Sunday, June 1, 2008

Is Ecological Breastfeeding REALLY difficult?

I was reading another blog  about ecological breastfeeding and came across the comment that ecological breastfeeding is REALLY difficult.    I had to stop and think about that.  Do most people  (who even bother to think about ecological breastfeeding at all that is) really think it is REALLY difficult? 

I am on my third round of ecological breastfeeding.  The little one is barely 3 months old and nursing as I type right now.   Honestly, it doesn't seem difficult to me.  In fact, it seems the most natural thing in the world, and actually almost lazy.  I mean, you really don't have to DO anything.  Babe cries and I get to sit down and pop him on.  I mean what other mothering practice gives one so much leeway to spend so much time just sitting or lying down, and while doing that I can read, type, check email, surf the internet, pay bills online, eat lunch, read stories to other children, home school my oldest, pray, do leg lifts (while lying down), talk on the phone, have conversations with other family members  or do Internet research.

Granted, one generally can't do all those things in the early days of breastfeeding, but with practice one becomes quite adept at MTN (multi-tasking nursing).   It is the same with nursing in public.  While it is awkard in the beginning, with a bit of practice one can become quite proficient at latching a baby on while carrying them in a sling and grocery shopping, or during a meeting or party or at the park or a whole host of other places.  

Over the course of the last 6 years in my breastfeeding career, I have nursed children everywhere from real estate offices to the confessional,  from the classroom (where I briefly took my oldest to work with  me each day as a young infant) to the crisis pregnancy center where I used to volunteer as a counselor.  I have taken my babies to conferences and bible studies and basically everywhere else I go.

If pacifiers and leaving a baby isn't even an option, one learns to adjust in marvelous ways.   Babies are remarkably portable and home is where ever mom is.

Likewise, if one is accustomed to nursing whereever and whenever during the day, it is natural to continue that at night.  After all, what could be easier than waking up at a babies slighted stir, sticking a nipple in his mouth and then blissfully falling back asleep.  Having a baby sleep separately seems like so much more WORK...I mean you would actually have to get out of bed!!

Nursing just seems like the EASIEST way to calm a baby, and soothe him.  Certainly easier than a pacifier which can get lost and dirty and falls out of his mouth and stolen by older sibling to use in their play.

Nursing is certainly easier than preparing baby foods and cleaning up afterwards. When one ecologically breastfeeds, there isn't such an emphasis on "starting solids" and really going through the bother of pureeing foods and spoon-feeding and clean-up....well nursing is just easier (and cleaner too!). 

Babies are born to be breastfed...and even more so, I think they are born to be ecologically breastfed.  It is God's intended way of mothering and nature's way of child spacing.  Of course it doesn't
"work" for everyone, but I really believe that it can work for "most" people "most" of the time .

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