Confessions of a breastfed baby
Do we sometimes take the formula vs. breastfeeding debate too seriously?
I don’t remember breastfeeding. Not a single moment of it. Not only do I not remember the act itself, I wouldn’t have a clue whether or not I was breastfed unless my brother had told me. Although I understand that there are nutritional implications to breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, I wonder, is it really that important how we’re fed as babies?

Now that I’m over my mid-life crisis (or the first of many), I’m certainly not pining and wishing that my mum and my dad were still parenting me. I guess that means that IF I ever suffered from separation anxiety because of not breastfeeding until I was in pre-school, I must have recovered. We breastfed kids are tough that way. Here are some of my other breastfed baby confessions:

  • I loathe dentists. I must have escaped the horrors of a malformed mouth, though- no dentist has ever said to me that my mouth or jaws are the way they are because of the way I fed as a baby.
  • I spent lots of time as a toddler crying. Crying because my brother had hurt me while wrestling, or because I’d lost my toy train. Not about breastfeeding.
  • I was quite short at the time, so I don’t recall my mother’s breasts being ‘objects of fascination’ or anything like that. They were just parts of her body. Like kneecaps. Or earlobes.
  • Actually, I remember as a child trying not to think about mum’s breasts as much as possible. I didn’t think about them at school, or while playing soccer, or while climbing trees.
  • I didn’t even like regular cow’s milk all that much. A quick visit to Doctor Google will tell you that I was probably lactose intolerant (and that I have lupus or gout), but a steady post-weaning diet of beans on toast, eggs and soldiers and endless mince dishes seems to have cleared up any tummy problems.
  • As an adult male, I don’t ever associate breasts with breastfeeding (unless I see a baby being fed, of course). In fact, I have yet to come across another adult who blames anything on whether or not they were breastfed as a kid. I haven’t even found anyone who has personal memories of being breastfed. Some people recall siblings being fed, but no one admits to any lingering breastfeeding trauma.
What’s my point?

Well, I know there have been countless studies insisting that babies breastfed until 6 months are supposed to enjoy better mental and physical health as adults, but then there are also infirm and crazy people who were breastfed as kids. I’m aware that breastfeeding can help with maternal health, too, and that babies get all sorts of goodness from breast milk. There’s immense pressure on moms to breastfeed at the moment, and while I support moms who choose to do it, I also support that moms have the right to choose not to breastfeed. It’s certainly not something which should be legislated, contrary to the direction in which the debate is drifting.

For a moment, consider that maybe it’s not just breastfeeding which is necessary to create balanced adults, but rather that balanced parents help to make the rocky road to adulthood easier for their kids.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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