At MaiTai’s first well baby check-up, his pediatrician was supportive of his being breastfed. She assured me, “Your milk is good, don’t worry!” (Okay, I hadn’t been worrying… until now?). When MaiTai turned six months old, she was also supportive of continued breastfeeding coupled with the Baby-Led Weaning method of solid food introduction when I mentioned that the traditional puree-spooning route that she typically suggests (like most pediatricians) just wasn’t for us. At his one year appointment, naturally I expected her to be supportive of continued breastfeeding. To my surprise and disappointment, she was not. In fact, when she found out we were still giving the boob, she said, “You should really switch to cow’s milk now. It’s more nutritious.” Is it? Is it??
Here’s what I think. If your breastfeeding-friendliness has an expiration date then you aren’t truly breastfeeding-friendly. If you give out the expert pediatric advice that an infant should switch to another species’ breast milk due to an untrue claim, then not only are you not breastfeeding-friendly, but also not breastfeeding-educated. A frightening pair of descriptors for an individual with pull and power within the professional medical community and influence among new parents.
Was our pediatrician the only one? Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.