Don't throw the parental sacrifice mantra at me
I read an article written by a guy--and yes, the word "guy" is important here--that really got my blood boiling. In fairness, this diatribe is not directed at all men. In the article, the writer states that while he can "think of a lot of very good reasons why a woman might not want to breastfeed... as a man, it always feels selfish and insensitive." He goes on to state that the challenges of breastfeeding only lasts a little over a year and often less and that sacrificing is what parents do.
It's particularly galling because he's coming at it from a place where he can't possibly understand what he's talking about. The only way he could is if he had mammary glands and could give breastfeeding a shot himself.
Selfish and insensitive? Really? Are you kidding me? I'd like to see him try it---to see him get up every 2 hours in the middle of the night and hope the baby's getting enough food. I like to see him wiping a wet cloth over the baby's head trying to keep her awake so that she doesn't fall asleep while trying to get enough food. I'd like to see him be sleep-deprived, washing and sterilizing bottles, pumping, trying to get a shower in every few days, keep the house somewhat presentable, do endless amounts of laundry, remember to eat and collapse for a few minutes before the baby needs you again.
And, let's add in the fact that studies show, women who breastfeed hurt their earning potential, not to mention they might like working because their career is actually important to them.
Oh, and let's not forget the point that study after study shows that and significant benefit to the baby from breastfeeding is negligible if any---unless you live in a third world country (that's different). The reality is there may be an association between breastfeeding and better health but not necessarily a causal link. Professor and author, Joan Wolf has written a great deal about this and while I don't always agree with everything she says, I do on this point. Many studies have shown that a mother's social situation plays a big role in the health of a baby. For instance, if a mom has a support system, or can take a long maternity leave, or has plenty of money and is educated, she is more likely to breastfeed, but also more likely to play with and read to the baby, and watch the child's diet etc., all of which factor in to the health of the baby.
Don't get me wrong. I breastfed my kids. I just don't think any man has the right to say a woman who doesn't is selfish and insensitive. I wonder how this guy would feel given the same parameters.