Existential breastfeeding questions

thinking woman with question mark on gray wall background

Lactivists, help me out here. I have some existential questions about breastfeeding.

If breastfeeding is everything you say it is, why do we need blogs, websites, professionals and lobbying organizations touting its awesomeness?

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]If you told me I needed to eat chocolate, I wouldn’t need to be deprived of gifts of liverwurst to ensure that I comply.[/pullquote]

You know what’s awesome? Chocolate is awesome. It appears that there is no need for professionals to explain its awesomeness to doubters. That’s the thing about awesomeness. It doesn’t need to be explained.

You know what else is awesome? Sex is awesome. I don’t notice too many people in need of convincing that sex is pleasurable. People figure it out for themselves without help.

In fact, if you need the purported awesomeness of something explained to you, perhaps it isn’t that awesome after all.

Here’s another existential question:

If breastfeeding is so easy and convenient as you often claim, why do so many women try breastfeeding and then give it up?

Email is easy and convenient, and once people try it, they tend to go on using it.

Fast food is easy and convenient. Even though it may be nutritionally suspect, many people still order it and eat it because it is easy and convenient.

Sex is easy and convenient. After most people try it for the first time, they will never ever give it up.

In fact, it’s generally difficult to give up something easy and convenient, yet women give up breastfeeding in droves. What does that tell you about breastfeeding?

Help me out with this question, too:

You’re constantly claiming that women give up breastfeeding because they don’t have enough support. But why would women need support for something that is easy and convenient? Could it be that they need support because breastfeeding is often difficult, painful, and inconvenient?

On the one hand, you insist that breastfeeding is “normal.” On the other hand you are constantly trying to “normalize it” with public breastfeeding stunts. Which is it: normal or in need of normalization?

And what’s up with calling formula feeding mothers lazy? If breastfeeding is easy and convenient, aren’t formula feeders doing more, and enduring more hardship than women who fall back on breastfeeding because it’s easy and convenient?

Why are you constantly asserting benefits for breastfeeding that haven’t been proven and are often pure speculation? No one needs to be told of the benefits of sex in order to convince them to engage in it. Why should women need so much chivvying about breastfeeding?

Finally, why does the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative bear so much resemblance to the policies of a small totalitarian states If breastfeeding is truly as easy and convenient as you say, why would any new mother need to be lectured about its benefits, be prohibited from using formula, forced to room in 24-7 with her baby, and never be given free formula gifts.

If you told me I had to eat chocolate with every meal, I wouldn’t need to be lectured on the point, wouldn’t need to have oatmeal raisin cookies hidden, and wouldn’t need to be deprived of gifts of liverwurst to ensure that I comply. That’s because chocolate is awesome.

Breastfeeding is awesome? For many women, not so much.