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

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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.⁣

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 damn business, whether a mom whips out a boob to nurse her toddler or a bottle to feed her newborn.”

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

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jenny Purdy of Bowmanville, ON. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook and her website. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more stories about breastfeeding here:

‘I saw a man staring behind the counter with the most disgusted face. He spit out, ‘You know, we have bathrooms where you could do THAT.’: Mom responds to backlash for breastfeeding child

‘Breast is better,’ they said. I cried for days, unable to feed you. I heard I could never feel that connection with you, nor you with me, because I didn’t nurse you.’: Mom shares emotional breastfeeding struggle, ‘Did I love you any less?’

‘The baby weight will melt away with breastfeeding.’ When my milk never came in, I was devastated. I hated my body.’: Mom discusses postpartum self-love, ‘You’re worthy at any size’

‘I noticed a decrease in my milk supply. ‘WTF is wrong with me?!!!’ The guilt was beginning to suffocate me.’: Breastfeeding mom urges ‘fed is best’ after switching to formula

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