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Dear Doctor : Don’t make stuff up about breastfeeding

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Dear Doc,

I really appreciate you squeezing us in this afternoon. Ramona has been running a temperature for a couple of days and has been sleeping like a newborn. She didn’t even want to wake up to show off her new walking / talking on the phone/ finding her belly button skills so I felt best to check with you that it wasn’t bird flu. She has been chasing pigeons a lot recently.

I also appreciated the fact that you were a bit like a very stern Harry Hill, perhaps his angry dad. I really like Harry Hill, so that was cool. *

But I was really surprised at your diasaproval of me still breastfeeding my one year old daughter! Gobsmacked, actually. You asked me when I was going to finish this “burdensome activity” and warned me that a child will never give up when I responded that she could breastfeed until she chose not to. You finished the conversation with a grave warning about tooth decay.

I must implore you to catch up on breastfeeding information as your current point of reference is dated. I feel nervous for the mothers you will advise with your, to be blunt, archaic knowledge.

There is literally no evidence that links breastfeeding leads to tooth decay, in fact the reverse may be true due to breastmilk’s anti bacterial properties. Plus, truly, breastmilk is the least fearsome of Ramona’s teeth enemies; the girl LOOOOVES ice cream. And chocolate.

If children “never choose to wean” then do explain why we don’t have loads of teens still nursing? I did once see a Youtube of an eight year old tucking in. That was pretty immense. But there was a documentary produced about her, she was that rare. Evidence suggests that a “natural” weaning age (when looking across the spectrum of mammals) would be anywhere between 2.5 and 7 years.

And I haven’t even touched on the myriad of health benefits of breastfeeding beyond babyhood. I’ve got to leave something for you to google yourself. Let’s just say I would have been a lot more concerned sitting in your office this afternoon if I wasn’t nursing, as Ramona hasn’t eaten anything substantial for days. Thank God for breast milk.

If even the most conservative World Health Organisation recommends breastmilk for 2 years, surely you can loosen up about a one year old nursing?

But, to be frank, loosening up isn’t good enough.

You are an extremely influential person whom mothers will be listening to – picking up on your random misinformed comments and appalled sigh-ing. You must take a duster to your views on breastfeeding, shake the musty myths off and get in some spick and span FACTS. A succesful breastfeeding relationship can be an incredible foundation to a child’s health. It is vital that you encourage breastfeeding with your new found armory of breastfeeding info.

In expectation,

Lucy

*This may have been the first draft. Some bits may have been left out of the sent version. Ha.

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