It's Okay to Stop Breastfeeding

April Peveteaux
14

baby with bottleAs I read another article about someone who stopped breastfeeding, I wondered why we all have to justify our breastfeeding, or lack of, to the outside world. I'm sure some of you will remind me in the comments.

I'm especially surprised by Erin Zammett Rudy's essay in Redbook describing her struggle when she quit breastfeeding because she was on her third bout of mastitis in one month and she had to go back on her cancer drugs. Cancer. Is that a good enough excuse to stop breastfeeding?

I feel like the breastfeeding issue is almost as polarizing as the last presidential election in this country. The extremists won't take no for an answer when someone says, "Ya know, maybe breast isn't always best," prompting essays like this one where this woman has suffered so much, yet she still feels guilty for giving her baby formula.

Of course her baby is thriving, not obese, not prone to illness. Just like millions of other healthy babies and children who have active, healthy parents looking after their every need but couldn't -- or wouldn't -- breastfeed for six months or a year, or even a day. (We all could point out a sniffly, sickly kid who was exclusively breastfed and compare to the fit kid with the strong immune system who was given formula ... and vice versa.)

The point is, let's give mamas a break. Whether you breastfeed or bottle, we're all in the business of raising happy, healthy kiddos. Genetics and what comes after those six months play a much larger role than the boob.

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