There is a big difference between a sanctimonious know-it-all Judgy Mommy (JM) and a Breastfeeding Warrior (BW).
One will tell you there's only one right way to do things. The other will let you decide what's right for you and then fight tirelessly to make sure you get to do it.
Guess which is which?
I live in Massachusetts where we have the highest breastfeeding rate in the country and it's rising everywhere else as well.
This is in no small part due to those of us who are willing to fight for breastfeeding rights even at risk of being accused of being a JM.
Here's the difference:
- A JM says: "There should be a worldwide law mandating breastfeeding."
- A BW says: "Let's figure out a way to make breastfeeding more accessible for everyone."
- A JM says: "There is no reason all women can't breastfeed."
- A BW says: "There are some times where breastfeeding just does not work."
- A JM says: "You only breastfed to one year? My kid was 5. That's the only way to be."
- A BW says: "It's awesome that you're breastfeeding no matter how long you go."
- A JM says: "You need to sleep next to your baby and nurse them constantly. Your exhaustion and bad mood are much less important than their health."
- A BW says: "We need to find the balance between your happiness and your baby's."
It's the BWs of the world who have made breastfeeding more accessible and accepted. We have to be out there fighting because there's an enormous amount of misinformation, bad advice, and judgment. Breast is best, but only if it's best for the whole family. A Breastfeeding Warrior knows this. She knows there are extenuating circumstances that make breastfeeding impossible.
She also understands that there are some women who don't want to, plain and simple. She doesn't shame for them for that.
If the end goal is more breastfeeders, why not focus on the women who actually want to do it and make sure there are laws in place for them to do it safely and without repercussion? Why not make sure everyone is educated about the benefits of breast milk and then leave it at that?
I will defend your right to breastfeed until your child is 6 years old, but I will just as quickly tell the person implying you're a bad parent because you chose not to to zip it.
It isn't JMs that move us forward, but BWs.
Did you ever feel judged about this?
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