I’m not saying I’m going to quit breastfeeding. It’s actually one of my favorite activities, and my heart is already breaking at the thought that soon this boy will grow out of it. But it’s good to see the other side, especially in these pro-breastfeeding times, and especially when I feel so single-facetedly enchanted. Gosh I just love it. It’s so much more than feeding. I love holding this boy at any hour. I love feeling that I can give him all that he needs. I love how soft we are.
(Below is an excerpt from a pretty topically daring essay from the Atlantic Monthly, The Case Against Breastfeeding.)
The debate about breast-feeding takes place without any reference to its actual context in women’s lives. Breast-feeding exclusively is not like taking a prenatal vitamin. It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way. Let’s say a baby feeds seven times a day and then a couple more times at night. That’s nine times for about a half hour each, which adds up to more than half of a working day, every day, for at least six months. This is why, when people say that breast-feeding is “free,” I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing.