There is nothing more motherhood than, well motherhood. All of nature manages pretty well without guidelines and protocols and so did humans for most of our existence. Today nothing is allowed to be straightforward nor can “experts” to, trust anyone to do what works for them and their child.
Lets put something on the table straight up. Breast-feeding is good for babies and mothers. If babies can be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months, that is great. Breastfeeding is not a religion though!
I am staggered by the number of new mums I see who have been traumatized by breast-feeding zealots. These are women who are pressured to maintain some form of “purity” about feeding and end up worrying if they have to use the occasional bottle. I have had three such cases recently. Rather than being helped in their quest the women were made to feel inadequate and that somehow they were doing something wrong if their milk supply was a little low.
There are ways of enhancing milk production and supporting mothers and this is worthwhile. Stressing them out does not help.
With this in mind there was a predictable response to a call from allergists not that long ago to introduce solids at four months. The theory is that doing so may, reduce allergies later in life. Breast-feeding “advocates” rejected the idea. No doubt people can argue the merits of this. Personally I think it is difficult to pick an exact time, which will work, for every single child.
And that brings us back to the start. The best person to make the call on how long to breast feed, whether to supplement with a bottle, when to wean and when to introduce solids is the mother. This in turn is based on how she and her baby are going. (Yes Dad is part of this too but one step removed).
There are too many experts running around telling us how to live every facet of our lives. Most of them are either on government grants or have their hand out for “funding”. The question is how much better off are we for this never ending array of expertise? In most instances – not much!
Meddling in other people’s lives is beloved of social engineers and bureaucrats. The pendulum has swung too far when a mother is castigated for wanting to do what works for her baby and herself.
It is time we reclaimed the right to live our own lives.