worthy of celebration, do it!

    Sure, I’ve been married to my husband for 4 years, and I hope for many more, but that’s not going to stop me from celebrating each one.

    I’m also going to cheer on other people doing awesome stuff. Hell yeah to 22 months! I think it’s an awesome accomplishment and I admire you for being such a great mom.

  2. I agree! Why not celebrate something so wonderful? My babies seem to celebrate it every time they latch on and fill their little bellies, so why should I? ;)

  3. You’re right- breastfeeding still needs to be celebrated. I can’t tell you how many teens I have talked to that were surprised to hear that formula was not the same as breast milk! There is still a lot of work to be done in the US to educate people about the beauties and benefits of breastfeeding.

    Great post!

  4. It’s just like a birthday! You make great points.

  5. Sometimes I find too much celebrating makes me feel like I’m doing something very strange for my kids. My baby is just eating, after all. But you’re right, it is special, and deserves a nod of attention once in awhile!

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