When Penny was tiny, I attended some La Leche meetings with my friend Mindy, and I felt a little uncomfortable about the tone of some the meetings. I felt the information was useful, but I already felt like my success as a mother was being measured by whether or not I was nursing, and how much I was producing, and how much weight my baby was gaining, etc. In the end, I decided La Leche wasn't for me. So I can relate to some of the things Rosin is talking about, I really can.
But I get nervous about making a "case" against breastfeeding. I agree that we shouldn't get carried away by hype or buy into claims that are not scientifically founded. However, I am still more likely to trust the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization more than a journalist who has done her own casual meta-analysis of articles from medical journals. Rosin says herself:
"My best guess is something I can’t quite articulate. Breast-feeding does not belong in the realm of facts and hard numbers; it is much too intimate and elemental. It contains all of my awe about motherhood, and also my ambivalence. Right now, even part-time, it’s a strain. But I also know that this is probably my last chance to feel warm baby skin up against mine, and one day I will miss it."
And that is the key for me, the warm baby skin. The bonding, the cuddling. The connection that transcends any other tangible experience, which in my mind, is the same connection that started in the womb. I grew my baby myself, with my body. I am still "growing" my baby, with my body. We live in an amazing time, in an age of pumps and formula. We have options and we can choose the one that best suits our needs and our lifestyles. We can also adapt and make compromises, if one option doesn't work out the way we originally planned.
We also live in an age where one person can write an article, another person can post an opinion about it online, and the whole Internet can explode in anger or in support. Amazing.