I really admire the many moms out there who persevere through trials of breastfeeding. It is admirable to beat the odds of infections, depression, medication, low milk supply, and other factors. When these things occur, the simple act of feeding our babies from our own bodies becomes a threatened privilage. There are many reason why I want to continue breastfeeding Melody. One of them is the following question:
"If I quit breastfeeding, will my friends still like me?"
There. I said it.
Over the past few months I've become well aquainted with four moms. We all breastfeed. My main reason for wanting to keep nursing is Melody's well-being. The number two reason is close behind -- I want to continue having it in common with my friends. It is a central topic and activity during our times together. I am sad and nervous about loosing this connection. I know people say things like, "If they don't like you because you stop breastfeeding, then they weren't true friends to begin with." Though true, statements like this do not make it easier.
If I stop will they say it's cool, but then talk about me when I'm not there? Why am I insecure about this? Breastfeeding was always a no-brainer for me. Of course I'd do it; it's the best option. Now that I'm faced with a low milk supply, I am dealing with questions I didn't foresee coming my way. I never realized this topic would lead to issues of acceptance, loyalty, fear and possible isolation.