The Worldwide Breastfeeding Conversation
Breastfeeding is a huge conversation worldwide. Last week was the twentieth anniversary of World Breastfeeding Week.
I'm discussing it here because, as fertility treatment patients, you will probably get pregnant.
Let that sink in for a moment.
You will most likely get pregnant.
True, unfortuantely, not everyone gets pregnant via fertility treatment. But many of you reading this, in treatment, will become pregnant, carry a baby to term and deliver a healthy child.
I'd like to go with the hopeful for this one. If this topic is one you're feeling uncomfortable reading, then please stop reading. It's never my intention to make someone uncomfortable.
I know for myself, while I was in treatment, that there were certain things that I just couldn't look at. Adoption was one and breastfeeding was another.
It never made sense to me to consider my views on breastfeeding. There were times when I felt so strongly that I was not going to get pregnant, when hopelessness overtook hope and ran it into the ground, that it was simply irrelevant. Breastfeeding seemed the last thing that I needed to think about.
It's almost impossible to avoid hearing, reading and seeing breastfeeding these days though, and most particularly this week. There are lots of conversation about what's best for babies, especially newborns.
Breastfeeding Issues Abound | Where Do You Stand?
The conversations and controversies about breastfeeding issues include these topics:
- Is breastmilk healthier than formula, given the pesticides that we are all exposed to and can pass on through breastfeeding?
- Should women be able to breastfeed in public?
- Is breastfeeding outside of your own home something that needs to be regulated?
- Is breastfeeding in public considered immodest while lingerie ads are not?
- Should breastmilk be more available via breastmilk banks?
There's much more to it than these simple-sounding questions. As I was trying to write about it though, I realized that my bias came shining through. I try to avoid that in this blog. My mission here is to elucidate issues, not preach about them. To bring them to your attention and let you decide what you think about them.
How does this circle back to infertility and fertility treatment?
We are disappointed when we do not become pregnant easily. That's an understatment if ever there was one. Taking the next steps with this, we are disappointed in our bodies, in our reproductive organs specifically. Sometimes that disappointment is so vast that it defines us. We are infertile. Not we are trying to conceive or that we are in fertility treatment. We are infertile. Big red letters.
Breastfeeding and Fertility: An Affirmation of Life
Breastfeeding after infertility and fertility treatment is an affirmation of life, of our bodies' ability of doing just what they were designed to do. We won't all be able to, nor will we all want to, though that possibility is out there. A declaration of we women being fertile, feeding and growing our babies. A putting our infertility behind us, one breath at a time.
Just know that the possibility of breastfeeding a baby is not usually connected to understanding infertility or fertility treatment. You may very well easily breastfeed no matter how long it has taken you to become pregnant.
- Will you want to?
- Will it be something you're comfortable with?
- Is it something you may not know until your baby is born?
Lots and lots of questions around this.
There are thousands of shades of grey in any given moment or issue. Is there also a black and white? At the opposite of each spectrum, there is.
I'm celebrating the twentieth anniversary of World Breastfeeding Week. For me, that's the black and the white and all the shades of grey in between.