"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Friday, June 1, 2012

On attachment parenting

Many of you have seen the time article featuring the mom nursing her 3 year old.  I'm not going to get in to whether or not that shot was appropriate.  It was marketing.  It sells.

Regardless, I am going to take a minute and talk about attachment parenting and why for some people, it works.  I would say that my own style is moderately attachment based.  I never set out to be an attachment parent.  I can't even say I researched parenting styles- ever.  It's just what worked for me, it worked for Jude, and that's good enough for me.  As time has gone on though, I've realized 'oh I guess thats me' since so many of the attachment things I did.

The most controversial of attachment beliefs is the breastfeeding.  And this is the one thing I'm the most passionate about.  Not because there are so many formula fed babies out there.  Just because there are so many moms who are completely ignorant of how to prepare your body to nurse, what it takes to sustain nursing, and why nursing and formula are not comparable.  If you research breastfeeding vs formula and still decide to formula feed, I can respect that decision.  But if you formula feed without researching what you're doing, I'm sorry, I think you should rethink that.  It's just like politics.  Don't pick a side until you've researched it.  So with that in mind, how many people turned up their noses at the idea of breastfeeding a toddler had actually researched extended breastfeeding.  Probably not many.

I'm not going to tell you why I believe in extended breastfeeding right now.  Or why I am proud of the fact I breastfed Jude for 17 months (while dealing with being a single mom and going through a pretty gruesome divorce and working 40+ hours a week and still being in charge of the house and dinner and laundry.  Don't ever tell me you're too busy to nurse.  I won't buy it.)  But I am going to hook you up with some sweet research.

* The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively until 6 months, while still breastfeeding along with solids until 2 years old. 
---- http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

* The American Pediatric Association recommends breastfeeding a minimum of 1 year.  Which means we can infer going longer is preferable.
---- http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/

* Notice the bottom that says the longer you breastfeed the lower your risk of breast cancer.  Get on that platform Susan G. Komen....
--- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12133652

* The best way to prevent food and skin allergies is to breastfeed
---- http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080107/breast-feeding-seems-to-protect-against-some-allergies.htm

* Formula leads to diabetes risk
---- http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/48/7/1389

That can get you started.  I was trying to find one I read about an enzyme that appears in breastmilk around 6 months that coats the baby's intestines with this protective film.  They think this helps prevent food allergies.  I mean God designed this perfectly for the baby.  Perfectly.  Only he knew that they would need this at the time solids are introduced.  Sovereign.  There are countless articles on how perfectly designed breast milk is for a baby.  It's beyond me why people don't realize that God made us a certain way for a reason.

And finally, my other soapbox.  Now there is no support scientifically for breastfeeding a 3 year old and I get that.  However, I'm not going to make judgements on what works for them.  I will say this though.  We need to stop being so uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding.  It's not gross.  It's beautiful.  It was designed by the Creator.  There is something beautiful about a mom continuously selflessly giving of herself to her child.  And isn't that what Christ did for us.  Here is my body broken for you that you may have life.  That's what breastfeeding moms do every day- many times a day.  That's true, godly love the way it was designed to be.  Women who are breastfeeding shouldn't have to feel they need to hide under a blanket or in a corner.  It's something beautiful and something to admire and something to be proud of.  Motherhood is an amazing testament to sacrificial love.  Instead of judging and being uncomfortable, respect it.  That mom is doing a selfless, beautiful thing.


Katie said...

love it ash. i breastfed tyler until he was 10.5 months old and i was 16 weeks pregnant with emily. I fully intend to EBF her to 6 months and breastfeed her for a minimum of a year as long as she'll have it!! I loved everything you had to say ;)

ThistleAshD said...

You go momma!

Holly Michelle said...

Agreed x1000! I nursed my son for 15 months, also while pregnant, when he self-weaned. I'm nursing my little girl and love it--I wish more mothers would get on board with breastfeeding. It's better for babies, mom, families and communities! /end of soap box.

Great post!! :)

ThistleAshD said...

I completely agree with you Holly! I would love to see more moms getting on board and I'm so proud of the moms I know who already are!

allie-mac-fallie said...

Ill admit I wasn't gung-ho on bfing at first but now it is something that I looove!! I will do it as long as miss Raleigh Grace wants to :)

ThistleAshD said...

I think that's whats so important about sharing- a lot of people are hesitant at first. But I've never heard anyone who didn't love it once they gave it a go :)

the mommy psychologist said...

Apparently, no one was reading Time which is exactly why the editors published it. It was like dumping gasoline all over a simmering fire and then throwing a match on it. We all know what you get. A hell of an explosion. And we all proved we were lemmings. Meanwhile, all of the marketing executives and editors are high fiving each other backstage. I talk about the end of my role as a lemming here:

ThistleAshD said...

i really wasn't concerned about the article at all. i just am a big supporter of breastfeeding and wanted to use this opportunity to share the pros of breastfeeding. I think the only time i referred to the article was the intro paragraph anyway.

Messy Mom said...

Good for you. I relate to a lot of this.