Grandparent views on breastfeeding
Filed under: Newborns, Just For Moms, Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Your Pregnancy, Relatives, Health & Safety: Babies, Nutrition: Health, Development/Milestones: Babies, Mommy Wars, Day Care & Education, Feeding & Sleeping, Mealtime, Baby-sitting, Research Reveals: Babies, Nutrition: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Expert Advice: Babies, Health & Safety: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Development: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Behavior: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gear Guides: Babies, Gear Guides: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Expert Advice: Toddlers & Preschoolers
Mona Ackerman, contributor to Huffington Post and "shrink" as she calls herself, has a few choice things to say about breastfeeding. Ms. Ackerman is also a grandmother. Recently another grandmother wrote to Mona in dismay over her daughter-in-law's "incessant breastfeeding" of her nine-month-old grandchild.
The new grandmother couldn't understand why this was necessary all the time. The grandmother also wondered if the "marathon" breastfeeding wasn't taking away from the daughter-in-law's other priorities such as the household duties.
I'm sorry, but is this woman for real? What century does she think this is? The grandmother admitted to being perplexed and at least had the courage to ask if she was in the outer corners for feeling these things. I also agree it was a good thing to be able to admit such hesitations. Still, what business of it is hers whether or not her grandchild is breastfed? She had her children, and made her choices at that time based on social norms, the wisdom of the day, and what her doctor told her to do. A woman's choice to breastfeed or not is her own business, not anyone else's.
Mona Ackerman seems to agree with me--at least the part about getting with the 21st century--but she's a lot nicer about it. Say what you will about the great breastfeeding debate, but Ms. Ackerman also brings up an interesting point many of us probably hadn't considered: the generation gap, and how glaring its wideness becomes when social issues come up--breastfeeding, war, that kind of thing. Grandmothers didn't necessarily breastfeed, while their children (or children-in-law) are more apt to do so.
As a result, they just don't "get it." I also wonder if the grandmother in question isn't displaying some other kind of issue with the fact that it is her daughter-in-law making the decision and not her own child. My mother, for example, would never have questioned my choice to breastfeed. Of course, most moms might not voice such opinions to their own children, but rather save it for the Mona Ackermans of the world.
So, what does grandma think of your choice to breastfeed or not? Is she vocal? Is it limited just to grandma or is grandpa weighing in too?
Breastfeeding pic by timtom.ch.